Everyone loves getting away for their summer holidays and that time away from the office is supposed to be refreshing. Some, however, find themselves demotivated when they get back to the day job after a period of time away. It can be difficult to leave behind that slower pace of life, to re-engage with work and find the drive to pick up where they left off. That’s particularly true as the autumn starts to draw in, when the weather goes downhill and the days get shorter.
So how can you motivate your team in that post-summer lull?
As an entrepreneur and as their team leader, it’s up to you to help them rediscover that ‘get-up-and-go’, for their own benefit and the good of the business.
Set new challenges
When someone has had a break from normality, it can be hard for them to simply jump straight back into a project. Things may have moved on in their absence, which can make it hard for people to feel they have any ownership or motivation to carry on with a task. Instead, try setting people new challenges and goals. Having something completely new to tackle can often give people more incentive to put in the time and effort because it’s the fresh start they need after a break from work.
Organise team-building exercises
When you run a business, you need a team that pulls together and feels united. Team away days are a great way to not only cement those working relationships, but they give people time outside of their usual environment to rediscover what drives them. Yes, they’ve already had a holiday and a break from office life, but off-site team-building exercises are a good way to re-energise everyone and give them a renewed sense of purpose as a team.
Develop things to do aside from work
It sounds counter-productive, but giving people ‘extra-curricular’ jobs to do can be a great way to motivate them. Typing up a weekly newsletter, organising different elements of the office Christmas party, plant watering every Friday – delegating the little jobs which keep a place ticking over can give even the most junior team members a greater sense of responsibility and ownership. When people feel included in that way, they get a morale boost, feel appreciated and are therefore more incentivised to work hard and please others.
Give the team something to look forward to
Autumn can be a pretty dreary time of year, so giving people something to look forward to is a real motivator. Christmas is always a good carrot to dangle in front of people, so plan something special and keep them updated on what will be happening, whether it’s a simple meal out together or a full-blown Christmas party with all the baubles! It may seem a long time off yet, but there’s often a lot to organise and getting people to help you gives them a sense of purpose and something to look forward to.
Keep checking in
Many people will experience the post-holiday blues and can be affected by the change in seasons. As a good boss and team leader, it’s important you let them know your door is always open. Keep checking in to find out how each team member is faring, because a strong team needs everyone to be on board and working at their best. Looking after the mental and physical wellbeing of your team is crucial, and this can be a difficult time of year for many.
Returning to the office after some time away isn’t always easy. Some people will struggle to get back into the routine and may need a little encouragement before they’re back to working at full capacity. Motivating your team, making sure they are in the right frame of mind and bringing them together all fall to you as their leader. If you can set the example and offer support, you’ll soon have your team back to full strength this autumn.