Keep the Spirit Going
By Jill Ater, 10 til 2 Founder & COO
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt a huge let down upon coming back to work after the New Year. From Thanksgiving through the first of January, the days seem to fly by. There are so many days off and lunches, events and mingles to keep you distracted and the time sailing. Although very little work gets accomplished during the holiday season, it’s a fun time. The problem is the reality check when annual revenues reflect that wasted tenth of the year. Actually, it’s probably even more time than that, because really, does business truly get back up to speed until mid-January?
If you’re feeling a post-holiday letdown, imagine how your employees feel. They’ve had all this time filled with family, friends and festivities and now they are back at the grindstone with much less to look forward to. No looming bonus. No overtime. No paid-for holiday work meals. And in most parts of the country, we have to look forward to months more of winter cold.
So, how can you as a manager (owner, president or boss) inspire some enthusiasm to boost those numbers and increase morale in the new year? Here are a few ideas:
1. SET REALISTIC GOALS FOR THE YEAR
- If you haven’t done it already, plan a meeting for your team to present them with your expectations for the upcoming year. Make it a fun event with donuts or cookies and maybe something silly like kazoos for all to lighten the mood and inspire teamwork.
- In a positive and encouraging way, let everyone know that you realize it’s tough after the holidays, but together you can get back to business and make it work.
- Consider an incentive or competition of sorts. Not just strictly on revenues, but maybe on something whimsical like awarding the team with most days biking to work or the team with the best daily joke some sort of reward. Although this doesn’t tie directly to revenues, it inspires people to feel good about going to work every day – which indirectly leads to the bucks!
2. PUT ON A HAPPY FACE
- Adjust your own attitude. Mood comes from the top down. If you show a lack of enthusiasm, your staff will mirror it.
- Email your employees one of your best family Christmas photos and encourage them to “Respond All” with their best shot. Vote on the best and make the winner wear a Santa hat all day.
- Surprise your staff and give everyone a $5 Starbucks card. For no reason except that they’re there on Monday.
4. KEEP COMMUNICATING
- It’s easy to get tied up catching up on emails and reading reports. Try taking a break and walk around the office occasionally just to say hello to your employees and let them know that you’re alive and well.