Help your staff beat the January blues

Alan Furley of ISL Recruitment offers his top tips for motivating and retaining staff in a sometimes depressing January.

The new year is typically a time when many employees get itchy feet and start looking for new opportunities. But there are things that you can do to motivate your staff and ensure they don’t jump ship and join the competition.

January is the perfect time for one-to-one meetings to map out development plans and set goals for progression, promotions or pay rises. Use it as a way to inspire employees and have a clear plan for them to achieve their goals. Here are some more tips for beating the January blues:

Understand personal goals

Let’s be honest, we work to achieve our own goals. So find out what each employee is working towards and use these goals to help motivate the team. One of our team leaders has printed images of each employee’s goals on display to keep everyone focused on why they’re working so hard!

Encourage team fun

January can be a sombre time of the year so encouraging the team to spend time together, doing something fun can really help lift people’s moods. Consider offering personal trainer sessions for the team, or start a running club – we’re hoping to do our third Tough Mudder this summer!

Follow-up is key

If you’ve set your team personal development plans or targets in January, it’s important to review those throughout the year. Make sure people know what they are working towards and by when.

Broader contribution

Yes, our specific jobs are our focus, but what else can employees get involved in to feel engaged? Do they want to play a bigger role in the company’s CSR activities, for example, or want to be involved in organising company events? Are they a fitness fanatic and want to help others get fit? Have a conversation with them to find out.

Keep in touch

Write a plan for the year detailing how you’re going to keep in touch with all your employees, whether it’s your new starters, trainees or future leaders. I take different groups out for an informal lunch every month, as well as having monthly birthday lunches.

Team recognition

Let your leaders reward their staff if they are pleased with their performance or attitude towards their work. Whether it’s taking them out for a lunch, or bringing coffee and cake in morning, it’s important to recognise positive performance.

Following these simple steps can help you both motivate and hang on to your staff this January, avoiding pain throughout 2019!

This article was first published in the Bristol Post on 16/01/19. 

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