For many of us, September feels like the start of a new year, more so than January. And at The Bagg Group, it’s a time of year when we receive a lot of calls from restless employees.
Many who have been feeling frustrated at work put problems on hold until after their vacations. They return with a hope that things will be better. When they don’t experience change, they decide it’s time to look for new employment.
As President of The Bagg Group, I and our staffing solution experts make a point of alerting hiring authorities that a return to everyday routine, after a summer sojourn, is tough on all employees.
I recently came across an article about the post-holiday blues in Spain in which psychologists estimated 35% of Spanish workers will have the syndrome this year. I estimate that percentage holds for Toronto as well.
The experts on the subject noted the symptoms include lack of concentration, irritability, anxiety and sadness. That adds up to the dreaded ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude which hurts productivity.
What’s more, as all recruiters at staffing agencies know from speaking with candidates, returning from holidays to hundreds of emails and a mile-long to-do list increases employee stress at a time when they are already feeling despondent.
Fortunately, there are solutions. Many of our clients, top employers in the GTA, make a point of holding ‘back-to-school’ meetings.
At these get-togethers, which are either held one-on-one or with the department, emphasis is on upcoming innovations and projects that give employees something stimulating to think about, and to look forward to.
After all, everyone needs something to get excited about, and next year’s two-week stay at the cottage is not good enough-for employees or their managers.
Another effective strategy used by GTA employers is to help employees with workload balance. Sitting down and reviewing deadlines and priorities is a first step.
Where there is no relief in sight, many Toronto employers at this time of year hire temporary workers and contract workers to help staff get a handle on their work and feel more in control.
Finally, schedule some September fun. Anything from a holiday picture contest, to a eat-like-it’s-summer hot-dog and hamburger lunch reminds employees that while the workplace may not be a day at the beach, it still a place where you can socialize and have rewarding experiences.
— Geoff Bagg