Jason Downes


The first week back to work is always a struggle after a well-deserved break. New targets, new expectations (and sometimes new colleagues) makes it difficult to get back into the swing of things. Not to mention that motivation levels aren’t quite at an all-time high upon their return to the workplace, so these are my top tips for keeping your employees motivated in the New Year.

Get together

The better your employees work as a whole, the better your business will become.Working in sync with each other is crucial to keep the pace of growth that you require, and a useful way to do that is to start the year with an All Hands meeting. Whether that’s all employees getting together in the office, or running the meeting over a video or web conference, a company-wide meeting is a good way to catch up on what everyone did during the festive period, and a great way to start the year together to make sure everyone is on the same page with priorities, key dates and targets for the year.

This way, your employees will be focused and working towards a common goal, and not to mention it will help them figure out what they need to do first. No one wants to come back to work with the boss and managers dictating what they’re doing wrong, so All Hands meetings are a positive way to give them a gentle nudge in the right direction.

Jason Downes -Powwownow

Jason Downes -Powwownow

Introduce new incentives

Change is a great way to keep staff motivated, particularly when there’s incentives involved.  By introducing new rewards for reaching milestones or hitting certain targets, employee’s motivation will naturally change if the goals are attainable. It’s also an incentive for them to stick around in your company when there are new and exciting ways for them to be challenged and rewarded for their hard work.

Make being more flexible your New Year’s Resolution

It may not be blatantly obvious, but there’s a direct link between flexibility and motivation in the workplace. By promoting a more flexible work environment, employees will naturally become more motivated to give back to their company and perform better. By eliminating the restrictions of standard work hours and locations, enabling staff rather than limiting them, is a great way to keep the workplace versatile.We can’t prevent strikes or delays on our commute, but we can adapt to it. So by introducing a flexible way of working both in terms of hours and ‘office’ locations, a flexible workplace will introduce a more motivated workplace.

Be more proactive

We now work in a time where employees don’t put up with working in a business with poor company culture; often, by the time you find out about the issues staff have, it’s too late to resolve because they either hand in their resignation letter or explain in their exit interview.Business Meeting - Photo by Ambro, collaborate, collaboration, colleagues, coworker, indoor, job, meeting, men, occupation, office, people, professional, team, women, work, group, teamwork,

Instead, being proactive often means that you can address any growing issues and may even reduce your turnover rate. Problems are usually preventable when you address them early enough. It may be as little as providing a few more perks like free tea and coffee for staff or it may be a structural issue. But without being proactive and discovering what the issues are, then there’s no way to resolve issues that many of your staff might even share.

Putting in regular catch ups – not just about work but how employees are getting on in the company is a great way to be proactive, and keep things casual. We encourage our managers to have their catch ups with their team over coffee in either our break out area or a café so staff feel more comfortable to open up and express any issues without the rest of the office hearing.

And if underlying issues are being addressed, employees will be much less distracted with their work and become more motivated when staff satisfaction is being catered to.

So if you’re looking to get your teams motivated in the New Year – and contrary to popular belief – more funding doesn’t always help.

Finding new and creative ways to motivate your staff will naturally help your business and their willingness to continue working for your company for years to come. Just make sure you’re proactive about it!

About the author: Jason Downes is Managing Director for Powwownow. Previously, Jason was UK Managing Director at Staples Advantage. He was responsible for the leadership and running of Staples Advantage. He has a wealth of more than 18 years experience managing large teams across the UK and in the business sector with big brands such as Office Depot and Rentokil Initial.