12/01/2015 by Nita Coetzee
Many people kick start the New Year with a myriad of resolutions, from keeping fit to losing weight or achieving financial goals. However, many of those resolutions fail to embody anything remotely close to working life. The first week back is usually a slow one; clearing out the inbox (usually spam as most other people were also on break) dusting off the keyboard and restocking the cupboard with fresh new stationery.
So when your employees hit the deck with the January blues, here are some ideas to instil excitement and motivation.
Know your team
Inspiring your team can start even before the New Year kicks off. If you give out Christmas gifts at the end of each year, do your research first. Find out about your team and ensure you’re getting each and every one of them something that is thoughtful and representative of how you see them as individuals. If specialised gifts are not within your budget, ensure you do something, whether it be a Christmas party or even a personalised card that lets each of your employees know how much you’ve appreciated their efforts throughout the year. By feeling this appreciation, they are more likely to come back to work in a positive frame of mind.
As a by the by, when you’re planning the office Christmas party, if it’s likely to be especially festive, make some provision so that people don’t have to drink and drive. Often someone’s willing to volunteer as sober driver but give it some thought and talk it over with the team so there’s a plan for everyone to make it home safely.
Include your staff in the company goals
In your initial meeting at the beginning of the year, let everyone know what the overall plan is for the year and where the business is going. Sit down with each staff member individually and chat about personal career goals, how you and the company can help to achieve these and reiterate the importance of the company values. This makes each team member feel valued and appreciated, with the knowledge that you care about his or her future.
Make it fun
In this initial meeting, make sure you include some exciting goals and talk about ideas for functions and team outings. It’s good for your team to have something to look forward to. More importantly, make sure it happens. You don’t want to plan big and be greeted with exasperated sighs and rolled eyes for not following through on promises from previous years.
Keep it moving
Is everyone in the team already a bit nostalgic for the days on the beach? Or are they talking about their healthy lifestyle resolutions? Would they be up for a detox week at work? Programme some healthy shared lunches, with everyone bringing in their favourite salads and juices. Make the most of the long summer days and go for a walk in the sun during lunch or before work. Make a date to go out to a local lookout for a scenic moment. Get the blood pumping with a game of touch after work
Leave room for treats
Build in some reward moments, too. Simply surprise the team with an occasional morning tea treat. Or, if people are in the mood to be social but a little cash-poor after the holidays, suggest an evening get-together at someone’s house for DVDs and snacks.
These ideas can also be helpful tools to check in with your team throughout the year. Open communication, positive attitudes and keeping everyone in the loop is just the start to maintaining motivation and keeping energy levels up. This can encourage respect and in turn, reinforce staff retention and loyalty. By treating your employees as valued team players, you can have a far more productive and efficient year ahead.