With the holidays and vacation time in the rearview mirror, companies are bracing for the transition back into the office. How can you increase employee engagement and help your team focus? Shifting from time-off mode to full productivity can take significant effort. Managers can support their teams by creating the right environment for focus, renewed energy, and employee engagement. Here are four tips to get you started:
Hold a Vision and Goals Meeting
What's happened in the business that people might have missed while they were out of the office? Do you have exciting projects, big deals, or new technology coming in the year ahead that can help them get excited? Consider holding an all-hands meeting where you update your team on the latest happenings. Focus on the big goals for the year ahead, how that ties into the company vision, and what people will need to do in order to make that happen.
Schedule One-On-One Check-In Sessions with Managers and Staff
Clarity is the most important contributor to getting things done. Beyond getting your whole team excited about what's coming up in the next few months, consider scheduling personalized check-ins with your team. Now's a great time to explore what's on your employees' minds. What will you need from them in the next few weeks, months, and over the course of the coming year? Help them understand their role in getting things done and focus their attention where you need it most. It can also be helpful to share words of praise, look for stretch projects to involve your team in, or find professional development opportunities - such as training - that you could sponsor to help get them excited.
Sponsor a Team-Building Activity
People contribute when they're part of a team they value. If everyone has been out of the office, working remotely, or on vacation, the timing is perfect to help them reconnect with a team activity. Depending on your culture and goals, this could involve a team lunch or dinner; an outing to a nearby activity like golf or laser tag; or a family-friendly picnic at a nearby park. Providing a non-work opportunity to connect and bond with colleagues can help people shift back into the work routine.
Experiment with new task management systems
Getting back to work after taking time off often involves tracking multiple to-dos. Now may be the right time to experiment with task management systems. Whether you're providing better tools for employees to track their own to-do list or collaboration systems that improve team and manager visibility, technology and a new approach to getting things done can help bolster employee engagement. Don't be afraid to explore different approaches and ask your employees for what areas where they need the most help—for example, better calendar tools for scheduling or a more robust project management system.
If your company has big plans for the year ahead you will need your team's full focus and highest levels of productivity to make that vision a reality. With year-end holiday celebrations now over, and even planning ahead to fend off a post-summer slowdown, it’s important to take the necessary steps that will improve your employee engagement. Invest in systems, activities, and meetings that will help everyone make 2017 your most productive year yet.