Returning to Work After the Holidays: How to make this January the most productive for you and your employees.

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January. The month when people slowly emerge from the haze of the holidays, wondering how they had arrived.

Many business owners who we have spoken to have expressed their frustration with a lack of productivity in January due to the aftermath of the holidays, with many employees, customers, clients, and contractors still on leave, working reduced hours, or mentally still in holiday mode.

If you are experiencing a less-than-busy month, take advantage of it! During most times in the year, many of us are so busy handling the day to day activities of running your business that time dedicated to your long haul vision is rarely available. Half-way through the financial year, January is a perfect time for you to review your business plans, and for you to encourage staff to do the same in their own areas of responsibility.

  1. Encourage your staff to review their job descriptions and KPIs. Just like you, staff can get wrapped up in the day to day and gradually forget long term goals. Taking the time to review can help to motivate and mentally prepare for the year ahead. Staff can also use this time to get organised and develop a plan to achieve their KPIs.
  2. Clear off that desk. Removing the clutter and finalising odds and ends that have been sitting in your to-do pile for months can be surprisingly energizing and leave you better prepared to take on upcoming projects.
  3. Use this time to make contact with others in your network that are back to work. While it may seem that everyone is away until February, this is rarely true. Attend a networking function – while events may not be as busy as other times in the year, you can still make good connections and might even gain an edge over your competitors who are still relaxing on the beach!
  4. Re-evaluate your goals for the year. You may have finalised your business plans last June, but more than 6 months have now passed and it is about time to re-assess. What were the last 6 months in your business like compared to your expectations? Are your expectations for the next 6 months still the same? Often, business owners and managers find that this is the time of the year to begin planning adjustments to staffing numbers and workloads.

Whatever your business, both you and your staff can be productive in January by preparing for the future. This is a valuable time of the year, and I encourage you not to waste it!