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How to motivate and retain your top talent post-summer

Lee Biggins, founder of CV-Library


The summer months are traditionally a quieter time for recruiting, but as September approaches, and staff return from their holidays, the summer blues could leave employees feeling unmotivated, disengaged and ultimately, looking for new opportunities. The build up to their summer holidays is often what keeps staff motivated and recent research from CV-Library revealed that 57.1% of workers admitted that they would be more likely to think about changing jobs after time away from the office. And, whilst a September surge in job hunters is great news for recruiters, it could be potentially harmful to businesses who should ensure that they have processes in place to help ease their staff back into work post-holiday.


Readjusting to life back in the office can be difficult, and nearly three-quarters of workers (72.3%) said it takes them one to two days to get back into the swing of things. It’s understandable that, as an employer, you don’t want to promote too much of a relaxed attitude, but in order to maintain productivity and good staff retention rates, allowing employees time to get back into work mode could help them to avoid the summer blues. Here are some of the best ways you can help to motivate your staff as the holiday period draws to a close:


Give staff time to catch up


Once they’re back, allow staff time to catch up on what’s been going on in their absence, and encourage them to make a to-do list; this is a great way to relieve stress and help them to prioritise their workload. It’s also likely that a large amount of emails have mounted up, so giving them some time to sort through these and re adjust to being back in the office can help considerably.


As an employer, you should ideally arrange a one to one meeting with staff when they return from holiday, to welcome them back to work and discuss any queries or issues they may have now they’ve returned. It’s also helpful to encourage team meetings, so that colleagues can update them on what has been happening while they were away, and let them know if there’s anything urgent they need to pick up.


Show an interest


Try not to pile the pressure on in the first day, instead show a genuine interest in your employee’s holiday, and let them know you’re glad to have them back. It’s no surprise that staff that feel appreciated are more motivated to work harder, and less likely to begin looking elsewhere, so it’s simple steps like this that can help them to feel relaxed and as a result, get back into the swing of things much quicker, leading to better rates of productivity.


Motivate your staff


Motivation is extremely important for productivity and helping staff to avoid the post-summer blues. The holidays are often what keep employees motivated in the first half of the year, but the gap between summer breaks and the Christmas season is a long one, and in that time businesses should be careful of staff becoming disengaged.


One great way to inspire employees is to organise either a formal review or catch-up meeting to discuss how they’re getting on. Career progression is important to workers, so helping them to set new goals and discussing what you can do to keep them moving forward in their career can help massively. This is the perfect chance to also offer additional training or get them involved in new projects, which can help to maintain motivation levels.


It’s clear that UK workers are affected by the post-summer blues, but as a business you can put processes in place to make returning to work as stress free as possible. Addressing this in the first one or two days back is vital, especially when it comes to giving staff time to catch up on their emails and any important tasks they need to pick up quickly. Keeping staff motivated is important, and will lead to higher levels of productivity and staff retention in the long run; so take the opportunity post-summer to implement new training schemes, or get them involved in new and exciting projects. Workers that feel appreciated and happy at work are likely to stay loyal, and not start looking for opportunities elsewhere. 


Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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