19 Feb

3 Ways to Keep Your Employees Motivated after the Holidays

Posted by John Brandwagt

The holidays are fading into memory. Your employees are settling back into their work routines. As the new year progresses, however, the winter blues can set in. Employees who were looking forward to the quiet calm of the post-holiday now find themselves in a slump. Those who were eager to kick off the new year may find themselves relapsing into old habits. 

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How can you boost motivation in your workplace? There are many tried-and-true methods to keep your employees motivated. Most of them, like the ones on this list, are quite simple too.

1. Say Thanks

Have you thought about the value of a simple “thank you”? For your hard-working employees, sometimes that’s all it takes to turn a bad day around. 

Many employees lose their motivation because they think no one notices how hard they’re working. They wonder if anyone really cares whether or not they finish the project on time or if they turn in quality code. They may even feel unappreciated. 

When this thought pattern emerges, it becomes quite easy for an employee to disengage. It becomes much more difficult to keep them pushing forward. 

Even a simple “thank you,” delivered on a note or in an email, can remind employees that you do see and appreciate their hard work. An employee can go from unmotivated to feeling valued in just a couple of words.

2. Reward and Recognize Employees

Saying “thank you” will only motivate employees for so long. If you’re constantly saying “thank you” and not doing much else to show how much you appreciate and value hard work, don’t be surprised if it stops being effective. 

While saying thanks is a great first step, you can take further action by implementing a system of reward and recognition. One of the easiest and most effective ways to implement this is to allow for social recognition. Employees can nominate their co-workers and praise great contributions and hard work. 

If recognition is also attached to rewards, this system can help you identify those people your team members think make outstanding contributions. You can be sure you’re rewarding the right people on a more regular basis.

3. Offer Learning Opportunities

Your employees may lose their motivation because they’re bored with routine. Everything is same old, same old for them. While it can be nice to get back to routine after the holidays, it can quickly become dull. With winter weather making it difficult to get outside, your employees could be feeling cabin fever.

Mix things up for them by providing learning opportunities. You can do this in a number of ways. Some of them cost more than others and some will take more time to implement than others, so be sure to assess budgets and timelines before you choose a solution.

Some learning opportunities might be attending a one- or two-day conference. Other learning opportunities can happen right in your own office. Maybe you host a workshop on social media or a seminar on IT security measures.

You could also provide more formal training or support for your employees to learn and master new skills. Send someone from your development team to learn all about Angular or how to implement a DevOps approach in your department.

Many Options

These are just a sampling of the many ways you can motivate your employees in the new year. Take a look at other options and test some of them out. Mixing and matching could help you find the right combination to keep your talented team members motivated and productive all year long.


Topics: IT Industry

John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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