Your Employees are Suffering a Post-Holiday Hangover (Here’s How to Handle it)

BlogHR Advice Posted: Tuesday 29th August 2017 by

Whether you follow the meteorological season where summer officially ends on September 1st, or the astrological season, when it ends on September 22nd, there is no getting away from the fact that we are well and truly on the road to autumn.

The end of summer doesn’t just mean that the kids go back to school and we have to start thinking about woolly jumpers and thick coats. It means that hordes of British workers are returning to full throttle workload next week, whilst suffering from a post-holiday hangover.

The ‘back to work blues’ is an actual thing and employers really need to pay attention or risk losing countless hours in lost productivity and an unmotivated workforce. If your company is at risk from the post-holiday-hangover-phenomenon, then here are a few tricks to help you tackle it.

Rethink meetings

Do you really need to call that meeting? Meetings should only be called for two reasons, to make a decision that requires more than one person’s input, or to discuss something that has an impact on the business.

If you’re calling a meeting to generally share information or just to catch up with colleagues, then try to limit it to no longer than 15 minutes. Don’t offer refreshments and be firm about drawing the meeting to a close. Allow staff to carry on with their day and not get drawn into meetings that have no relevance to their job.

Encourage staff to play nicely

No one benefits from office politics or internal friction. If you know there is a problem then stamp it out quickly before it turns into something resentful. There is nothing worse for an employee than returning to work after a few stress-free weeks in the sun, just to walk into a grey cloud of office politics.

Have a clear up

Most people thrive in clean, creative spaces, irrelevant of what industry they work in.  Decluttered, bright working environments make for better-engaged employees. If your workplace is in need of a good clear up, then the start of spring and the start of autumn are the perfect times of year to make it happen.

Find the internal resource or hire a temp to file that old pile of paperwork, give the office a lick of paint, hang some new pictures, or invest in a funky desk lamp or cool gadget for your desk-bound employees. Their creative brains will thank you for it.

Introduce a mentoring culture

Giving your top employees someone to mentor refocuses their attention on the things they’re great at and makes them realise their self-worth. This doesn’t necessarily mean pairing an older exec with a young office junior. It could be that the grad that’s been with you for a year has incredible digital skills that could really benefit your Chief Exec.

Think about reverse mentoring from the bottom up, as well as traditional mentoring from the top down.

Work life balance

It’s often at this time of year when those with childcare or eldercare issues rethink their work-life balance. This could mean that your company runs the risk of losing some great talent if you’re not flexible enough to handle it.

If an employee makes a request for flexitime, then consider how their job can be done whilst still retaining them in the business. Consider job share, part time hours, or allowing employees to work from home on a couple of days a week. Flexibility breeds loyalty and commitment from staff that otherwise may look for an opportunity to work elsewhere.

Consider training needs

Employees may rethink their employment options, or indeed their entire career whilst laying on the beach. If they don’t feel valued, or they feel the need to retrain then weighing up the cost of L&D against losing a valued member of staff is a no-brainer. Training and staff development not only makes for a happier and more engaged workforce, but will also increase the skill and knowledge of your team, giving that all important competitive advantage.


For support with employee engagement, get in touch with the team at Human Results.

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