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How to Get Employees Motivated After the Holidays

The following guest post was submitted by Harrison Kratz,  Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the online business degree program offered through the University of North Carolina. Harrison also sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Operation: Social Santa. You can find Harrison on Twitter @KratzPR.

Post-holiday productivity is never a guarantee. Some people kick it into high gear after the holiday break, and some need some time to wake up. As a manager or team leader, it's your job to work through the potential lull and get your team off to a solid start in Q1. This can be challenging because you are dealing with different personalities, motors, and heck, some of your team might still be on vacation. But as many of the Hollywood greats have said, “The show must go on!”

Ultimately, the freshness of a new year can work to your advantage in getting the ball rolling after what may have been a sluggish holiday season. Sometimes, clean slate and new goals (either for the company or an individual employee) can be powerful motivators. Here are some tips on how to add fuel to the fire in individuals and across an organization.

Get aggressive

That start of Q1 was just commenced, but the end of Q1 is just a few short months away. While goals are important to any quarterly plan, get aggressive with your Q1 plan. By overshooting, your setting a precedent that hustle should be happening right out of the gate.

Make resolutions/long term goals

Going to the gym isn't the only resolution you can make when prepping for the year ahead. Work with your team to set expectations and yearlong goals that you should be working on throughout the year. Just asking each person a simple question like “where do you want to be one year from now?” can get people motivated and seeing the larger picture rather than just feeling the stress of being back for the first month. Once these questions are answered, have your team create actionable plans on getting those goals accomplished.

Stress teamwork and collaboration

This is certainly woven into the other points, but it's worth noting. Making sure your team is working together, sharing ideas, and pushing each other forward is important to rebounding after the holidays. The worst thing that can happen after the holidays is having everyone on an island trying to get back in the swing of things by themselves. Having your team working together is a no-brainer when setting the tone for a new year.

Nothing beats face time

Yes, you all did just get back into the swing of things after several weeks of holiday parties, New Years celebrations, etc. While that may be true, chances are that most of these activities were done apart from one and other. To get everyone motivated and excited for the year ahead, don't forget the importance of team gatherings to exchange information and reinforce relationships.

Remember, your leadership can make all the difference here. Your team members will probably have different ways of bouncing back and it's your job in adapting your leadership to their styles to ensure your team moves forward together towards crushing it in 2013.

What are your best management strategies to get your team fired up after the holidays?

Share your insights!

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