10 Jan

How to Motivate Employees after the Holiday Break

Posted by Brad Holtkamp

The holidays are a busy and exciting time of year for most people. They can also be tiring and stressful. Among family visits, big meals, and late nights, your employees may return to the office in early January wondering if they really had a break at all. 

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While your employees return refreshed and relaxed from most vacations and long weekends, the holiday break is a special case. It can prove especially difficult to motivate employees as they return to their desks in January. If you follow these tips, you’ll have more luck motivating your workforce.


New Year’s Resolutions

Many people see the new year as a time to wipe the slate clean. Your employees may have spent the last few work days of December trying to clear their desks of old projects and paperwork so they could start the new year fresh. 

They may also make New Year’s resolutions. Some of the common ones include getting in shape and eating better. Some people may want to quit smoking or another bad habit. Whatever the goal, people see January 1 as a great start date. 

Have your employees consider some workplace resolutions for the new year. What do they want to accomplish in their professional lives this year? What steps can they take to accomplish those goals? How can you support them in achieving them? 

Goalsetting might include small goals, such as creating a better working environment or breaking a bad habit. Other goals may be more long-term. Whatever the case, goals help motivate employees and get back to work.


Review the Company Goals

Have you taken stock of your own goals for the company lately? If not, now’s a good time to do so. Where do you see the company heading in the next 12 months? What do you want to achieve? 

Reviewing and revising the company goals not only gives you a clearer vision of where you want to go but also helps your employees align their goals with the company. This can provide further motivation. Employees who understand how they contribute to the company’s overall goals are usually more engaged and productive.


Offer Rewards

If you don’t already have a rewards and recognition program in place, now’s the time to think about one. If you do have a rewards program, you may want to consider how you can revise the program to make it more effective.

How do rewards motivate employees? Much like goals, rewards give employees something to strive for and work toward. They provide incentive to do a good job and they give employees the recognition they deserve. Your employees will feel more valued and appreciated.


Introduce New Tools

Introducing a new tool before the holiday break isn’t the greatest idea. Your employees are likely to be distracted during training. They’re also less likely to retain the information they’re given about using the new tool.

Once you’re into the new year, however, introducing a new tool is a great idea. It can help your employees become more productive and efficient, allowing them to complete tasks with less effort.

Learning a new tool in the new year provides an immediate challenge. Learning a new skill is also something that will get your employees excited. Start the new year on the right foot by getting your employees engaged right off the bat.


Watch for Mental Health

If some of your employees seem to be having a difficult time getting back into the swing of the work week, they could be struggling with something more than holiday fatigue. The cold, dark days of January compound with the end of the festive season. Offer your employees support if they do seem to struggle with this time of year. They’ll find their motivation if given the chance.

Follow these tips if you want to motivate your employees this January. The post-holiday slump doesn’t need to be your narrative.

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Topics: Industry News

Brad Holtkamp

Brad brings 15 years of Canadian and international staffing industry experience to his role as vice president, Western Canada. He’s an HRIA and TEC Canada member and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Brad has significant experience providing staffing solutions for customers, with specific expertise in permanent search, contract recruitment, and payroll delivery. With a love of sports and the outdoors, Brad can often be found in a rink, on a bike, or in the mountains with his wife and two daughters.

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