There are few work days worse than those that come after the holidays. Between time off, overindulgence, and plenty of travel, January hits you as cold as the weather. Employee appreciation is at a peak in December between holiday parties, company gifts, and potential bonuses, which is why it’s even more important at the beginning of the year.

Corporate team building should be a priority year-round, but January is a great time to help employees hit the ground running. For some, coming back to the office means a daunting amount of work. For others, January is a popular time to job hunt.. Either way, for your business to succeed in the new year, you need to make sure your team is inspired, refreshed, and ready to work.

How can you make time for team building to motivate your employees in January? Read on for our best tips when it comes to corporate team building.

Despite the groans any mention of “team building” can elicit, it doesn’t have to be all trust falls and icebreaker games. Team building activities are a great way to get everyone on the same page, open up communication, and foster collaboration going forward in the new year, no matter what challenges are thrown at them.

They say the best offense is a good defense, and helping employees return from post-holiday chaos means planning for it before they even leave. While it’s important to have a strategy in place to ensure projects keep moving during the slow down, it’s equally important to give employees something to look forward to when they get back. Although you don’t want to overload January with too many events, on top of meetings, there can be a middle ground. Start by considering holding your holiday party after the holidays, it’s less pressurized and a great way for the team to catch up in a more relaxed way.

When employees return after the holidays to overflowing inboxes and mile-long to-do lists, it’s difficult to know where to start. A New Year kick-off meeting is a good way to refocus the group and get them thinking about what’s ahead. As larger projects have come to close, it’s important to acknowledge not only what’s been accomplished, but where the company is going next, and where energy will be needed in the coming year. It’s helpful to break down those larger goals into more manageable, day-to-day strategies, and set goals as a group to make employees feel more engaged with their work.

The most effective team building events tend to take staff out of the comforts of the office. The change of scenery encourages everyone to come out of their shell and reinforce relationships. Getting out of the meeting room also helps to bring about momentum and creates opportunities for people to bond more organically.

Take your team offsite and use your team building venue to its full advantage.

Host a cooking party. It’s a unique way to improve communication skills
Set up office Olympics where departments go head-to-head to test their abilities
Sign them up for a charitable cause. Go to a food bank, plant a tree, or work with a local Boys and Girls club. Feel good while doing good!

You don’t want the progress made in January to fizzle out by March. Once you lose that energy, it can almost be as difficult to get it back as when you first returned from the holidays, or worse. It’s important to think about team building as a year-round activity, not just something to do once or twice a year. It doesn’t have to be a blowout every time, smaller versions of the larger picture can be spread out throughout the year. Use the post-holiday push as a jumping-off point, and bring in your team to brainstorm ideas on how to keep it going.

When it comes to creating a great company culture, corporate team building is often overlooked. “If we’re getting everything done, then why does it matter?” can be the response. But work should be about more than “getting it done”. We don’t buy the age-old advice of “no one likes their job”. We believe that how companies treat their employees plays a large part in motivating the team. The holiday season can bring on additional stress, personally and professionally, but it can also present an opportunity for teams to get closer and learn to lean on each other. As long as there’s laughter and a sense of accomplishment, you’re on the right track.

Ready to plan your next team-building event? Contact us today to learn about our customized events for companies of any size. Currently offering corporate events in Berkley, Long Beach, Marina del Rey, New York, Newport Beach, San Diego, and San Francisco.

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