3 Ways to Help Employees Get Back to Work After the Holidays Keep these ideas in mind for getting employees motivated and back in the groove after a holiday break.

By Entrepreneur Europe Staff

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There is no doubt that there is a benefit to taking some time off around the holidays and it can lead to increased productivity when the break is over. But it's also indisputable that getting back to work after some time away can be difficult. Tasks pile up when no one is around to do them.

Here are three ways to help get employees back in the swing of things after an extended break.

1. Prepare for the break ahead of time.

Before taking some time off, make sure to delegate unique tasks that will ease the burden on return. If you know you'll be away from the office for an extended time, make sure to reach out to clients, customers, or other partners to let them know the office will be closed, so they don't send non-urgent tasks while you're away. Hopefully you started this part of the process a week or more ago.

Instruct managers to ask employees to do a few extra duties ahead of the break, as well. Consider what will be most pressing when the office re-opens, whether that is responding to emails, filling orders, or engaging with clients. Whatever can be done in advance should be, to ensure the break is relaxing and the return to work isn't overwhelming.

2. Hold a meeting on the second day.

On the first day, let everyone get back into the swing of being around the office/back to work. Wait until the second day to have a meeting, but be sure you have one. It can be brief, but outline the goals for the coming quarter and emphasize that they're only achievable through teamwork. Be sure everyone knows their specific role and make yourself or managers available for specific questions.

Setting longer-tem goals and outlining a strategy to reach them provides more motivation than asking everyone to focus only on the duties that have piled up over the break and gives more reasoning to why those should be taken care of.

3. Invite everyone to write down their goals.

At the end of the meeting, ask everyone to write down three goals for the week, three goals for the month, and three goals for the quarter, and submit them at the end of the day. It might be worth it to incentivize workers by offering a small reward for participation, such as a gift card. Writing down goals helps people focus on them and keeps them motivated.

Anonymize the best goals and display them in the office or in a document shared with everyone. You can track progress visually using a graph or other display, maintaining motivation. Offer an end-of-quarter lunch party for anyone who can demonstrate they met all nine of their pre-set goals.

Post-break is the best time for motivational tactics, as it's the start of a new year and workers may still be adjusting to being back to the grind. Presenting the opportunity for awards and recognition in the semi-distant future keeps the winter blues at bay.

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