What with all the Christmas party gossip, mince pie eating and rush to use up remaining annual leave, December can be one of the least productive months of the entire business year. And after a week off work celebrating Christmas and New Year, the 2nd of January can be a real struggle. Here’s how to get your staff back at their best on the first working day of the year.
But first, let’s set the scene.
A typical 2nd of January at work
It’s the first day back after the festive break. For those employees that have managed to make it in on time, the first bit of the day is lost to catching up with colleagues on how they celebrated.
Then the reality sets in. All the fun of Christmas is over, it’s cold and wet and it’s a long time until payday.
Hardly the most motivating of circumstances is it?
But as you need every member of staff starting the year as they mean to go on, full of energy and enthusiasm for their job, there’s work you must do now – amidst the Christmas prep – to avoid the January dip.
And it can all come via an app.
Meet StaffCircle – the branded workforce app
StaffCircle is an employee engagement platform that gives staff, wherever they are, digital access to training, ideas, communication, an employee directory and more via the smartphone in their pocket. They can receive company news and instant alerts, manage performance and tasks and record sentiment at the touch of a button.
A great tool for maintaining a well-connected and engaged workforce but how does it work on January 2nd?
How do you minimise the disruption caused every time someone walks in the door and shares their Christmas news? How do you stop the mood dropping when everyone realises the fun is over? By creating a sense of community on the app.
- Create a special feed or channel dedicated to Christmas stories or happy new year wishes (to keep it OUT of the business conversations). And then remove the group a week later.
- Run polls companywide to identify ways to make January seem brighter at work and then ask for volunteers for a committee to make them happen.
- Set team targets or division targets for performance or productivity with cash as prizes. This will be a great incentive when payday seems so far away.
- Help staff with their new year’s resolutions by setting up groups for each one that people can join and support each other to stick with it. You could end up creating a new company football team or running club in the process too.
Of course, this only works well if there are enough people to engage with it and a server-based intranet system won’t do this. As StaffCircle is on an app, it’s particularly great for industries that have a lot of non-desk based workers like construction, health, logistics and services.
One of the best ways to motivate people to work hard is to show them that their performance is being assessed. If your business still operates an old fashioned appraisal system whereby the line manager only checks in with the employee twice a year, then that employee can be forgiven for having a slow start in January.
With an app that sets and records targets and performance, every employee can be reviewed at any point on any day. Say they perform a certain task particularly well. Their line manager can record a comment on the app on that employee’s dashboard moments later. Say they beat sales targets one month. Again that could be recorded on the dashboard in a few clicks. At the same time, each late arrival or absence can also be noted quickly and easily. The employee’s behaviour can always be monitored.
Now while a personal dashboard of work performance can be incredibly empowering, or scary if you’re not performing well, it will only work if the incentives to perform well are there.
So make sure that as soon as the working day begins on the 2nd January, your staff can be reminded via the app what your reward programme is. That will soon get them working effectively.
Communication (instant and otherwise)
It’s common to come into work on the 2nd January and have forgotten simple things like your computer password. You haven’t had to use it for a while, after all. But in some businesses, there’s a lot more to remember than log in details.
For some companies, the start of a new year means a new site address. Or new equipment. Or a new start time. And it’s hard to remind people if your only form of communication is email.
With the app, you can send text alerts to relevant staff with reminders of any important issues for the day. This can be particularly helpful if arrangements change.
It’s also a useful tool if you want to start the year with a positive message of inspiration from the leadership team. You can tailor the message quickly and easily for each team or individual and set them off to have the best year yet.
So, what kind of January do you want your business to have? Get started with a free demo today!