Starting to notice the post-holiday blues among your staff? Slumped shoulders, window gazing and a general lack of energy are all key indicators… and for some people, coming back from holiday can trigger feelings that they no longer want to keep doing what they're doing, they’re considering making enormous changes to their lives.

This, coupled with last month’s change in flexible working legislation, which now allows everyone with 26 weeks continuous service the right to request flexible working could fuel any unrest, with employees considering home-working or switching to a part-time role, but not all business models can support these requests.

So with the combination of post-holiday blues and the widely heralded easier route to flexible working, how do we keep our staff motivated and wanting to do their job in the office environment?

Each employee needs to feel wanted in the workplace, both in relation to their job and also socially among colleagues. Demonstrating care to individual staff members can be a cost-effective route to loyal staff. Simple things like ensuring they take lunch breaks will make them happier and also more productive in the afternoon.

Some Manchester companies are taking this seriously and investing in encouraging their staff to be more sociable. We have helped them put a scheme in place to enable them an easy way to interact outside of the workplace and get to know each other better, creating a greater camaraderie when they are in the office.

With these schemes, staff can choose from over 150 activities each month to do with their colleagues, or by themselves, outside of work. The majority of the pursuits, such as fitness classes, zumba, movie nights and ten pin bowling are free to the employee and cost the employer just £1 per employee, per month. There are also more serene activities such as chocolate making and Spanish lessons. Some of the more adventurous activities, such as vertical ice climbing, abseiling and extreme caving are subsidised.

Our clients are saying that the activities their staff are now doing have created a real buzz in the office – not dissimilar to the Christmas party buzz – but they’re now getting it all year round, which is helping with staff retention as well as increased productivity. Demonstrating a vibrant work social scene can help with recruitment too, especially those who are relocating to the area or younger recruits. Increasingly, job seekers are favouring employers who can demonstrate a friendly, sociable culture.

Ultimately, getting to know colleagues better and trying new things helps employees to feel better in body and mind, which makes them happier, more productive and more motivated to be in the office.

Social Circle currently offers over 150 events and activities each month for employees to choose from, for a cost of just £1 per employee per month. The innovative company is offering free advice on staff retention and free corporate membership trials for Manchester-based companies until the end of August 2014.

Our free event for HR professionals in Manchester with guest speaker Will Kintish is the perfect opportunity to hear more! RSVP here!

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