Q4 is a festive time of the year. With so many holidays in such a short period, things can get out of hand quickly. While fun, exciting, and refreshing, the holidays can take up tons of time and resources. It’s no wonder feeling motivated after all the festivities is a bear. But keeping employees and team members engaged and motivated is key to producing growth in the coming year. Incorporate these tips with your team and keep them motivated after the holidays and into 2019.
1. Develop Professional New Year’s Resolutions With Your Team
In a recent study, 60% of HR heads said that they believe their company provides a clear path for upward mobility. Yet only 36% of employees agreed. This can cause employee frustrations and lull in work productivity. Knowing there is opportunity ahead is an incentive to work toward future goals. But without providing a way to grow within the company, you can’t expect to keep employees around. Combat this discrepancy by developing professional new year’s resolutions with your teams that center around concrete plans to produce the results you are both looking for. Try using mind map templates with your teams to help list out professional goals and ways to achieve them.
For example, mind map the end goal, such as a promotion. Then walk through each individual’s mind map and write down specific goals, numbers, or sales they need to close to get to that promotion. Doing this can help team members visualize their goals, stay motivated, and hungry for promotion and ultimately help you grow the business. Don’t forget to incentivize them to stick to their journey. Resolutions can often fizzle out quickly. Provide small bonuses or compensation when they reach sub-goals along the way, like a gift card to their favorite restaurant or an extra vacation day. These thoughtful gestures can help them stay motivated and excited about working at your company!
2. Use New Lines of Communication Other Than Email
Do you know what one of the biggest productivity drains in the workplace is? If you said email, you’re right (and you read the headline). Not only is email time consuming to check, read, and respond to, but it also takes you out of a flow state. Psychologists define flow state as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” Flow is when you are in the zone and able to churn out work. In what feels like minutes, the day has flown by and you have dominated all tasks at hand.
How do we stay in the flow zone? Get rid of distractions and don’t be a distraction. Nothing kills creative and productive flow like a barrage of incoming emails. The average worker gets hundreds of emails per day. Staying in a state of flow with that many distractions is near impossible. Coming back from holiday vacations and into the new year, it is likely that your team will be swamped with email and catching up. The chances of them reaching a flow state for the first few weeks can be challenging. Don’t overwhelm them even more by sending unnecessary emails.
Instead, switch up your lines of communication to chat channels like Slack or use web conferencing to get things done. Schedule conference meetings in advance using a calendar integration so that you won’t have to email or ping your workforce every few hours asking for updates. This way, your team can plan their day around the conference call and keep in a flow state.
3. Collaborate to Tackle Projects
A great way to ensure that work gets done is to collaborate on projects. This can help motivate your workforce while lightening each person’s individual workload. With your team, it’s time to promote collaboration to tackle projects that could be lagging behind or done more efficiently. Use screen sharing to work through projects together and stay on schedule. Web conferencing as a team means you can get more done in less time. Be sure to set agendas and prepare in advance for the meeting to ensure it runs smoothly. Use screen-sharing to:
- Walk your team through the current project setup
- Share and review current work progress
- Collaborate in real-time on the same project
- Showcase what tasks need to be completed
When collaborating, try dividing your workforce into smaller teams that can split off from the group and work on subsections of the project. Schedule online meetings for the next few weeks where each team can present status updates and report back on their progress. Sometimes, all it takes to get the job done is teamwork!
4. Use Gamification to Inspire Your Teams
Who doesn’t like games? Better yet, who wouldn’t like to play games at work? Gamification, the process of applying game mechanics to non-gaming areas is commonly used for customer loyalty programs, e-learning, and professional work. The goal is to turn work into a motivational challenge so your teams can progress towards goals and receive rewards for their work. Gamification comes in various formats:
- Individual quests
- Friendly team competitions
- Inter-division competition
A simple way to start a gamification program is to provide small rewards for milestones achieved or goals accomplished. Gift cards, free meals, or time off are great motivators. Are there favorite spots in the local area that your team likes to go for lunch? Reward the top performers with a coupon. Did they get a project done five days in advance? Award them with a half Friday! Here are some fantastic resources of reward ideas for your team:
- 121 Creative Ways to Reward Employees Who Kick Ass in 2019
- 55 Creative Employee Reward Ideas
- 25 Employee Incentive Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank
If you are looking for a more structured gamification platform, look toward these gamification software programs to see which is the best fit for your company.
5. After-Work Activities to Take the Work out of Workplace
Working all day in a 9-5+ job that isn’t inspiring can be negatively impactful on your employee’s mental health and future productivity levels. Corporate jobs can be stressful if they lack personal freedom and a positive work-life balance. Many people merely come into work, get the job done, go home, and repeat the next day. But this does little to strengthen the bonds of your employees and their outlook on the company as a whole.
One great way to keep team members motivated is to start setting up after-work activities where team members can de-stress and bond. If it’s just a small team gathering, you can skip the event planning and just take your workforce on a fun night out. Grab a bite at a local restaurant, hit a happy hour, take an exercise class together. Or even plan an in-office movie night complete with concession stand snacks. Send a survey around to your team and ask them about their favorite local restaurants and activities.
Compile a list of ideas and look for common themes that stand out. You can then use these as fun ways to help your team really get to know each other in a less structured environment. It also provides your employees with something to look forward to at the end of the day. This will motivate them to get their work done in time to join the activity and enjoy themselves. For some fun ideas, check out these lists of rockin after-work activities:
- The 5 Best Bonding Outings for Co-Workers
- 9 Company Outings That Will Delight Employees
- 39 Insanely Fun Team Building Activities for Work (“Trust Falls” Not Included)
Don’t forget that volunteering is one of the best ways to show your employees and your community how invested you are in their positive growth.
6. Set Hard Deadlines to Eliminate Procrastination
Procrastination isn’t just a habit leftover from high school. Procrastination also dramatically impacts current-day workers. According to a recent work management study, 51% of people struggle with severe procrastination. The problems are so prevalent that they are rated as one of the most stressful aspects of work. It’s no wonder. When work starts ramping up and deadlines are piling up, stress is inevitable. After the holidays, procrastination can be at an all-time high. It can be tough to return from vacation and get back into the corporate swing of things. Eliminate the urge to procrastinate by setting hard deadlines for upcoming projects. Make clear what is expected from each project, who is assigned to what task, and provide the resources to do it.
To make this happen, invest in solid project management software. Depending on the size and type of your company you will need to do a little research to find the optimal project management software for your teams. These resources can help get you started:
- 10 Best Project Management Software of 2019
- The 7 Best Project Management Software for Small Businesses
- 7 Free Project Management Software Options to Keep Your Team On-Track
2019 Can Be Your Company’s Most Productive Year Yet
The holiday spirit can be one of the most magical, warm, and enjoyable times of the year. Seeing family can often help your team relieve stress that has been building over months of work. And while vacations and holidays can be refreshing, don’t let the time away from the office spark a slow start to the new year.
With large amounts of vacation, travel, and off-time piled up in the same short time span, it’s easy to get out of the work groove and into a slump. Coming back from travel and getting back into a tough day of work isn’t easy for anyone. Keeping people motivated is critical to sustaining business growth in the new year, as well as maintaining the happiness and health of your employees. Use these six tips to keep your workforce motivated after the holidays:
- Develop professional resolutions with them to help them be motivated towards a goal
- Use new lines of communication besides email to free up their crowded inboxes
- Collaborate on overdue projects for efficiency and team building
- Use gamification to inspire and motivate
- Setup after-work events to relieve stress and cultivate a work-life balance
- Set hard deadlines and sub-deadlines with a good project management system