The first week back to work is always a struggle after the break for the holidays. Getting situated with new targets, new expectations (and sometimes new colleagues) makes it difficult to get back into the work routine. Not to mention that motivation levels aren’t quite as high when coming back from time off, so these are my top tips for keeping your employees motivated in the new year.
Remember, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’. The better your employees work as a unit, the better your business will become. Working in sync with each other, and with each team, is crucial to keep growing, and a useful way to do that is to start the year with an all staff meeting. Whether that’s all employees getting together in the office, or running the meeting over a video or web conference, a company-wide meeting is a great way to learn what everyone did over the festive period, but also a the easiest way to make sure that everyone is up to date on important dates, new tasks and targets, and to meet any new colleagues.
Having an all-company meeting will help your employees focus and know what the common goal is that they’ll be working towards, plus is an easy way to help them figure out what to work on first. The last thing that you want to happen is for the boss and the managers to be dictating the first day back, so this is an easy way to point everyone in the right direction.
Introduce new incentives
Everyone loves being rewarded for doing a good job. When employees feel like they’re doing a good job, and are challenged, is a great way to keep staff motivated. By introducing new rewards for reaching milestones or hitting certain targets, employee’s motivation will naturally change if the goals are attainable.
Make being more flexible your new year’s resolution
While it may not be blatantly obvious, but there’s a direct link between flexibility and motivation in the workplace. By promoting a more flexible work environment, employees will naturally become more motivated to give back to their company and perform better. By getting rid of the restrictions of standard work hours and locations, enabling staff rather than limiting them, is a great way to keep the workplace a little bit different every day. It makes things, like train strikes or delays, a little bit more bearable, as we can adapt to it. So by introducing a flexible way of working, both in terms of hours and ‘office’ locations, a flexible workplace will introduce a more motivated workplace.
Be more proactive
Because of the way that company culture has changed, it’s now a case of employees not putting up with things and leaving the company if they’re not happy. And often, by the time you find out about the issues staff have, it’s too late to resolve because they either hand in their resignation letter or explain in their exit interview.
Instead, being proactive often means that you can tackle any growing issues and may even reduce your turnover rate before that time comes. In general, most problems are usually preventable when you address them early enough. It may be as small as providing a few more perks like free tea and coffee for staff or it may be a structural issue. Though some are bigger issues, without being proactive and discovering what the issues are, there’s no way to resolve issues that many of your staff might even share in time to keep them with the company.
Putting in regular catch ups – not just about work, but also how employees are getting on in the company is a great way to be proactive, and keep things in a casual setting. We encourage our managers to have their catch ups with their team over coffee in either our break out area or a café so staff feel more comfortable to open up and express any issues without the rest of the office hearing.
If employees see that their issues are being addressed, they’ll be much less distracted with their work and become more motivated to know that staff satisfaction is being catered to.
So, contrary to popular belief, helping keep your employees motivated doesn’t have to involve more funding. Finding new and creative ways to motivate your staff will naturally help your business and their willingness to continue working for your company for years to come. Just make sure you’re proactive about it!
Jason Downes is managing director of Powwownow.