How to Get Your Team Out of the Holiday Slump
"The holidays are done. Time to go back to the office!". That's got to be in your head after a fun, relaxing vacation. "But I still don't want to!". That's the next sentence most workers would have in the back of their minds.
Going back to work and their undecorated-to-lame virtual set-ups isn't something to look forward to. We probably would feel the same way. I mean, most of us can always use another week of champagne, tours, and presents. We also need more time to listen to that relative who thinks they're good at singing but breaks glasses when they hit that high note.
Well, that's life. There's nothing your remote workers can do but make ends meet. They have to work. 25% of workers feel less productive during June, July, and August than the rest of the year. Those are their summer moods. They'll sink, and so does productivity if nothing is done about it. Well, I can't blame them. Who wouldn't want to relax for the rest of their lives?
But as a team leader or a boss, you can bring them out of that slump. Yes, I'm talking about that post-holiday slump. Your team members might moan about their work after their precious holiday; this creates laziness that could make them less productive. But you have to dry up those tears. Help them work positively and make them think that there's always time off in the future to look forward to.
Remove that slouchy feeling your team has. Here are some tips that'll help your remote team members conquer that holiday slump.
Welcome them back
Do you know why workers (both work remotely and in the office) slow down after a vacation? Because they see the happiness in them. Work is just a necessity for them to get money and make ends meet. It doesn't bring them joy. There’s a big chance that they'll wish they had more days or weeks off work. That's just pure stress, wishing for something we don’t have. To avoid that, give them a reason to return to work happily. Welcome them back!
Before a meeting, ask each of them what happened during their vacations. Whether they report ecstatic or dull moments, listen to them. Others can attend too, as long as the time of your special meeting doesn’t run over (the second tip we'll show you later will help you to have a chat before meetings). And it’s not only they who took a vacation, so share yours too, duh!
If someone has a tear-inducing moment, make sure to show some sympathy. Most of us can relate to such things, especially problems. Always give them a pat on the back and say, "That's okay, that's life!" This will help them feel more comfortable getting back in touch with their work relationships. Just keep the family vibe in your workplace. By taking time to help them adjust and welcoming them back, they'll find it easier not to get into a post-holiday or vacation slump.
Urge them to be early
People might think it doesn’t matter if they’re late to a meeting because there's nothing essential to do. But if this is a continual practice, it becomes a bad habit. It leads to less productivity, especially in a remote work environment.
Sure, being on vacation means that you have nothing to do but relax. Work does the opposite. Schedules and deadlines need to be met. To do that, your workers have to be early. Always be early.
There's a survey cited in Maurie Backman's article "A career-hurting habit that could tank your earnings" in USA Today. It says that on average, people who always arrive early for work make $2,500 per year more than those who are late. They're less likely to be let go. MEANING, you have to create a team that will always be early to ignite productivity and to make your results skyrocket. This applies even after a holiday slump.
To do that, it's simple. Reward them. Make them feel special (for being early) by giving them either:
Benefits - offer time off
Prizes - gift them bonuses
Honor - "Earliest Employee of the Month" award
Advantages - can ask for work equipment upgrade
But if you're just starting your company, then a congratulatory message (through emails) or a pat on the back will do. Do these things as early as possible, even after a holiday or vacation. It will keep them focused more on their work without being hungover or jet-lagged from their vacations.
Let them create resolutions
"Every day is such a new blessing. A new day to change your mindset in life." That'd be an excellent inspirational message. We just mean that it doesn’t have to be New Year’s to make resolutions. Every day we have a chance to make new resolutions, especially when dealing with a slump.
Encourage your team to make resolutions that could improve the entire team’s productivity. Let them bring up possible solutions to help the group every time you meet. It's going to be hard. Here's a tip: give it to them as an assignment. That will be a much easier task and help them come prepared (that'll be exciting 😉).
The assignment's going to be easy because they can get inspiration from their vacations. It doesn't mean that they still have to think about work when they're having the best days of their lives, though. Let them treat that assignment (of making resolutions) as part of enjoying their vacations. If those plans become well-built as a foundation, they can also apply it to how they work.
Discuss the resolutions among your remote team. If you think these resolutions could result in more sales and satisfy more customers, now's the time to implement them. They could even think of new designs to achieve the desired results. I promise you they'll be more focused on getting back up to speed rather than slacking off after a blissful yet tiring holiday.
Don't let them overcommit
The first few days or weeks after a stressless vacation will be important. Help your team readjust gradually from the break that they had. So don't let them overcommit.
You should focus on giving tasks to the people you trust the most. That doesn't mean you have to make them overcommit! But give them the crucial parts when you know that they can manage the task. I once had a friend who systematically chose a specific guy over another for one particular job at hand. That was because he trusted that the guy could do it and keep things under control.
This doesn't always produce good results, however. You have to distribute work evenly (and give it to other team members) so that the hard tasks don’t get out of hand and disproportionately burden one person. Make creative cycles in meetings every week, and let your workers know about them. For example, a remote worker can finish a specific task after two or more hours and then help others. Promise them that if they have difficulties in their work, they can always ask for help. With that strategic kind of plan, they won't get overwhelmed. They can slowly recuperate from being massively lazy after their dream-like vacation (being off from work, LOL).
Help them always think positive
Who wants a team that's full of negativity? No one, right? A positive mindset always leads to better productivity. Most positive thinkers become adaptable, meaning they adapt to new situations and tasks.
It’s the same for workers who are back from vacation. Negative thoughts can accumulate in their minds. Then thinking about the "not going back to work" idea can lead to problems with things like:
Different unfinished yet demanding tasks to deal with
No idea where to start incomplete work files
Confusion because of deadlines
And so much more that deals with unfinished business on their workload before they have their vacation. Well, it's your job as their boss or leader to manage them. BE AN EXAMPLE.
Bring in the positive vibes your remote work environment needs. Imagine those people looking at you after a LONG and stress-free vacation. Yet you're still doing your best at your job. And then you'll give them an inspiring message like: "You're not tied to your work your whole life. You still have the next holiday to spend with your loved ones!" Please give them a positive example of how to deal with things after their vacations.
Tips 1 and 4 can also be used to create a positive vibe for your team members. You can give them comfort by welcoming them, and then they won't overcommit. Be careful not to overwhelm your team. We've mentioned this many times: they're humans too. Not machines. They have feelings, and their productivity depends on those emotions.
TO SUM THINGS UP
Taking a vacation means a lot to everyone. Your team isn't an exception. But that's also a time when work productivity takes a nosedive. That sudden decline after vacation time can take your company to the bottom! If you're struggling to get your remote team members back on track after a holiday, don't worry, we give you these tips on helping your team get back in the saddle. Don't let your team's productivity be affected. Apply these tips to your remote team, and help them be as fruitful and productive as possible.