With Christmas now behind us and 2019 in full swing, the new year brings with it new pressures, deadlines and looming tasks. As such, employers, leaders and managers need to enthuse staff at the start of the year, to ensure they don’t start off feeling overworked, stretched and undervalued, in turn leading to decreased productivity, increased stress, all causing a decrease in efficiency. Exactly the opposite of what is needed at what can often be the busiest time of the year!
Here’s how you can support your team to start 2019 off with a bang:
- Prioritise tasks: Overwhelming staff with a to-do list that is a mile-long is a great way to ensure that nothing actually gets done! Instead, sit down with each team member to discuss how much you both think they can realistically achieve. By prioritising tasks, and taking some off their plate, they’ll be able to focus on those that are most important for you and your business right now.
- Don’t let them take work home: Getting the right work-life balance, especially during busy times, is hard to do. Many employees answering emails and work-related calls during non-work hours, lose sleep due to work-related stress, as well as suffering from general anxiety due to increased workloads. Avoid this and the resulting staff burnout by encouraging staff to take breaks, work within the usual 9-5 time frame, and not to take unnecessary work home. By ensuring staff have much-needed breaks from work, you’ll reap the benefits of refreshed, productive staff.
- Bring some fun into the office: Despite feeling stretched, it’s important to take time to enjoy work with your team. Rather than taking away from work time, try celebrating birthdays with cake in the office, or treating your staff to lunch ordered in. It’s important for staff to feel as if they are enjoying the workplace, rather than being far too busy at the start of the year. Staff that feel appreciated are far more likely to put in the effort required at this time of year. And it really is a time to set the tone for an exciting year ahead.
- Have a plan in place: Having a holiday is great, but the stress around having high expectations in place in the New Year can hang over staff. Your clients and staff members will feel much more in control given a well thought out plan that will enable them to feel refreshed for a busy new start in 2019.
- Say thanks: Particularly busy times mean that businesses and managers alike lean on staff to carry bigger workloads, deal with stressful situations and adhere to strict deadlines. Saying thanks and making your staff feel valued goes a long way and will ensure they are happy to go the extra mile for you and your business.
Paul Smith, Joint Managing Director, Citrus Group