If you’ve been a manager or team leader for a year or two, you’ll know only too well, that there’s an inevitable gear-change post Christmas, and what better time to reflect on that, than in this so-called ‘Twixmas’ period?

Just as night follows day, as we head toward the chimes of Big Ben, there’s the prospect of a January ‘downshift’ in terms of how your staff might be feeling when they prepare to make their way back into work mode while tallying the extent of their festive excesses.

Of course, those shiny new diaries and desk calendars will be screaming out at us with positive mantras and telling us that 2022 is time for us to embrace a ‘New Year, New You’, but we can’t anticipate that every employee will have that same Tigger-like enthusiasm after Christmas.

So just how do you ensure your staff come out of their seasonal respite with the necessary level of motivation and momentum to hit the ground running?

What needs to be in place to make sure that the month of January is a productive and enthusiasm-rich one – rather than one lost in a haze of long faces and weariness?

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Here, with the perfectly timed set of ‘prepare ahead tips’ is the MAD-HR toolkit of recommendations:

  1. Set your own tone of positivity as you look toward the new year. How you feel about embracing challenges and overcoming last year’s hurdles, matters hugely in terms of how you manage to motivate those around you.
  2. If you do hear from your employees during their break, reiterate that they should maximise their rest. Whatever your sector and however important that individual’s role, be sure to emphasise to them the power of taking a holiday breather… and lead by example by ringfencing your non-work festive time too.
  3. And following on from the above – maintain strict commercial rules around contact time until you’re all due back in your full work schedule. Encourage a discipline around not sending each other emails or work-related text messages during the holiday period. Equally, make all staff put out-of-office messages on the footer of their email to help clients appreciate you’re taking rest too.
  4. Plan for the return. Whether your staff will be coming back into the office or you’ll be reconnecting with them online, think about how small gestures can renew motivation. Might you send them each a new diary and notebook in the post in time for their start date? Might you arrange a welcome back office brunch for the day of their return? Is there scope to do a sociable gathering at lunchtime where you all share how your Christmas has been? Make it light and bright, and a gentle step back into the world of work.
  5. Involve your team in goal setting and strategy planning for the period ahead. The more people are encouraged to participate in thinking about what the new year will look like, the more motivated they will feel to contribute in every sense.
  6. Adopt a culture of everyday wellbeing and support. Staying motivated all year involves doing all we can to look after ourselves and others throughout our work and personal schedules. Consider a new wellbeing policy adopted by your company, which features such elements as ‘volunteer days’, ‘birthdays off diary’, team lunches, or encouraging attendance of a mental health first aid course.

If you’d like more tips like these, about motivating staff for the year ahead, contact our team and let us help plan for your successful 2022.

A ‘Twixmas’ gift from MAD-HR

If you are someone who uses the festive break as a time to take stock, then depending on your needs, one of our diagnostic tools may be helpful to you. We are offering two free quizzes to help you assess your business from an HR perspective:

HR Compliance – We uncover your strengths and weaknesses to improve your HR compliance

HR Capability – We check for consistency and reliability in all areas of your business