Is January anyone’s favourite month? After all the anticipation, Christmas seems to disappear in a flash and before we know it long lie-ins are a thing of the past and it’s no longer socially acceptable to stay in pyjamas all day or eat chocolate for breakfast.

There’s no denying it; the post-festive lull can feel a bit gloomy.  With the cold weather, dark nights, a general lack of funds and nothing but lettuce to look forward to, it’s not surprising we’re all lacking a bit of enthusiasm!

It’s important to face the challenge that motivation will be quite low at this time of the year. As low energy levels and a general feeling of despondency will have a negative effect on the workplace, we’re suggesting just a few short (and cost-effective) measures to help keep the energy buzzing and morale high in your workplace.  Don’t think of them as yet more New Year’s resolutions that are challenging to keep, but rather as small changes that will make a big difference to your employees and your business.

Get the team talking

Give your team a forum to discuss the holidays and the year ahead by holding a company breakfast, lunch or drinks following a team meeting.  Just giving your team the chance to chat and come together again is a great way to get the energy levels buzzing again.

Re-focus and reiterate

It’s funny what a week of merriment does to our memories, so don’t underestimate the value of reiterating your company strategy and goals to encourage employees to think about their personal contribution and goals for the year ahead.

Include and encourage

Once everyone is fully focused on your company goals, encourage your employees to engage with your business plans for the year ahead by offering everyone the opportunity to share ideas and thoughts such as improving your work practices and processes or creating better relationships with your clients.  This could be through work lunches, staff forums or even an employee ideas box.

Reflect and appreciate

Reflecting achievements periodically is also a good way of recognising the success of the company as a whole. Time to reflect allows employees to appreciate how much has been achieved, offering a fresh sense of purpose and motivation. January is an ideal time to host a company event to reflect on the past year’s achievements, giving your team something to look forward to during the long winter days.

Be flexible and accommodating

The joys of a summer holiday can seem a long way off straight after Christmas and some employees will feel as though there’s not much to look forward to in the short term.  It’s vital to workplace morale that employees feel as though they have a good work-life balance, and plenty of time to pursue non-work related activities.

Offering options such as flexible working hours and working from home will give your employees more free time to fill with things they enjoy.  Encourage everyone to take all of their holidays – even a short break offers time to relax and recharge.

And finally… swap the tin of chocolates for fruit

 Is there anyone who isn’t on a diet in January? Christmas is a time to indulge and most of us will have enjoyed a mince pie (or three) and a handful of chocolates from the giant tins that decorate our offices on the run-up to Christmas.

To start the year on a healthy note, replace the treats with a fruit bowl.  There are lots of companies who offer a weekly delivery of fruit to your office, or if you’re a smaller team, ask one of the team to nominate themselves to do a ‘fruit run’ every week.  It’s an amazingly simple and cost-effective way to support those on a post-Christmas diet.

These are all small steps but will go a long way to boost energy levels and morale in the workplace and help your employees to welcome January, rather than dread it.