How to beat the back to work blues

That September feeling: we all know it. Summer is over, the weather begins to turn, and the next bank holiday isn't until Christmas - an eternity away.

It's not surprising then, that in September many workers start to feel restless in their current jobs, and even start looking for opportunities elsewhere. In fact, LinkedIn found that job searches rose by 13% during the month and 40% more members started a new role in September compared to October the same year. Employers, therefore, are faced with a problem; they must either come up with ways to motivate staff this month, or risk losing them.

So, as the September slump continues, Erik Fjellborg, CEO and Founder of Quinyx, the Workforce Management solutions provider, shares some tips to help employers beat those back to work blues and retain a motivated and productive workforce.

1. A small reward can make a big difference

"It's the little things in life that count – and that applies to working life too. At a time when morale might be low, the best way to motivate teams is to give them a little something extra. Whether it's a team drink on a Friday afternoon, an extra hour to spend with the kids, or putting the TV on in the office to catch that big football match, little perks can go a long way to retaining your workforce."

2. Holidays aren't just for summer

"Although the majority of the workforce will likely have taken some time off over the summer, it's crucial to remember that holidays aren't just for the warmer months. For many industries, particularly ones like logistics, September is when things start hotting up. But while employers may want to conserve all staff to ensure they've got the best team available for a busy period, it'll be damaging in the long run. Give employees the time off they need, and they'll be more productive."

3. Take a chance on flexibility

"For many, flexibility still has connotations of spiralling costs and scheduling nightmares. But with the right tools in place, flexible working can be easy, and giving staff some leeway will prove hugely beneficial in the long term. Employees who are given the flexibility to choose their own schedule will be happier and want to stick around – even during the busy times. It also pays off from a business perspective too, as the 2018 HSBC productivity study found than nine in 10 workers believe flexible working motivates them to be more productive at work."

4. Understand your workforce

"Go that extra mile and get to know your staff members individually. Especially in larger businesses, it's common for employees to feel neglected by management, with nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of UK workers believing they are undervalued at work. But by taking the time to get to know staff on a more personal level, bosses will be able to demonstrate that employee happiness is high on the priority list. It will also help to work out the staff members who may not feel so settled, so steps can be taken to address the problem."

Quinyx's Erik Fjellborg concluded: "If given the choice, most of the workforce would rather be on a beach than back in the office, meaning September can be an especially difficult period for bosses to motivate their staff members. But the important thing to remember is that employee happiness is essential if any business is to be productive and successful. Taking small steps to show that you really care goes a long way and makes a huge difference."

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