The New Year is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to start fresh. New projects, new clients, new programs—whatever the new year means for your organization, there’s nothing like coming into work in January with a positive attitude and a desire to hit the ground running.
However, despite your excitement to start the new year on a high note, some employees returning to work after a lengthy Christmas break might be less than enthusiastic about resuming their duties.
If your employees are in need of a bit of workplace motivation in the new year, try a few of these tips to inspire and engage your workforce.
Hold Motivational Meetings
It’s important to recognize employees for their achievements and by doing so publicly you’ll likely inspire other employees to work harder, too. Try holding weekly or bi-weekly motivational meetings, during which you congratulate members of staff for reaching goals and allow others to share updates on their progress. They don’t have to be long; just ten minutes of encouragement and communication can work wonders for motivation.
Let Employees Contribute
If employees feel that they have a hand in making decisions, they’ll be more invested in the outcomes of the decisions. During meetings, ask employees for their thoughts about how best to tackle projects or how to solve issues, and be prepared to implement useful suggestions.
Additionally, if you’re planning on making any changes to the workplace, such as changing working hours, ask for the opinions of your employees before you do so. You could either do this in person via focus groups or by using an anonymous survey if you think it’d give you more accurate responses.
Brighten Up The Workplace
There’s nothing like a drab workplace to lower morale. Decorating your office with a pop of color, whether it’s by bringing in brightly colored furniture or by giving the walls a new coat of paint. These simple workspace design hacks may help to lift your employees’ moods, resulting in higher productivity levels. You might also consider replacing old furniture and decorating with a few plants.
While January is often touted as a month that should be used to get back to a normal routine after the festive season, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid celebrating all month. Even small celebrations – like a morning break to eat cake for an employee’s birthday or a free lunch when goals are achieved – will help employees to feel valued and bring a bit of cheer into the workplace. Having a celebration to look forward to, no matter how small, will have employees feeling a little more enthusiastic about coming into work.
When reaching a goal will result in a prize, your employees are likely to put in serious effort. Incentives, in whatever form, can be used at your discretion: perhaps you’d prefer to use them only for major projects, or perhaps you feel that your employees would be more motivated if incentives were offered continuously.
Additionally, stellar employees should have the opportunity to advance in the company. If a staff member has a secure job but no chance of moving upwards, they’ll likely be much more complacent than an employee who knows they’ll be able to earn a promotion with hard work.
Motivating employees isn’t always an easy feat, but if you consider their needs and attempt to make the workplace an enjoyable place to be, you’ll be in for a great year.
Do you have any other tips for motivating employees? Have you tried something unique that’s worked well in the past? Share your stories in the comments below!