It’s no secret that 2020 has been a challenging year. In fact, most if not all organisations have experienced some form of large-scale change across the last 12 months. As we begin to slow down and ease into the holiday season, it’s likely that you’ve found yourself (or your team) counting down the days to the break.

And while looking forward to the holidays isn’t a bad thing, especially after this year, it does indicate that something less-than-desirable is on the horizon.

If you’ve ever felt the Sunday blues or Monday-itis, as it’s colloquially called, then you’ll know the familiar feeling of dread that comes when returning to work after a period of relaxation. This can lead to a drop in motivation, and can stop your team in their tracks. Often times we sweep this under the rug, convincing ourselves that motivation will return after a few weeks of ‘adjusting’ back to work.

However, after the year that we’ve all had, coming back to work in 2021 is going to be a challenge. It’s going to test our willpower and mindset like never before. There’s going to be reduced productivity. There is going to be hesitation around setting big goals because, well, you just don’t know what’s around the corner after 2020.

So, what can you do to prepare your team for the best year yet? What can you implement in those first few weeks of the year to give your team the reset they need to springboard to success in 2021?

Well, I’ve got an idea for you. And it’s a strategy that’s going to blow your January planning meetings out of the water.

How to Prepare Your Team For The Best Year Yet

Step 1: Let Your Team Decompress

The first step to ensure your team come back bright eyed and bushy tailed after the break is to encourage them to take the time they need. While some people may stick to your holiday closing times, it’s often encouraged to take 2-3 weeks off work at the end of the year to truly decompress. And after a year like 2020, there’s no excuse not to take the holiday leave that you need. While on break avoid contacting your team members, and more importantly, don’t send them work related emails. They’ve dealt with enough work/life crossover in 2020 thanks to the rapid shift to remote work, leave them be.

Step 2: Set Up a Challenge

There’s nothing more motivating than having a challenge ahead of you. Well, actually there is. A challenge that incorporates teamwork and competition will motivate your people like nothing else. By banding together your team can achieve great things, and when there’s activities involved that encourage sharing and problem-solving, you’ve got a recipe for a fantastic team culture.

Step 3: Make Use of Visual Scoreboarding

Throughout the course of your challenge, on the way to achieving a goal of any size, you need to make use of visual scoreboarding. This maintains motivation and will help to spurr your team forward during the tough times. If you’re a co-located team, set up a visual scoreboard on a wall in the office. As for hybrid teams and remote teams, make use of a digital scoreboarding tool like Miro or better yet, set up a desktop screensaver.

Step 4: Celebrate Your Wins

When you reach your goal, don’t forget to sit back and smell the roses. While it can be tempting to move right on to the next goal or challenge, it’s not worth the rush when you can take a moment to savour the sweetness of success.