The holidays can be a wonderful time to relax and reset, but they can also leave us feeling burnt out or unprepared to return to business as usual. No matter who you are, we all struggle in our own way to get back on track after time away from work.
Here are some ideas to help your employees make the transition from the holiday break to the new year a little easier.
1. Make Time For Group Activities
Feeling sluggish after time off can be common, so it’s important to raise energy levels to boost efficiency. Start off the year with a fun team-building exercise, like a yoga session, a hike, or a volunteer day. If team outings are harder to pull off right now, bring in a motivational speaker. This can be done in person or virtually (thank you, Zoom). Another great option is to plan a team training and offer free lunch, also known as a lunch & learn. A fed team is a happy team, and it’s one less meal they have to worry about.
Ramp up the activities in January to build team morale!
2. Focus on Wellness
Building new routines is something we can do any time of year, but there’s something about starting a new year off on the right foot, literally. Encourage your employees to engage in healthy behaviors at work, like taking walk breaks or designing a monthly fitness challenge. Offer healthy snacks in the break room and paid time off for routine preventative check-ups to keep up their focus on wellness.
If you’re looking for more health and wellness resources for your employees, check with your consultant, providers, or find a third-party wellness program. When you partner with Valley Schools, we provide a wellness program with free access for all your employees. We offer monthly health and fitness challenges, virtual classes and workouts, healthy recipes, and much more. If you’re interested, click here to learn more.
3. Offer Individual Support
Team building and group activities can be beneficial but some employees need more individualized support. Start the year by scheduling 1-on-1 meetings with each of your employees to check-in (depending on the size of your organization). Help them identify their objectives, and help them set realistic and attainable goals for the year. It’s a good idea to make the first one mandatory for everyone to ensure equitable treatment and that everyone has a voice.
4. Promote Mental Health Support
It’s becoming increasingly more important that we all take steps to address our mental and emotional health. Remind your employees of the resources available to them. Behavioral health services are typically covered in health insurance plans. In many plans, virtual behavioral health sessions are offered at no cost, $0 co-pays. Be sure to educate your employees on this invaluable resource.
Employee Assistance Programs are another avenue of individual support your employees can leverage on Day 1 and at no cost. These plans are designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting their daily lives. They are 100% confidential and reach beyond just mental health counseling services to include financial counseling or other supportive advice.
5. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Lastly, communicating what resources are available to your employees is crucial. Provide your employees with monthly or quarterly informational meetings to discuss their benefits. This gives your employees a chance to ask questions and get answers that all can benefit from. It also encourages them to start off the year thinking about options they can, and should, be taking advantage of. Get some support by inviting a representative from your provider to join in person or virtually.
As much as we want to rely solely on our vendors to provide all communications, we can forget how impactful communication can be when it comes from your employer. When it’s appropriate, remind and encourage your employees to take advantage of many support resources available to them through their employee benefit package.
Overall, the best way to support your employees as they transition into the year is through clear communication. Set realistic goals, provide opportunities to connect, and plan breaks to manage productivity levels. It’s time to set your organization up for 2022 success!
Looking to make a change in the new year?
Valley Schools partners with Arizona public sector employers on all employee benefit-related matters including benefit administration, benefit programs, budgeting, forecasting, wellness, enrollment support, and more. For a complete picture of how we can help your organization, don’t hesitate to reach out.