3 Steps to a Happier Team in the
New Year

The Christmas tree is still up, left-over pudding and pasta salad is spilling from the fridge, and the summer sun sizzles as you sip a sprite. Ah… it’s holiday time. But as you relax, there’s something niggling at the back of your mind… you can’t help but think about the inevitable First. Day. Back. At. Work. It’s only a week away, but right now, it feels like you could float on your inflatable flamingo for eternity…

But heading back to work does not have to be daunting. In fact, when business leaders (*wink wink* employers and HR Managers) have put together an exciting game plan for the New Year, there’s actually something very refreshing about heading back to work. So, business leaders, if you want your staff to smile (rather than cringe) at the thought of work over the holiday season, consider these three simple steps:

1. Have a Game Plan from day dot

For the business as a whole, for each department, and for every team member. Of course, you’ll plan according to company objectives, but it’s important to consult your team to ask their priorities. Incorporate individual and team plans on the calendar to show your people you value their individual professional goals.

2. Start the year together

Kick off with an all-staff briefing, followed by team stand ups to recognise last year's achievements and set the plan and tone for 2019. If you want your team to have another outstanding year and continue to push boundaries - be sure to appreciate their previous work. Why not host a Welcome Back party and lay-out exactly how each team has contributed to the overall achievements of the business over the last 12 months. The more precise, the better. This will help your team connect their efforts to your organisation’s goals and realise the importance of their role with you – a key factor to engagement and retention.

3. Do something different

Pleasantly surprise your people. How about a personal note to each employee from their manager or another leader, wishing them success in their next challenge? Maybe pair it with a voucher for a free coffee or juice to help them back into the swing of things? It’s amazing the impact the little things can have. To go the extra mile, you could make the most of the lingering holiday spirit and organise a fun DIY event to welcome staff back such as a staff volunteer day, sports day or trivia evening. It will set the tone for the rest of the year and be a great way to welcome new team members.

Remember, your team are the people who drive your business every day. The daunting reality is, almost one in five people consider changing their job in the New Year (Glassdoor, 2016). But with these few simple steps, you’ll be doing everything you can to encourage your workers to not only stick around long into the New year, but continue to be engaged and motivated to kick goals as a company.

Emily Dickson

About the Author

Emily Dickson is Employer Branding Australia’s Content and Digital Media Manager. A creative marketer who never says no, she specialises in content and social media and loves bringing your talent stories to life. She’s also multilingual, an incredible multi-tasker and better than most at keeping Mark in check.

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