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Top tips to beat the January blues in the workplace

Keeping morale and productivity high in January can be a challenge. Here are our tips to beat the January blues in the workplace.

After all the hype and festivity surrounding Christmas and the New Year, many employees can find themselves in a bit of a slump. So what steps can you take to motivate your staff and keep your workplace a hive of activity?

Here are a few tips to beat the January blues in the workplace…

TIP #1: After the festive period staff may be keen to book their next holiday. Many employers find they are inundated with leave requests after Christmas. Rather than increasing stress levels by fobbing staff off, ensure you deal with these requests as soon as practical. Having a leave request process in place will assist you with this task. Dealing with holiday requests promptly will not only make sure staff feel valued (which should increase productivity and quality of work), but also allows them to move on and focus on their work.

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TIP #2: Recognise your employees. Acknowledge the staff who have worked antisocial or additional hours over the festive period. Your business wouldn’t operate without these staff member’s working over this period, and let’s face it – no one likes working when others are on holidays. Ensure these staff members are appropriately acknowledged, and that this is highlighted at their next appraisal.

TIP #3: Create a positive environment! Give praise where praise is due! The easiest way to pick staff up is by telling them you appreciate the good job they’re doing. Acknowledging hard work is an instant mood booster and staff will be keen to keep the momentum going!

TIP #4: Get planning! January is the perfect time to set out your plans for the year with your staff. January and February are the best months to look for work, and it is the time of year that many people are reassessing their plans and goals. With this in mind, you will want to be retaining your valued staff, so communication is key. It’s a great idea for line managers to sit down with staff to discuss the key role they play in the success of the business and what plans there are in place for the business over the next 12 months. This should be a two-way conversation, allowing the employee to contribute their objectives too.

TIP #5:  Keeping with the planning theme and retention of staff, take time to assess employee training needs for the year ahead. Learning and self-development go hand-in-hand and are the perfect staff incentive, with both the employee and the employer benefiting. Encouraging learning and development of skills increases staff retention levels and motivation.

TIP #6:  Be stress-aware! The come-down after the festive season can bring with it increased stress levels and lower moods. Other factors such as changes in staff, decreased staffing levels due to leave, and post-Christmas blues can trigger stress in staff. Promote an open discussion on stress in the workplace. Ensuring staff know how to access information and services to assist them is important. Plus, ensure managers and supervisors are aware of the symptoms of stress and other mental health issues and how best to approach it.

Karen Arnold


employmentlaw, employmentlawtweed, HR, humanresources