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Motivate Your Team to Beat the January Blues

7 Jan 2020
Gordon Johnstone

January Blues

It’s January – it’s cold, dark and most likely wet. The Christmas bubble everyone has been living in for the last couple of weeks has burst and you must now face the year ahead – easier said than done, right? As a business, it’s important to keep morale high to maintain motivation throughout the difficult and dreary months if you want to kickstart the year properly.

Why is January Important?

After some well-deserved time off, many employees return to work with a lack of focus and energy. Combine this with getting thrown back into the reality of work and things can get pretty downbeat. It’s not surprising that the start of the year is often the time where people start considering new job opportunities, so its important for companies to keep spirits high in order to cultivate a positive work environment and retain staff.

It can be daunting to face the upcoming year head-on, but a strong January can really help lay the foundation for the rest of the year; start as you mean to go on, so they say. That’s exactly why we’ve put together some ways you can motivate your team to beat those January Blues and start off the new year on the right foot.

Set Targets

Many people set personal targets to motivate themselves for the new year and businesses should be no different. It’s important to involve your employees when setting these targets and parameters to ensure that they feel heard and valued; working towards a common goal will help employees feel more engaged as a team. Once measurable targets are set it’s essential to communicate these clearly and monitor them as a team to ensure the best outcome. Regular updates and meetings with your employees will help to keep the communication flowing and maintain motivation.

Setting optimistic yet achievable targets for the business also gives you the opportunity to set milestones that can be celebrated and incentivised so that staff can be rewarded for their efforts and be motivated to work towards these milestones. For example, if your team achieves a target before the end of the month, take them out for lunch or treat them to some end-of-month drinks to celebrate their hard work. Having something to look forward to can certainly encourage productivity.

Make Some Changes to the Environment

The new year is a great time to refresh - whether that’s yourself, your goals or your environment. It may not seem like it, but small and simple changes like the layout of furniture, the colour of the walls and the lighting considerations can really make a difference to someone’s psyche.

For example, adding plants as a common accessory in an office space can reduce stress and anxiety as well as boost productivity (plus, they add a bit of freshness to the room). So, if it’s within your means, consider revamping your office space to eradicate those January blues. You could even pull a team together to brainstorm some new office design ideas to involve your employees and make it a team effort.

For more inspiration on improving your work environment, read our information on the Psychology of the Workplace.

Reconsider Your Employee Benefit Scheme

Benefits schemes aren’t as black and white as they once were and financial benefits aren’t the only motivation for employees either. Many companies are looking at going beyond the core benefits and offering further company perks in order to accommodate their employees’ needs. You can offer monetary benefits, such as seasonal bonuses or vouchers to spend in their favourite stores, or ones to motivate a healthy lifestyle such as implementing workplace flexibility, offering corporate gym memberships or wellness programs. Employees are much more likely to want to work and be productive within a company they feel valued by and loyal to.

Not only does this boost the morale of your existing employees, but it can help attract potential candidates to join your business and has been linked to improving company productivity and performance. So, if you want to help your team kick those January blues, offer up some creative benefits that encourage them to perform well.

For more inspiration on what you can offer to employees, read up on the best employee benefit schemes.

Keep an Eye on Staff Wellbeing

Now, more than ever, people are putting emphasis on the wellbeing of employees and their happiness at work. Every company can do with improving their efforts in enhancing workplace wellbeing; acknowledging rather than denying its existence is a good place to start. Because happiness and wellbeing has been linked to productivity, putting real emphasis on the welfare of your employees can do wonders for their motivation.

The first step is listening; how can you know how your employees feel if you don’t ask them? Start a conversation with your team and be proactive with their suggestions. You can then start to exercise different ways to make them happier at work, such as implementing lunchtime walks or walking meetings, as well as urging employees to stay at home if they are unwell or having regular catch-ups to focus on their personal development. You can even tap into some employees’ interests at the same time by forming a 5-aside football team or running club. All of these methods can make employees feel more valued and therefore more motivated to do a good job for you.

Even simple things like getting to know your employees outside of work  and offering to make them a cup of tea or taking them out for a coffee can contribute towards making them feel valued and bettering their wellbeing.

It’s safe to say that sometimes work can get a bit static at points and we can all do with a little help to get motivated. Prioritising employees’ happiness and wellbeing is fundamental for a strong and motivated workforce. So, find out what makes them happy and you’re guaranteed a productive team that’s ready to face the new year head on.

If you’re looking to recruit in the new year, get in touch to talk to one of our experts today.

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