How to rev up your workforce in the post-holiday slump


January is a typical time to set goals for increased production and sales. But your entire workforce might not be on board as probably suffering acute lethargy from the post-holiday slump. Mentally and physically. It’s been a long break, so more time for everyone to kick back and indulge. New Year “sickies” look appealing!

Is it time for a “new normal” in your organisation to rev up energy levels as well as morale?

Enlist every single employee to suggest ways how that could be implemented at work. By email, post-it notes on a board, whiteboard or suggestion box. Give them only 24 hours to submit their ideas and then brainstorm the very next day to kick off this New Year lifestyle.

The more motivated people will help to bring the less enthusiastic staff into the “new normal” of detoxing and gaining energy. Don’t call it exercise, it’s a toxic word to the less unfit!

Every member of staff from the top to the bottom should be equally involved as an ongoing doable goal. Part of this “new normal” rather than it being a “mandate” from the bosses.

Research now says it takes 66 days to form and retain a habit, good or bad.

If you initially set the company “health kick” for two months this new normal should keep going all year. Sell the benefits. You and your staff should feel better, be more flexible and energised, less pain from inactivity, sleep well, trimmer, look younger, more confident.

The benefit to your business is less January “sickies” as employees are in better shape to step up the year’s challenges and give you a fair days’ work as they enthusiastically shed the post-holiday slump. There’s a reason why gym membership rockets in January. People are horrified as they look at the extra kilos and feel sluggish. Reality is that by February the gyms are much quieter. Members have not completed the 66-day habit and far less motivated, especially if going alone.

Here are some free or low-cost suggestions to start you off…

  • Hire or borrow static bikes or gym equipment. It’s common for people to have equipment in their shed they are glad to get rid of or share.
  • Have lots of water available to rehydrate and detox.
  • Find an easy, one-size-fits-all 5-minute exercise video on YouTube. Get all the staff to join in near the beginning of the day. Laughter and music is a tonic. Have fun!
  • Encourage a five-10 minute fast walk around the block every two hours.
  • Find a way to offer or sell healthy energy drinks with no added sugar.
  • Never have weighing scales at work. That’s personal information.
  • Buy or borrow a juicer for the tea room. Fresh juice is more energizing than caffeine.
  • Employees can bring their own fruit and veg or ask someone who already is a juicing addict to set this up. Staff with hens or a compost bin can take the fibre home. A cleaning roster is vital.
  • Make good quality protein, low carb snacks available. Sugar gives a quick high and then a long drop in energy.
  • In a quiet corner, bring in a pre-used recliner chair for a five-minute “feet up” reward after the brisk walk around the block. Personal energy should be boosted.
  • Reward good work attendance with something tangible. Movie tickets, a meal out etc.

From time to time ask for feedback and other suggestions to keep the staff motivated. Give genuine praise and encouragement for each small gain. Show you actually care about the health of your staff.

Have a dynamic 2022 at work!