Top Ten Tips for... Banishing the Post-Holiday Blues

Top Ten Tips for... Banishing the Post-Holiday Blues

During the summer months, many people take a well earned break from work and study to enjoy a summer holiday. This time off can have a hugely positive effect on physical and mental wellbeing, but the return to reality can hurt if not managed properly. Read on for our Top Ten Tips on how to banish post-holiday blues before they sneak into your workplace...

1. Re-connect with your team

As your employees return to work after a holiday or some time away, it’s a good idea to set time aside and check-in as soon as possible. After a restful break, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by an impending work load and your team may not be able to see the wood for the trees. By having a return-to-work chat, you can help provide some guidance and help set manageable targets. You can also take this time to fill returning staff members in on anything they might have missed during their break.

2. Remind everyone of your business goals

Following on from the above point, this is a great opportunity to remind your team of the goals and vision of your company. What do you hope to achieve by the end of the year? How is the business progressing towards these goals? By reiterating these points to your staff, you are helping ensure the whole team is motivated and working collectively towards the same outcome.

3. Encourage employees to set personal targets

As well as focusing on the collective goals of the business, why not encourage returning team members to set more individual, personal goals? This is another great way to keep everyone motivated and productive. Perhaps there is some training they would like to undertake? Or a new milestone they’d like to reach before Christmas? The summer holiday season is usually about halfway through the year so this could also be a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate any targets that were set back in January.

4. Celebrate the wins

To help banish the post-holiday blues, it’s important that your team feel happy and excited to come back to work. One of the most effective ways to do this is by celebrating your employees and their wins. If, during your check-ins, you discover that your team members have been smashing their targets and goals then make sure to congratulate them. Showing your gratitude towards your staff is a sure-fire way of making them feel valued and appreciated. If you’re lucky enough to have a number of high achieving employees, why not hold a mid-year awards ceremony?

5. Provide plenty of development opportunities

As an employer, you will know that no two employees are the same. Different things motivate different people and, while everyone loves to receive positive feedback, you may have some team members that are more likely to be motivated by opportunities for development. Perhaps you could make sure your company provides plenty of room for growth and professional development, whether that’s through education and apprenticeships or upward moves and promotions.

Related: How to develop skills and professional growth

6. Encourage volunteering and ‘giving back’

This can be another fantastic way of motivating your team and beating the holiday blues. In the modern world of work, particularly among younger workers, prioritising corporate social responsibility is hugely important and can actually help boost employee morale and workplace atmosphere. Can your business provide flexibility or paid time off for volunteering opportunities? Your employees are likely to feel empowered and grateful that their workplace is helping give back to the world.

7. Prioritise a good work/life balance

Certain employees may not be eager to return to work if they feel as though they rarely get a break or time to rest and recharge. We expect our employees to be focused and productive while at work but encouraging them to get their work/life balance right is a vital step that will protect them from potentially burning out. You might want to check that your employees are not working too many unsociable hours and encourage them to take the required amount of breaks and holiday time. Don’t forget to lead by example on this one! If your team sees their leader prioritising their work/life balance, they are much more likely to follow suit.

8. Create a positive workplace culture

This one is more of a long-term approach, rather than a short one. But by creating a positive, friendly, open workplace, you are also creating an environment that people look forward to spending time in. Hiring the right people, encouraging open communication and prioritising equality and inclusivity are sure-fire ways to make sure you build a workplace culture that allows employees to feel safe and valued.

Related: How to activate and encourage 'employee voice'

9. Focus on year-round gratitude

Similar to the point above, the steps you’re taking to banish those post-holiday blues will be so much more effective if they are in place all year round. Do your best to celebrate your employees and prioritise their wellbeing throughout the year and they are more likely to stay productive, motivated and enthusiastic.

10. Take a look at your wellbeing strategies

While you’re taking time to implement these new steps and prioritise employee wellbeing, this could be a great time to re-evaluate your employee health and wellbeing policies and share them with the team. If you haven’t already, it’s a great idea to include financial wellbeing into your policies – offering workshops and training on this subject can also be helpful, particularly as employees may have money worries and added stress after the holiday season.

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