Do your employees have the post-holiday blues? Do you want to channel the fresh energy that comes with the start of a new year?
There are some simple strategies you can use to boost morale and increase productivity in your workplace whether your employees are deflated or delighted at the start of 2015.
1) Harnessing New Year’s resolutions
If they’re willing to share them at work, you can find ways to help employees achieve their personal goals. Set up a lunch-break walking group or a fruit box delivery to help those wanting to get healthier. Appeal to a natural sense of competitiveness: count steps or form a corporate sports team. This will serve the dual purpose of helping them achieve their goals and making work fun and social.
2) Share business goals and celebrate achievements
Make employees aware of business goals and ask for ideas and feedback about how to achieve them. Letting employees feel connected to the business goals gives everyone a sense of purpose. Employees who understand how even their smallest tasks contribute to the business overall are more likely to be engaged in their work and more productive.
Employees who feel a sense of ownership of business goals will also feel a sense of ownership for successes. When your business reaches a goal, celebrate it. Everyone likes knowing that they are doing a good job. Feedback doesn’t have to be formal – if you see someone doing well, let them know. You can grab a coffee, go for a walk.
Employees who feel like a valued member of the team, who feel like the successes of the business are their success also; are more likely to work hard, be productive and come up with ideas and goals of their own.
3) Support work/life balance
An employee who has time for family, friends and outside interests will be more focused and dedicated when they are at work, increasing the productivity of your business. They’re often happier and healthier, and less likely to quit!
Show your employees that you recognise their life outside of work and support them where possible. This might involve finding ways to accommodate hobbies, study or more family time or even incorporating activities like community work in to the working week. The Fair Work Ombudsmen provides a number of guides and best practices such as the Right to Request Flexible Working Arrangements and Work and Family best practice guides, which have useful tips and examples of workplace arrangements that help with work/life balance.
4) Commit to career development
Talk to your employees about career pathways and individual goals. Ask employees if they want to learn something new and where they want their career to develop – and make it happen.
It could be as simple as buddying them up with a colleague to learn a new skill or providing time during work hours to study online. The end result will be a sense of accomplishment for them and a more skilled team for you.
Let your employees know that you are invested in their career goals and will support them however you can. People are more engaged, productive, and happier when they’re in a job with opportunities for career advancement. Investing in your employees’ career development also means they’re less likely to start searching for jobs elsewhere, and you retain the best people.
5) Make it social
Socialising with work colleagues can be an important part of whether someone likes or doesn’t like their job. Employees are happier and more productive at work when they have a connection with their colleagues. Encourage a social atmosphere by asking everyone to contribute at team meetings. If there is time and interest, you can organise team lunches and morning teas or perhaps support a social club to arrange outside hours activities.
Trying some or all of these strategies can improve morale and get everyone enthused for the year ahead. We can’t guarantee they still won’t be dreaming of summer at the beach – but it’s worth a try!