Corporate Culture & Productivity

How to Get Employees Back on Track After the Holidays

Nick Mason
January 4th, 2018

It’s January and your team is back in the office, but things are moving at a noticeably slower pace than usual. Staff are reminiscing over time spent with family, sunny beach getaways and endless amounts of holiday treats. They could also feel daunted by the mountain of work awaiting them, making procrastination all too easy.

So how can you motivate employees to switch out of laid-back vacation mode and get back into the working spirit? The key is to construct an attack plan that excites employees about the year to come while also offering them clear goals to aim for.



While the holidays offer a time to reset and reboot, they can also be draining. It’s important for managers to recognize that time spent away from the office makes employees more likely to be overwhelmed with work upon their return. Staff faced with a mile long to-do list and full inboxes can find it difficult to determine where to start.

To counter this, ensure your employees know you’re on their side—show them you are aware of their difficult workload and suggest working together to come up with a game plan as a team. To help make the day-to-day more manageable, strategize together about organization methods and set short term goals for the first couple of weeks back in the office.

Schedule employee education sessions

Office managers should always pay attention to employee satisfaction. A great way to help bring up excitement, motivation and engagement levels is to offer staff opportunities for professional development. Schedule industry-specific training or host motivational speakers to give staff something to look forward to post-holidays.

Start the new year off right by adding some new tools to your employees’ tool belts.

Illustrate your commitment to each employee’s personal growth by reaching out to individuals to get their input on the types of training that would benefit them most.

Set goals for 2018

No matter the motivation level of your employees, this is a must-do once the new year rolls around. Beyond setting your own management-related goals, it’s important to inspire and motivate employees to start goal-setting for the coming year.

This means arranging individual and team meetings in the first week back at work, to ensure it’s a top priority for your staff. Help guide employees through the goal-setting process and encourage them to determine both individual and bigger picture goals. Illustrate the importance of setting personal goals alongside professional goals—employees who have an overall sense of well-being and know you care about their growth both in and out of the office are crucial to your bottom line.

Organize an employee recognition event

Come January, not only is the holiday season over, but for many employees it is now another twelve months before they can arrange another extended break. As the office manager, you have an opportunity to turn this monotonous feeling on its head.

Get employees excited to return to work by coordinating a special new year event or function. This can be something as simple as an organized office-wide potluck, a work day spent doing team building activities outside the office or a “surprise” afternoon of employee-focused wellness activities—think yoga, massages and a complimentary healthy lunch.

When employee motivation is at an all time low, offer support—and perks—that will help switch employee mindsets back into production mode. Returning to work can feel like a chore to some, so be sure to treat the new year as a new opportunity to excite and inspire your staff.

Give employees a new perspective and a fresh start—take advantage of the slower holiday season to reorganize teams in your office. Make this process simple by using a comprehensive space management tool.


Photo Credits: Shutterstock / LightField Studios, Shutterstock / Y Photo Studio, Shutterstock / KeyStock