Chasing away those January Blues
Christmas is over – time to scrape our exhausted, party-fuelled bodies off of the floor, and find some January motivation to combat those January blues!
The run up to Christmas can be busy at work. On top of work there are also the many extra activities and opportunities that Christmas can present. From Christmas lunches, to drinks, to meals, to volunteering and charity work – and that’s on top of all the planning for your own family Christmas, the card writing, the food ordering, the present buying, the present wrapping and so on.
It’s all great fun, but running on adrenaline for the whole month of December, can lead to post Christmas January Blues – once all the franticness has passed, where everyone’s pace slows and employee morale and motivation needs a little boost. The overspend on energy in the run up to Christmas, can also result in a rise in illnesses, once Christmas is over and everyone stops running on adrenaline and relaxes.
And we’re not imagining all this! Blue Monday is now a recognised day in the workplace! Brace yourselves for the 21st Jan – officially the most miserable day in the office, where employee engagement, morale and motivation will need a serious boost!
Apparently this is considered the most depressing work day of the year, due to a number of factors including the fact that it’s a Monday, the weather, the amount of time since Christmas day, the continued darkness and the distance from the last pay day in expensive December! Oh dear!
So, what to do? A happy, engaged and motivated team, is a team whose needs are recognised, supported, met and respected. You can read why recognising the need for and providing the appropriate (and proactive) emotional support is so important, here.
Anticipation is the key to surviving this dip in motivation, and will certainly help manage both yours and your team’s expectations. It also goes a long way to helping you to understand what you can put in place to make the January return to work a little smoother.
Here are some simple ideas, which might bring a few smiles, morale, motivation and energy back into the workplace in January.
Remember morale is also known as ‘engagement’ and an engaged team is definitely good for business!
1. Say Cheese!
Did you capture the Christmas fun on camera?! If you had a team Christmas Party, or you went carol singing – or whatever your choice of activity was – then no doubt, you all had a great time, developed better friendships across the team and felt great! Capturing this on camera, and then being able to share these pictures upon the January return, is a great way to ease the team in with a smile. Of course, these pictures may well have already been shared across social media at the time – but a thoughtful reminder – (in old school print outs!) is a nice touch.
2. What’s the plan?
Get the team together to discuss what worked well last year and what they want to see more of in the coming year. We’re not talking work stuff here – we’re talking soft stuff. What’s important to your team’s individual values and how can you, as a business, support that. Listen and care – it’s highly motivating and engaging for your employees. Perhaps being ‘green’ is highly motivating for them – maybe they want recycling bins put in, disposable coffee cups banished and a fridge, so they can bring their own lunches in – rather than buying plastic wrapped food. Or maybe, there is a charity close to their heart and they want to schedule in some fundraising throughout the year. Tapping into your employee’s values, is both incredibly important and valuable to both the team at an individual level and your business at a success level.
3. Book a social event
Christmas isn’t the only time to get together with your team. Recognise the benefits of time out of the office with your team and maybe other teams you work closely with. Friendships are formed and continue to grow, which supports stronger working relationships and better business.
It might just be coffee and cake in the canteen, or it could be afterwork drinks (after pay day! – unless you’re paying 😉 !).
If there is budget, then an offsite and fun team building activity would be a great boost, and may fit nicely with your planning cycle. It might be the perfect January filler, particularly if you spend the first 2 weeks of January planning it (as something to look forward to) and then hold it near or on Blue Monday! What better way to get through January with a smile on your faces!
Go one step further, and combine the offsite activity with some CSR. CSR is well known for motivating your employees, especially if it is supporting a charity or cause close to their hearts.
There are many CSR team building ideas out there, and I highly recommend an inspiring flick through our CSR team building event brochure to get your mind ticking! There are all sorts of exciting ideas your team could take on, from the ever popular Charity Bike Build and Sport’s Wheelchair Team Builds to the more arty OnBoard challenge. Have a google search or take a flick through our CSR brochure with your team.
4. Get a fruit bowl!
Support the team’s health (and maybe some New Year’s resolutions!) by providing a tempting, vitamin packed fruit bowl. The kindness of the gesture is motivating and the boost of vitamins most definitely useful at this time of year.
5. Promote a Bike to Work Scheme
Take advantage of all those post Christmas good intentions – ‘exercise related’ New Year’s resolutions! Book a Bike to work induction, to inspire your team. Hire a bike simulator, with local road routes, to get people exercising and familiar with the idea. Use January to motivate and organise, with a full launch scheduled for early March, when the days are getting longer and the weather (hopefully) better! At O3e we can arrange this for you and can even hire you a Sports wheelchair simulator, to make the event more inclusive. Just drop us an email to start a chat about your needs.
These are just a few ideas, but they should get you thinking. The key take away here, is to….
tap into your employee’s emotional needs and try to meet them.
Boosting morale, engagement, energy and productivity!
Here’s looking forward to an awesome 2019.