Beating the Holiday Blues

Do you need to give your people a break when they return from a holiday?

Going back to work after a holiday is a bit like going back to school after the summer holidays.

At the school gates on the first day back, you’ll see some of the kids happily skipping across the playground – shiny shoes just as shiny as their smiles, while others are a lot less enthusiastic.  It’s not that different in the workplace. No doubt you’ll have some people who will be raring to go and others who are still technically in beach mode!

If you’ve got team members who fall into the latter category, should you get onto them immediately to ensure they get back on track or should you cut them some slack until they find their rhythm?  Just how hard is it to get back into work mode after a holiday ?

We’ve all experienced it – the post-holiday blues, the part when you want to be back on that beach, back in that bar or just back with friends and family ….anywhere but back at work.

However studies have suggested that when a member of the team takes a break they can actually be a lot more productive when they get back and their creativity and productivity can often be much more evident than it was before – you just need to box clever about helping them get there quick.

In our latest employee engagement blog, we explore how you can do just that and encourage employees to be more engaged when they get back from holiday this summer.

Be Interested in Their Break

Pretty much everyone loves to talk about their holidays and taking advantage of this can definitely help your employees to feel better about being back to work before you dive into meetings and projects. You don’t need to go overboard – but do be genuinely interested in what they have been doing.  There’s nothing worse than sitting at your desk after a fabulous time away and being ignored or moaned at for things that slipped whilst you were off!

Show your team that you care about them and are interested in them as people, rather than just employees.

Having time off also allows people to reflect about how the’ve been doing things – often people return from holidays with great ideas of how to do something differently – or maybe how to stop doing something altogether because it’s just not needed any longer ?  Make sure you give some air space to these thoughts.

Provide Focus to ensure everyone can meet their Goals

Many businesses set goals and targets for their employees to meet during the year but if these are set in January, any team members that join after this can feel that they are at a disadvantage compared to existing staff. This can be important if you regularly bring on board temporary or seasonal staff or use contractors who may come and go throughout the year.

Setting new targets every quarter (with new incentives) could potentially work better for keeping your people motivated and engaged.  It also means that new hires can be more easily included especially if they know they are up against other team members. The end result? A healthy sense of competition and a strong reason to be as productive as possible, all of which can only be good for business!

For people lucky enough to go away in the summer, you need them to start the final part of the year with vengeance as soon as they get back – so you need to give them the best chance to deliver all that they can and that you need them to by ensuring that they have clear objectives and goals.

Recognise Their Contribution to the Team

It’s that magic recognition piece again.  Everyone values the feeling that their effort is being recognised, and this can be a great way to make staff feel valued and in turn increase engagement levels.

As we’ve discussed in previous recognition blogs, the personal touch can work really well here.  Hand written cards and notes thanking team members for their hard work, stopping to thank someone or arranging a meeting to say thank you – with no hidden agenda can work a treat here.

Make time to be consciously thankful for all of the great team members you have as part of your team.

Creating a culture of recognition within your company will mean that everyone can potentially get involved and recognise each other’s contributions to the team – whether this be publicly or privately.

The post-holiday blues don’t have to have a negative impact on your business and even better, this time of year can actually be the perfect chance to work on getting them more engaged with your business!