January meeting: Kick start 2024

The festive period is a magical time to relax, spend time with loved ones and unwind after a challenging year.

However, it can be hard to feel motivated when returning to work in the New Year. Statistics show January is the least productive time of year.

Kick Off Jan 2024
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In fact, so many people return to work lacking enthusiasm that there are 17% more job applications in January than in any other month, according to research by Glassdoor.

A poll by Airwaves reveals 40% of Brits consider resigning in January, with the first Friday after new year being the most likely time for quitting.

However, by the end of the month, the majority have settled down again and the restlessness has been blamed on the January blues.

How do you motivate employees?

Once the Christmas decorations are back in the attic and the turkey leftovers are packed away in the freezer, just how do you inspire employees to get back into work mode?

Team leaders need to reignite employee enthusiasm with some motivational words and actions. Start 2024 off in the right way with a January meeting – but it shouldn’t be a typical meeting about tasks and projects! Instead, it should be more to motivate and inspire your team to prepare for the year ahead after the Christmas break.

It’s vital to get the year off to a good start before a general malady sets in that can spread into February if you’re not careful.

We’re looking at the top five ways to start the year off well at a meeting, to benefit both the company and individual employees.

1. Reflect on last year

Reflecting on the previous year’s achievements is always a good place to start. Let delegates know ahead of the meeting that they will be invited to join in if they wish.

The agenda could include different areas of discussion, such as ways that team resources were utilised, successful collaborations and team communication. While it’s aimed at being a positive reflection, don’t ignore any less successful factors. However, the idea is not to dwell on them.

Discuss briefly what didn’t go as well but ask employees for their suggestions on how it can be improved in 2024.

The agenda can be designed in a way that encourages free-flowing debate. Leave enough time for this, but don’t let this section of the meeting take over the whole session.

You can always go back to any debates at a later date if required. Remain respectful of everyone’s time: while it’s good to have an open discussion, be aware that people will have a lot to do in general, so don’t overrun.

2. Encourage conversation

It’s always good to talk, especially if your team members haven’t seen each other since December, so encourage conversation.

Informal chats can easily bring up important topics and turn into a SWOT analysis – meaning strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

3. Reinforce collaboration

Emphasise the fact that new year success can never be achieved alone. Reinforce collaboration and team effort as the key to your success.

Encourage team members to rely on each other for help and support and guide them on how to do this.

Suggest sending messages in a company group chat, or encourage teams to hold short, regular meetings of their own to make sure everyone is on the same page.

4. State your goals clearly

Voice your goals for the coming year, so your team knows exactly what they are working towards. The goals should be measurable, achievable, specific and relevant.

For example, rather than a vague “improve sales”, suggest a measurable result, such as “increase sales by 10% in 2024 with more targeted social media marketing”.

The goals should address any challenges that surfaced in 2023 to inspire a new year of success.

5. Send a recap email

After the meeting, send everyone present a recap email to ensure none of the things you’ve discussed fall by the wayside.

Capitalise on the frank exchange of ideas by turning them into firm strategies and projects. Consider how each team and individual members can contribute to the overall success.

Motivational lines for employees

A happy working environment has a positive impact on output. Many studies have shown that employee motivation and productivity hinge on how satisfied they feel. Those who are happy at work perform better and produce high quality work consistently.

Happy employees are up to 20% more productive than their dissatisfied colleagues, according to research published in Forbes.

As a team leader, you need to send the right messages to employees. Consider using motivational quotes to emphasise the company ethos and stir up enthusiasm. For example, American motors magnate Henry Ford famously said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” This emphasises the teamwork and collaboration necessary to forge ahead in 2024.

Tech billionaire Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was a firm believer in enjoying what you do. During many motivational speeches, he told audiences, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” He also reiterated the importance of caring about your work and goals when he said, “If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

Motivate your team by urging them to be the best version of themselves, while working together for their own and the collective good.

Meeting room – London

The venue for your January meeting can help assure its success.

If you’re based in the capital, make your gathering memorable by taking advantage of meeting room hire in London. Organise refreshments including snacks or lunch to make it a more informal gathering. This can make the event more engaging for employees, rather than simply sitting around the boardroom table at your usual workplace.

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