The holidays and New Year countdown are exciting times; there are lights and decorations, presents, vacation days and, for some, new and unfamiliar places. In lieu of that, January may seem a little dull to employees who are dragging their feet about getting back to work. Remedy the lingering “vacation mode” by engaging employees at the workplace. Managers and HR can do this a number of ways, such as…

  • Have your holiday party after the holidays. December is a busy month, especially in retail, so it’s perfectly acceptable to tell employees to push the party to January when they return. It won’t necessarily remove the feeling of being on vacation, but it’s a clear indication that vacation is over and work is resuming after the party.
  • Hold a strategy meeting with your key employees and get them thinking about how to improve the company this year. Plan out the coming year’s events and have them each disperse the information among their own departments, so everyone has strategy on their minds.
  • Use employee training to prepare them with key skills needed for their jobs and the coming year. Discuss how the next year will be different from the last, and what to focus on when training for the job.
  • Have teamwork training that encourages healthy teamwork and cooperation. The activities are typically engaging and hands on to inspire cooperation, and will actively get your employees’ focus back on the office and their peers.
  • Teach your employees something new to start off the new year. Emphasize learning and development in your company, and keep minds sharp to tackle anything the new year could bring.
  • Switch up the previous “norm.” The beginning of a new year is a great time to shake things up. Rearrange the office for productivity, paint it a new color, or start a new exercise program for employees. Have you been considering a “casual Friday” dress code for a while now? Start it this year!
  • Last but not least, continue to be a good leader and motivator. It’s a simple task that should go without saying, but it will be your greatest tool in keeping employees engaged, loyal, and ready to do their jobs.
  • P.S. It wouldn’t hurt to offer free coffee in the mornings, at least for the first few weeks back.

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