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Post-Holiday Strategies for Employee Engagement

Revitalize Employee Engagement: Post-Holiday Strategies

The post-holiday period can bring a blend of renewed energy and the challenge of regaining momentum in the workplace. After the holidays and time away, employees can find it discouraging to transition back to their regular work routines. This phase requires thoughtful strategies to recharge and reengage employees.

From understanding post-holiday emotions to encouraging wellness and teamwork, these tips aim to help HR professionals and managers re-energize the team for a successful year ahead. These employee engagement strategies can foster a positive impact on company culture and employee retention.

Understanding Post Holiday Emotions Through Employee Feedback

The range of emotions that employees feel returning to work can greatly influence their motivation and productivity. Understanding the way your employees feel is essential for a supportive workplace. Consider using pulse surveys or interactive check-ins to give employees an opportunity to express their emotions. In doing so, you get insights into their mindset and readiness to re-engage.

CoAdvantage O-dot What are pulse surveys?

Pulse surveys are a valuable tool for assessing day-to-day or week-to-week employee engagement levels. These employee engagement surveys cover specific aspects of the work environment, gathering feedback on employee's experiences. Using pulse surveys allows HR teams to understand different perspectives, measure employee satisfaction levels, and identify areas that need attention.

Through the pulse surveys you create an open dialogue that fosters transparency and trust among employees. Quick feedback collection helps companies promptly respond to issues, which can lead to improved employee engagement. Embracing employee feedback highlights your commitment to refining the employee experience. This shows your dedication towards improving the workplace culture.

1: Be patient

To start, don’t expect workers to hit the ground running. Time away can disrupt daily work habits and routines. Even if employees don’t take much time off, the craziness and frenetic pace of the holidays can throw workers off their stride. It can take a little time for everyone to get back on track.

“The first week of the year is like a warm-up period.” Laith Masarweh, the CEO and founder of Assistantly, a virtual assistant staffing company, told CNBC. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be 100% up-to-speed. [Just] do your best to be positive and let yourself get excited for the new year ahead.”

2: Re-energize with Wellness Programs

Are the post-holiday blues afflicting your workforce? Princeton, NJ-based clinical psychologist Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore suggests that “the abrupt withdrawal of stress hormones after a major event, be it a wedding, an important deadline, or the holidays, can have a profound impact on our biological and psychological well-being.”

Start the year by emphasizing physical and mental well-being. In fact, studies have found that employee morale is often the most improved metric from implementing new wellness programs. Wellness initiatives could include:

Fitness Challenges:

Try creating a fun and competitive fitness challenge for everyone in the company. Encourage employees to join activities that get them moving and feeling good. It could be step competitions, group exercises, or contests to inspire a healthier lifestyle.

Either way these activities bring friendly competition and boost physical health. As a result, you can make your workplace more energetic and focused on everyone's health.

Zappos, an online retailer, launched their own fitness program called Z-fit. This program offered group exercise classes and wellness activities accessible to all employees. This not only promotes being active but also builds a sense of community among colleagues. By implementing similar programs, companies can promote a culture of wellness and unity.


Mindfulness Sessions:

Offer workshops or sessions focused on mindfulness, meditation, or yoga to help employees de-stress. These sessions should provide effective tools and techniques for employees to manage stress, improve mental clarity, and find calmness amid demands of work. Furthermore, these sessions help employees build resilience, enhance focus, and achieve a healthier balance between work and personal life.

Take General Mill's influential "Mindful Leadership" program as an example. This program included meditation and yoga practices and highlights the potential mindfulness can have at work. To drive the importance of mindfulness home General Mills discovered that 46% of participants take time each day to optimize their personal productivity.

Remarkably, prior to joining the program, only 2% took time each day to optimize their productivity. This highlights the impact of their mindfulness program and the transformative effect it had on participants.

Health and Wellness Seminars:

Host seminars or webinars coving topics like nutrition, better sleep, and work-life balance. These sessions should aim to help employees make healthier choices and find a balance between work and personal life.

Nutrition sessions focus on promoting balanced diets and healthy eating habits, teaching participants different recipes or healthy alternatives. You can highlight the importance of quality sleep through discussions about sleep hygiene and offer tips for improvement. Sessions focused on work-life balance provide ways to manage work while also prioritizing personal well-being.

Additionally, companies like Salesforce have created programs like "B-Well Together" seminars and webinars for their employees. Now, they opened the program to a wider audience, encouraging everyone to benefit from these resources. Salesforce conducts 30-minute wellbeing breaks where they feature speakers and experts, sharing valuable tips, resources, and insights to support employee wellbeing.

3. Encourage Team-Building Activities:

“I always find that there’s magic in starting a new year, even at work,” says André Heinz, the chief people and culture officer at software vendor Celonis. “I try to cultivate that joy by scheduling bonding events with my team, whether it’s a dinner or happy hour, where we can talk about what’s ahead of us and what we’re excited about in the new year.”

To that end, foster a sense of camaraderie and teamwork with activities designed to bring people together. Ideas include:

Team Retreats:

Plan a day or half-day retreat focused on team-building exercises and activities. Retreats provide a great chance for team members to connect outside the usual work setting. This can include problem solving challenges, outdoor games, or workshops aimed at boosting team work and communication. These retreats can strengthen your team but also offer a refreshing break.

Buffer, a fully remote team, highly values team retreats as a chance for their teams to come together. These retreats serve as an opportunity for Buffer's employees to connect face-to-face, participate in team-building activities, and align on company goals. Additionally, Buffer arranges mini retreats and local work meetups for employees located geographically close.

Furthermore, Buffer shares insights and advice on organizing company retreats through a comprehensive resource. They draw from their own experiences to assist other companies in planning successful retreats.

Virtual Coffee Breaks:

For remote teams, schedule regular informal virtual coffee breaks. These sessions create a relaxed space where team members can gather over a cup of coffee or tea online. It allows colleagues a chance for casual chats, sharing personal experiences and interests other than work. This way your employees can create relationships through simulating the social interactions of an office.

Group Volunteering:

Arrange a day for team members to volunteer together. Engaging in community service or charity work not only allows team members to give back but also enhances unity and purpose. Whether it's volunteering at a local shelter, organizing a fundraiser, or participating in a cleanup event, find a way to get your team involved. Volunteering fosters teamwork, creates lasting memories, and promotes values like empathy and social responsibility among team members.

Patagonia conquers employee engagement through its corporate volunteer initiative, Patagonia Action Works. This program helps employees find and connect with local environmental groups, allowing them to take part in meaningful work. By supporting these connections, Patagonia helps employees make a difference, staying true to its company values and offering ways for their employees to volunteer.

4. Setting Goals for the New Year

As the new year begins, refocusing on objectives and priorities becomes crucial for reigniting employee engagement post holidays. This involves refining the direction and goals for the upcoming period. Consider these two tips for setting individual and team goals, while promoting employee recognition.

Why to Clarify Post-Holiday Objectives

Returning to work after the holidays can be a challenging transition. To help employees regain focus, outline clear and achievable goals. These goals should resonate with employees, providing a sense of purpose and direction. Avoid complicated or vague objectives, ensuring they are straightforward and directly linked to the company's broader vision.

Aligning Individual and Team Goals with Company Objectives

Encourage collaborative efforts to synchronize individual and team goals with the company's overall mission. Facilitate discussions that demonstrate the connection between employees' contributions and the company's larger objectives. By fostering this alignment, employees gain a better understanding of their roles and contributions, promoting long-term employee engagement and boosting employee morale.

By effectively aligning goals throughout the company, from individual employees to teams and overarching company objectives, you create a unified direction that boosts employee engagement. This enhanced engagement contributes to increased productivity and a positive impact on company culture.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.