Giving your team a new year productivity boost

9 ideas to help you and your team get back to full productivity.

After two weeks of late nights and sleeping in late, getting up again at my ‘normal’ time this morning was a bit of a struggle.

And I don’t know about you, but all those plans of stuff to get done or sorted over Christmas didn’t come to much.

I confess, I am the master of procrastination, putting things off until later if there is anything in the least bit more attractive to get done!

Whether you’ve been working flat out over Christmas and new year, just doing the minimum, or simply taking a well earned break, it can sometimes be tough to get back into a routine.

The same applies to your team; it can be all too easy to fritter away the first few days back at work and achieve very little.

So whether you and your team are already back, or taking their break right now after working over Christmas, here are 9 ideas to help jump start you and your team giving you a productivity boost and back to full productivity from day one.

1. A simple thank you

If you’ve been open over Christmas, say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who gave up family time or sacrificed personal social lives,to be at work.

It’s important for everyone in the team to have a chance to recharge the batteries; it’s when people are tired and frazzled that accidents happen, or mistakes get made.

2. Celebrate and share successes

Update your team on your achievements for the past 12 months. What milestones has the business achieved, what were the highlights, and what’s been their contribution? Give praise where it’s due to create a buzz for the year ahead!

3. Fresh Focus

It can feel a bit flat if it’s back to business as normal; give your team something to look forward to over the next few weeks and months.

Share your plans for the coming year with your team as best you can, so they feel involved.

4. Set mini goals

What short-term projects or goals can you set which eases everyone in gently, but still enables them to see some results within the first few days back.

It will certainly help focus attention back onto the job in hand, and get everyone back into full flow as quickly as possible.

Put tangible metrics in place to measure success, so people can evaluate their progress. And of course reward their success once achieved.

5. Time for a change?

Time off often gives people time for reflection and can prompt them to start thinking about other options, career moves or even career changes.

Schedule one to one reviews early to discuss individual contributions and where they each fit in with your plans. Ask for their input to demonstrate you value their contribution.

6. New challenges

Not everyone wants to progress, but that doesn’t mean you should let them stagnate. A bored employee is unlikely to wow you, your colleagues or your customers!

When reviewing individual contributions and where they fit in with your plans, discuss how you can add variety, set new challenges or stretch them.

Identify and utilise people’s strengths, and give individual team members responsibility over specific activities. When people have one or two areas to focus on specifically it encourages them to go deeper and develop their expertise, resulting in a sense of ownership and pride.

7. Personal goals

Encourage everyone in your team to have their own goals too. Even if these don’t include working for you long term, discuss how you can help them achieve their goals together. (Watch this short goal setting guide here )

8. Fresh perspectives

When people have been away from the business for a couple of weeks, or even a few days, they often get a fresh perspective and see things in a new light.

What ideas have your team seen over Christmas which they’ve appreciated, and which could be applied in some way in your business?

Take a few moments this week to ask their views on any opportunities they can see to improve your operation, your service, or to add value for customers.

9. Play from a 10

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy; if we think it’s going to be tough getting back into the swing of things the chances are it will.

Behaviour breeds behaviour.  So, if we mooch around all day resenting being back at work we’re far more likely to elicit negative emotions, than if we’re confident, enthusiastic and energetic.

If you only do one thing to give your team a productivity boost in your first week back:

Set short term goals for yourself and everyone in your team, so you have something to work towards this week.

Related post: Productivity ~ Stop those Spinning Plates