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HI HO, HI HO, IT’S BACK TO WORK WE GO

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 6, 2014

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

- Now is the time for management to stimulate the work force.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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Okay, the holidays are over, our friends and relatives should have returned home, the retailers had their way with us, we’re back in debt, the holiday decorations should have been stored away for another year, and a sense of normalcy should be returning. It’s a new year, and time to go back to work. January is when we reset the statistics, brace for a new year, and try to prove ourselves once again.

Some people have trouble getting back into the swing of work after the holidays; they’ve probably slept too much, partied too much, and ate way too much, which explains the five-to-eight pounds they’ve put on. This is why dieting and temperance are among the top New Year’s resolutions. Regardless, they are having trouble focusing on their work.

People tend to believe December is the worst month for productivity. Hardly. In addition to general retail, December is when companies try to finish spending the money in their corporate budgets thereby initiating a flurry of activity. Companies would much rather spend money on technology, office furniture, construction, or their employees as opposed to giving it to the government. Instead, January is more difficult as managers have to encourage lethargic employees back to work. The cold weather doesn’t help either.

Now is the time for some imaginative management techniques to motivate the work force. Basically, I’m suggesting some changes to the corporate culture. Physically, you might want to consider a new coat of paint, changes in lighting, some aromatic plants or flowers, new uniforms, new screen savers, a cleanup of office files and furniture, some changes in music, or perhaps something different to eat in the corporate cafeteria. In other words, consider changes affecting the five senses of the workers. It doesn’t have to be lavish either, just something subtle the employees will notice and appreciate.

You may also want to rethink meetings, including when they are conducted, location, and format. For example, instead of a boardroom setup, how about a u-shaped set of tables allowing the manager to easily move about? A change of dress code may also be wise; if you’ve been too lax and sloppy, perhaps it is time to become a little more formal. If you’ve been too formal, perhaps it is time to loosen things up. Believe me, employees notice and respond.

It shouldn’t be the manager’s objective to make radical changes in work habits. Such changes will be resisted regardless of the time of year. Instead, small changes will be noticed by employees who will see them in a positive light, that management appreciates them and is willing to invest in them. “Hmm…, a New Year, some new changes… I like it.”

Your objective is to demonstrate you are investing in your people, and not taking them for granted. Whatever the twist may be, January is the time for management to try it. In all likelihood, it will capture the attention of the work force and help reinvigorate them for the new year.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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4 Responses to “HI HO, HI HO, IT’S BACK TO WORK WE GO”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A K.S. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma wrote…

    “Tim, an occasional change is probably healthy intermittently throughout the year as well. I guess NOW is the time as we are in the ho hums of going back to work after a long (sort of) holiday break).

    The only thing that is constant, IS change. Why not at work (to some degree) as well?”

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A D.F. of New York wrote…

    “Tim I just heard on the radio that today is the most depressing day of the year. As you mention the holidays are over and it’s back to work. I found that genuine appreciation of an employees efforts always goes a long way. As I like to say “thank you” doesn’t even cost any money. You make some excellent points here.”

  3. sirchristiantheheck@reagan.com said

    I like that, maybe my company should read this and take it to heart. I’ll send it to them with your permission, O K ???

  4. […] HI HO, HI HO, IT’S BACK TO WORK WE GO […]

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