The festive cheer of the holiday season in the workplace has passed. The tinsel is packed at the office, the stale leftovers from the holiday party have been removed from the fridge.
As happy as your employees were just a few days or the week before, they now have a bad case of the blues, and the whole morale of the group seems to have vanished along with the holiday tunes on the radio. Not to mention, their usual productivity rates are low and there's just no oomph behind everyday workflow.
Why Are Employees Sad After the Holidays?
It is not at all uncommon for people to get a little sad when the holidays come to a close, so don't take the long faces of your workforce personally.
There are a lot of reasons this odd sadness occurs:
- There's not as much of which to look forward
- The weather is pretty dreary
- There is general fatigue from the hustle and bustle of holiday activity
- There are lingering feelings about time spent with family
- The idea of having to return to work after time off
Even though every employee can have his or her reasons for being a little down, there are some ways you can boost morale. After all, the start of a new year in business means new goals, new priorities and sometimes an even bigger workflow.
Take a look at some useful tips to help ease your team's post-holiday blues as a business owner.
- Be more structured with strategies. Returning to work after time off or coming back to work after the commotion of the holiday season can have your employees feeling scatterbrained. Therefore, you do not want to hand them a load of work they have to wade through like they normally do. Create a good plan of action with clear goals and a clear strategy, but break everything down into small, easy-to-accomplish tasks.
- Kick off a good reward or recognition program. As a business owner, you may already have some kind of reward or recognition program in place. However, if you don't, there's no time like January to get something going to help inject motivation into the crowd. Your efforts can be something as simple as rewarding hard workers with perks such as free lunch or something as big as offering incentives such as the opportunity to win paid days off.
- Give employees the chance to develop personal skills. If you see a sudden slip in the standard or quality of work that employees are doing, they may need motivation to remind them of their professional goals. Implement training programs for professional growth, host skill-building meetings, or offer interested employees the opportunity to develop their skills alongside a manager or team leader.
- Crank up some tunes in the workplace. Some studies suggest listening to music can improve your mood, so even something as simple as playing music in your workplace can help employees break out of their post-holiday funk. Even though all employees may not agree on what type of music they like, you can easily make sure you please every listener by taking song requests, allowing employees to share their playlists, or just rotating what genre of music you play every day.
- Provide healthy snacks a day or two out of the week. Big family meals and a few too many treats and drinks can leave your employees feeling sluggish after the holidays physically, which can easily affect their emotional temperament as well. Encourage healthy eating to get folks back on track by providing nourishing snacks a few days a week. For example, set up a few trays of fresh fruit or veggies in the breakroom or hand out nutritious snacks mid-morning.
- Bring in some natural light. Lack of sunlight can foster gloominess. If your workplace is relatively dark most of the year, do what you can to brighten it up and you may see a change in employee moods. Open blinds or shades on windows and swap out bulbs in light fixtures for brighter light distribution. If you must, do some rearranging so natural light gets carried throughout the building.
The somber moodiness of January will pass soon enough, and your employees will be back on track for the year. Taking care of the post-holiday blues as a business owner will not only reward your business operation as far as productivity goes, it will also help ensure your employees feel valued, which is always important for company culture.