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The holidays are a busy and exciting time of the year for most people. During the last days of December, your employees may be winding down their final projects of the year and clearing their desks of the last few pieces of paperwork. They want to start the new year fresh.

The last few days before the holidays are sometimes not very productive. The same goes for the few days sandwiched between December 26 and New Year’s Day. If you call your employees to work on those days, they may not have their heads in the game.

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How can you hit the ground running when January rolls around? Here are a few ideas to help you get back into shape after the holiday slump.

New Year, New You

Many people see the new year as a time to get back to basics. Now the indulgence of the holidays is over and it’s time to get back into a routine. With the turning of the calendar, your employees’ thoughts may have turned to goalsetting for the next 12 months.

You should encourage them in their resolution-setting endeavours. It’s a great way of motivating your employees and getting them back to work after the holidays.

It can be difficult for people to turn their ideas back to work after the holidays, so goalsetting forces the focus. What do your employees want to accomplish in the next 12 months? What steps will they take to get there? Encourage new habits and achievable goals.

Also take a moment to review the company goals. If your employees know where the company is going, they have a better chance of being motivated to help you achieve those goals. They can align their own goals with your vision for the future.

Start Small

If it’s at all possible for you, try to keep things light for the first week of January and build steam as the week progresses. As much as they are considered “time off” for most of your employees, the holidays are also a busy and stressful time for many people. The change in routine is quite welcome, but family visits, big meals, and late nights can make it difficult for employees to really give it their all the first week back to work.

Employees whose workloads aren’t overwhelming immediately on January 1 stand a better chance of being more productive. As they settle back in, they’ll be able to handle more and more, until they’re back up to full sail.

For some companies, this won’t be possible. You’ll need to jump in with both feet. Try to offer your employees a break of some sort, if at all possible, to make the work week less overwhelming.

Offer Rewards

Another way to get your workforce back into shipshape after the holidays is to offer some rewards. Once the buzz of the holidays fades away, employees may begin to feel bored. The dark days and cold weather of January don’t help either.

If you can, offer your employees some rewards to work toward. This will help them find their focus as they get back to their desks in early January. It gives them something to strive toward and work for, so the fading excitement of the holidays is no longer an issue. Instead, your employees can begin looking forward to the next thing.

Fight the Winter Blues

Be on the lookout for employees who have a more difficult time than most getting back into the rhythm of the workday. January can be a difficult month for many people, and the end of the holiday season compounds the effect of cold, dark days.

Offer your employees support through the darkest time of the year.

The post-holiday slump can put a major ding in your operations. It doesn’t need to, however, so long as you keep these tips handy.

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Lisa Curic

Lisa brings almost 30 years of experience to her role as the executive vice president at GroupQuest Benefits Resources Inc. She has worked for several different insurance businesses and co-founded a group benefits MGA in 2006. Lisa’s dedication and hard work has played a significant role in growing GroupQuest from two to over 40 employees in less than 10 years, and in making it one of the largest group benefit MGAs in Canada. Outside of her busy work schedule, Lisa enjoys reading, travelling, working out, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two children.

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