As welcome as the end of year break is for the staff of your business, coming back to work in January can result in one of two trends:

  1. Your staff are raring to go and ready for a productive year ahead, or
  2. The business gets off to a slow New Year’s start as staff look to re-discover their enthusiasm and momentum

Clearly, every business owner would prefer scenario A, so here’s a quick guide to motivating your team in the New Year to ensure your staff are enthused, inspired and ready to embrace the fresh year ahead.   

Communicate your goals and priorities

Inspiration and motivation starts at the top, so as the business leader, carefully consider what you hope your business will achieve this year.

Set down your organisational goals, create an action plan and communicate this with your team, including proposed deadlines, KPIs and how these goals fit into the big-picture of your business. 

When staff know what they’re working towards, they are more likely to take ownership of their roles within the business and actively embrace the challenge before them.

Laying out the plan for the year ahead also helps provide clarity about where the business is headed, and how that benefits them, allowing them to emotionally invest in the operation and get excited about their contribution.

Seek feedback for improvement

It’s one thing to set major goals, but another to have your staff invested in them. Seek feedback from staff about how these goals can be achieved, and allow your team members to step up and have a sense of ownership of the actions required.

At this point, it might also be prudent to analyse the systems and procedures in your business as a team to determine if there are better, more productive or efficient ways to achieve the outcomes you hope for.

Look at your leadership style

Your leadership style has a major impact on employee engagement and motivation.

Consider your own attitude, your communication methods and whether there’s room for improvement when it comes to leading by example or fostering engagement and empowerment in your team.

Allow for creativity

Motivational leadership isn’t about telling your team what to do, but rather giving them the trust, tools and means to get the job done.

Happy employees and productive teams are those who know the unique strengths of each member of the group, and draw on these talents to accomplish a goal.

To foster this, allow your staff to be part of the decision making where they have a sense of ownership of the action required.

Then, step back and let them get the job done. 

Foster the work/life balance

Work/life balance has been a trending term in recent years, and it’s one that isn’t going away in a hurry.

Where possible, promote flexibility in your workplace, including remote working options, flexible hours or job sharing.

This is in part recognition that the workplace expectation has changed, and also caters to the wellbeing of your staff after a tough couple of years in business and more generally.

Look to your culture

When your team loves the workplace environment they are part of, motivation is a natural by-product.

Look to your business culture and ensure it is one of empowerment and respect where you foster collaboration and inspiration.

This includes setting a framework of how you expect staff to treat each other and your customers.

It involves them knowing their strengths, appreciating their unique and collective talents and having the growth mindset to go forward and achieve each business goal.

A great start to a New Year

How you start the New Year as a business sets the tone for the period ahead, and when your business is a place where staff are motivated, inspired and enthusiastic about what’s to come, you quickly establish the momentum for a New Year of new opportunity.