The Blog

How to Motivate Employees During the Post-Holiday Slump

The post-holiday slump can be difficult, but if you work with your employees you can get them over the hump and back to peak performance in no time.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

It's that time of year again -- the time to say goodbye to the holiday season. If you're bummed about packing away your twinkle lights or putting away your 2013 glasses and noisemaker, you're not alone. The post-holiday blues are very real, and experts even recognize it can be tough for people to adjust back into a pre-holiday lifestyle.

What does this mean for your workforce? It could mean a lack of motivation and productivity as your employees settle into the new year without any holiday parties to look forward to. You need to help your workers beat the holiday slump, stay motivated and maybe even hire some great people to keep the mood of the office merry and bright.

Here are a few ways to beat those pesky post-holiday blues:

Carry on the holiday cheer into the new year. One of the great things about the holidays is the ability to spend time with the important people in your life. In the office, the holidays are a great time to let loose and bond with coworkers through parties and other social gatherings. After the holidays, it might feel like your workforce has nothing left to look forward to when it comes to company togetherness.

To get your team motivated without any eggnog, plan an outing or special event. It could be as simple as a pizza party at lunch or as elaborate as finding a cause everyone is passionate about and volunteering your time. Whatever you decide, make sure it's something a majority of your workers will enjoy doing.

Just because the holidays are over doesn't mean your workforce has to put away their holiday cheer! Give them a social event with their fellow workers to look forward to.

Set workable goals. During the holidays, the goal of your employees might be just to make it until they can punch off the clock for their holiday vacation. Now your employees are back in the office and they seem to be dragging their feet. It's time to set some attainable goals to remind your workers how good it feels to accomplish tasks and burn through a to-do list.

Whether your team is working on a big project or finding your next great hire, break down the task into smaller components. This way, it will feel less daunting for employees still suffering from vacation brain because they don't have to tackle the entire project at once.

For instance, you might need to fill an open position with a top-tier candidate. You know, however, the hiring process can often be long and complicated. Using one-way video interviews, your team can collaborate and narrow down your field of talented applicants to only those best suited to your position. With a narrowed field of candidates to speak with in the interview stage, now your hiring team's task isn't as cumbersome.

Exercise flexibility. During the holiday season, many of your employees will take vacation, get out of the office and spend quality time with family and friends. It might be hard to transition back into a normal 9-to-5 schedule once the holidays are past.

Help your employees make the change by being flexible about their time. Allowing employees to work from home one day a week is a great way to save money on company overhead and keep your workers happy at the same time. One day away from their desk might be just what your employees need to show up refreshed and ready for action when they step back in the office.

Get outside. A big problem in the winter months is SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. This disorder affects about five percent of adults in the United States and its symptoms include depression, problematic sleep patterns and fatigue. Since sunlight has a big impact on our moods, Seasonal Affective Disorder can lead to depression in the winter months when it gets dark earlier.

To help workers suffering from SAD or even those who just miss getting out of the office when it's still light out, take your team bonding outside. Since most of us pack on a few extra pounds (for warmth!) in the winter thanks to cookies and other holiday treats, getting outside for a brisk walk can do everyone good.

This could be a great time for your employees to chat about what's going on in their lives outside the office and take their mind off workplace stress. This way they can return back to their desk recharged and ready to tackle any problem. Plus, exercise helps to release endorphins, which will make your workers happier and more productive.

The post-holiday slump can be difficult, but if you work with your employees you can get them over the hump and back to peak performance in no time.

What are some ways you motivated employees during the post-holiday slump? Share in the comments!

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.