Like many of us, you're probably probably caught up in the "New Year, New You" churn. Maybe you even made resolutions as the extra nudge you need to figure out how you can improve upon things like your organizational habits, fitness level, finances or management skills.
When navigating the hectic holidays - it can be hard to stay focused and connected with your teams, especially with so many people out traveling, baking, decorating and gifting. People are generally busy to begin with, but throw in some extra pressure to attend programs, pageants, ugly sweater parties... it proves that trying to concentrate at work, on top of all the holiday craziness, can be difficult.
So, now that everyone is back in the office and you're all finding a rhythm in the workplace again, how do you help your employees re-focus and refresh heading into the year ahead? Here are 7 tips to get your team aligned for success:
1) Get your employees together to go over big company initiatives, improvements and plans for the upcoming year.
Enthusiasm is contagious. Helping build excitement for the new year is a key step toward motivating your teams. Not only is it important for you to keep your employees in the loop about all great news within the company, it is also important that you get their input and ideas. By sharing information and prioritizing what the company should be doing and handling as a whole, you can establish a clear image and direction for your company. If you can present the information in a way that's fun and impactful or easy to remember, even better.
2) If you haven't already, clearly define your company goals for the upcoming year.
You've (hopefully) taken down the decorations and cleaned up the confetti, so it's a great time to get re-focused. It's important to establish high expectations for this year and define the goals for the upcoming months. Whether you decide to have a big company meeting or individualized talks with each employee, you should discuss what your employees have done well, what could be improved, and then work together to create a specific game plan to achieve those goals. Work with your employees to make sure you’re set on a clear path, and plan to check in quarterly to make sure everyone is on track.
3) Promote company benefits that boost mental/physical health and morale.
83% of employers have changed their benefits strategy within the last three years. Employee expectations have changed; some of the most important things employees look for in a company are benefits and support. Companies that can provide benefits - and not just financial benefits – will, without a doubt, have happier employees. This can include perks like an office gym, providing healthy office snacks, a bike rack, charity work, etc. As a company, it's important that you support your employees’ goals, both inside and outside of the workplace. Having perks to show you care about their environment and work/life satisfaction is a great way to do that.
4) Recognize your employees’ hard work.
When asked what leaders could do to improve engagement, 58% of respondents replied “give recognition.” In order to create employee engagement, you must recognize all of your employees’ hard work throughout the year. It may be in the form of annual year-end bonuses, employee gifts, or even just some genuine praise and extra appreciation. Whatever you decide to do, your employees will really respond to a little something extra.
5) Encourage employees to take a breather.
For many people, the realization that the the next long holiday weekend isn't until May can be deflating. There's a sort of depression following the holiday season - and this feeling at work is no exception. You may want to encourage workers to take a Friday or even half day to recharge and rest. Even though people may have taken PTO for holiday travel, they likely didn't get to actually relax. For good morale, it is important to make sure your workers are taking small breaks to stay healthy. Also, remember to thank your employees for their countless hours of work and contributions to your success.
6) Spring clean.
When the office feels a little bit like home, that can boost employee morale. Decorating the office and adding some color, natural light and plants - as well as cleaning up the stacks of paperwork and unnecessary boxes or desk clutter - can make coming into work at this time of year a little more enjoyable. It's easier to think clearly and more efficiently when you're not overwhelmed by a looming pile of file folders, a flurry of Post-It notes or dirty coffee cups. Maybe you could even have a spring cleaning party at the office to get everyone involved. Buy pizza!
7) Celebrate the little things.
With the space freshened up and organized you might find a good reason, between now and the end of May, to throw a party. This party will allow you to give a well-deserved thank you to your reliable employees and it will give you a chance to share your company culture with everyone. Include food, drinks, games, activities and more. You could even connect your party with a local charity and encourage camaraderie and community spirit within your teams.
If you follow these 7 simple tips to promote a happy and healthy workplace, you will be sure to boost employee-morale and engagement.