How to keep your staff happy after holidays
Let’s face it: returning at work after holidays can be a tough challenge. The day before, anxiety kicked in, and suddenly it was all about how much work you have to catch up. Having to get back into the routine of work and daily life in general can be a source of distress, disorientation and discomfort. This is something all employers should pay attention on for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. Here are some of my recommendations to soften the harsh holidays return for your employees and prevent those back to work blues.
1) Give them enough time
The first morning is the worst for your employees. In the majority of cases, they didn’t sleep well because they were already anticipated their return to work. Needless to say there were not positive about it. They didn’t have time to take a healthy breakfast, and worst of the worst, they get traumatized by something they completely forgot: public transport. We all suffered more than once in these overcrowded stifling carriages grinding their way into the city. 10 minutes in it are way sufficient to take your holidays energy away.
The best thing you can do is to give enough time to your employees. They have a lot of things to do. No need to add more pressure on their shoulders because:
- They need to readapt themselves to the work routine
- They have so many unread messages lying in wait
- They have to catch up on many projects and need to discuss with others colleagues on it
Letting enough time to your employees is certainly not a waste of time. Because your employees will likely be way more productive during the following days.
2) Keep an eye on your employees
According to a study made by Fresh Business Thinking, “employees worry about dealing with work stress when they return to the workplace and represents one of the key factor that influences an employees decision on whether to stay at or leave a company”. Anticipate it, by arranging update meetings with your staff directly after their return. It will help them to prioritize their work.
The study also affirms that “when employees are working towards a goal they are far more likely to feel motivated and ready to make a valuable contribution to the business” ensure to know what are your staff’s career goals and where they see themselves in the future. Finding and setting effective individual and common goals will help them to stay motivated.
But when exchanging with your employees, don’t make it all about work. Take also time to have informal discussions with them by asking how were their vacations or how they are feeling now they’ve returned back.
It will let you to know the general mood of your employee and discuss with them what could be done in order to facilitate their work or what they need to do it.
By doing that, you will help your employees feeling more positive and serene about their return at work. No need to have meetings for that just a simple coffee break or lunch is also a perfect time for that, plus, its less formal.
3) Establish a positive environment
True statement, we spend the majority of our life at work. So why it has to be negative instead of positive? I believe people can outperform and enjoy their work at the same time. There are no magical solutions for that but the most important thing to remember is to be flexible.
When your employees return from their holidays, be flexible with their working hours, the objectives, the tasks… don’t play the bad cop, it’s useless and can affect the wellbeing of your staff as well as their productivity.
In fact, set the tone yourself, leave work earlier and encourage your team to do so. Inspire your team so they do anything except working outside the office. If your company offers specific advantages for leisure or sports activities, take advantage. In other words, let your employees have enough time to do what their like when outside of the office. It will have both direct and indirect impacts on their productivity and wellbeing.
Finally, set post holidays rituals. For example, during my previous work, the tradition was to have a laser game session with all the team in the morning followed by a lunch at the restaurant.
It is not a big deal but, with this ritual, we were happy to come back to work because we knew we have “something fun” to look forward to on our return. It can be anything you want and it makes wonders.
Back to work blues can slow down your employee’s motivation and engagement. Of course, you cannot set a too relax atmosphere because it will get worse. However, remember it is your role to support and encourage your employees. The more positive and stress free environment you set, the easier it will get.
How difficult was your return to work? What does your company or direct manager do to reduce the post vacation blues?