“Power Plus” against January Blues (1): Employee Motivation of the Month

Here it is: Working week number one after all these days of Christmas, New Year and–if in Catholic areas–Epiphany. In this gray month of January the desire to work is often not the best. But it’s not quite as blue anymore if you look in the web and search for tips against the “January Blues”. Here is part one of a little series. To be continued next week.

By Jens Kügler

Employees often find it more difficult to get back into “business as usual” than most of their bosses believe. Many experts estimate that productivity drops considerably even throughout the whole of January. So what can you as executive do to give your staff the best possible motivation boost and make them work happily again?

Try to keep up a little bit of that eagerly awaited “Merry Christmas” feeling! At no other time in year your employees run out of money more than now, after all the Christmas presents, parties and journeys. Most of all: At no other time in year your employees have less to look forward to! Now it’s your turn: A convivial staff dinner, an after-work party, a pre-Carnival party, an earlier finish from work … there are lots of ideas and inspirations.

Let your employees set goals! Discuss and ask your people: What was the previous year like and what can we learn from this? What would they like to improve and achieve this year for themselves and the company? Nothing inspires more than a common goal. Oh, and of course, a small bonus if targets really get met!

Involve your staff more in your decisions! At least let them feel they get involved, because your employees are thankful if they know: My opinion is valued. I can and I do contribute to the company’s success. My contribution is appreciated.

Go ahead with a “Fit & Healthy” program! Benefit from the good intentions such as losing weight, exercising more or doing gym training—and, of course—promote these intentions. For example, offer free healthy snacks at the working places. Provide exercise sessions at the office. Motivate your people for walks and offer them the time for it as fresh air is more important than ever in the year now! Or arrange discounts for your workforce at the local gym. Healthier employees are happier and more productive.

Provide further training opportunities for your employees! When the new year starts, employees often want to learn something new. They want to improve themselves, their careers and incomes. Equipped with a corresponding “program”, their job satisfaction will rise measurably. Nothing is more important for your employer branding than this kind of satisfaction.

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