The end of the year is often accompanied by increased levels of stress and the added pressures of finishing out the quarter on a high note. In fact, studies show that “4 out of 10 employed Americans feel extreme stress or dread about returning to work after the Labor Day holiday”. Additionally, this time of year is notorious for employees feeling less motivated and apathetic.
So for the start of Q4, we wanted to share some tips for motivating your employees through the last few months of the year and for encouraging a successful quarter.
Start planning early
With the upcoming holidays and the distractions of parties, socialization and time-off, Q4 often allows for less time to meet end-of-year goals, as well as for producing high quality work. Make sure to start setting goals early on in the quarter and outline how you plan to get there so that everyone is sure to be on the same page. Consider introducing a countdown to hold employees accountable and ensure that they are aware of when tasks should ideally be completed.
Set realistic goals
When setting goals for Q4 it’s great to dream big, but it can be better to set more realistic goals that are attainable for your company and employees. Look back at the initial company goals set in Q1 and see how far along you are and what can be done to make a final push for meeting those goals.
Consider setting Q4-specific goals that refocus employees on the current tasks at hand. They should be relevant and challenging, but not so daunting that they discourage employees and cause them to give up.
Maintaining open communication among employees and management is greatly important to a company’s overall success. According to the Harvard Business Review, 70% of employees are more engaged when management is transparent and communicative about company strategies and goals. Going into Q4, it is more important than ever to ensure that everyone is on the same page companywide since it is the final stretch to achieving year-long goals.
Thus, it is important to communicate openly with your employees about fourth-quarter goals and what is expected of everyone to meet those goals. If possible, meet one-on-one with employees to discuss any questions or concerns. If you are not able to meet individually with everyone, make sure that employees are aware that they can come to management at any time to touch base about Q4 tasks, goals, etc. (as well as about any other relevant topics).
Give bonus incentives
Offering incentives for good performance is particularly fitting during the holiday season and can give employees that extra boost of motivation. Consider rewards such as extra PTO days for the upcoming year or a weekend getaway. Employee incentives are great year-round, but introducing new, attractive ones at the start of Q4 can help to reignite excitement and encourage employees to stay on track and motivated.
Need some inspiration for employee rewards? Here’s 101 great ideas!
Allow home office days
Rather than have employees miss unnecessary days or get burnt out from increased traffic on their daily commute, why not introduce telecommuting as an option? Working from home on occasion can be a great way to offset frustration of the “daily grind” and allow some flexibility for employees. You will be surprised what a change of scenery can do for motivation!
Recognize good performance and celebrate success
Employee recognition is important year-round, but it does not hurt to give some extra recognition to boost motivation and engagement during Q4. In fact, a study by Aon Hewitt revealed that not feeling appreciated is the main reason that many Americans chose to leave their workplace. In addition, 65% of people reported that they did not receive any recognition for good performance.
What about implementing an employee-of-the-month program? Sales leaderboards are also an effective way to recognize employees and increase engagement. Remember to consider your employees’ wants and needs and try to tailor the type of recognition to them.
Of course, once everyone has worked hard all Q4 long and goals are reached, don’t forget to celebrate!
Ramp up the competition
As the old saying goes, “I’m willing to work as hard as the guy next to me, unless we’re competing… then it’s on like Donkey Kong”. Everyone is competitive in the workplace, the trick is finding a way to make competition fun and useful. Our suggestion? Try gamification.
Research shows that gamification increases motivation and overall performance by providing real-time feedback and by making it exciting and engaging to chase clearly defined goals. With SalesScreen, you can easily introduce gamification into your office and create unique, themed sales competitions such as the one featured below. As an added bonus, employees can unlock a stocking stuffer for their extra efforts via earning coins in SalesScreen rewards.
A bit of healthy competition is an effective way to give employees that extra push during the fourth quarter, and doing so in the form of gamification is ideal. Learn more about the benefits of gamification in the workplace here.
We hope that these tips will help you to motivate your team and experience a successful Q4.