Turn that Monday frown upside down

The party is over, back to work. It’s Monday. Coming back to work after a nice weekend of relaxing or partying can cause your employees to dread Mondays, which, in turn, can affect their productivity. To make Mondays better at work, keep the weekend motivation going. I’m not saying party every Monday, but a little party spirit can go a long way to encourage happy moods, and consequently, increased productivity. The following ideas can be simple and small and will help to boost moods instead of distract from the work that needs to get done.

Mondays can be heavy, so ease the load off, or, at least, the perception of it. Encourage your employees to break large to dos into smaller tasks. For example, instead of considering everything to do in one day, consider each section of the work day. Need to make dozens of phone calls today? Break it down into tens of phone calls per certain amount of time.

Provide simple snacks at key mingling places. Give opportunities for water cooler chat to catch up with fellow employees while employees grab a quick snack. Interacting with friends throughout the day can provide that motivation your employees need to keep going on a Monday. Offer fruit or other inexpensive snacks in the break room or around the water cooler to encourage quick and friendly interaction.

Make a game of it and provide incentives. Break the office into teams on a large project and see who can get the most work done. Or, if competition against coworkers is a problem, set up a competition for employees against themselves. Can an employee break their time record for getting a project done; calling clients or getting through a certain number of messages? Make some company “bucks” and set up reward levels for certain “bucks” earned: food at the cafeteria, candy bars, company swag, etc. Announce rewards at the end of each Monday.

Mix it up with music. Liven things up with some clean music in the background. Music can help motivate and relax and can make even menial work seem uplifting and fun. Plug an iPod into some speakers or turn on Pandora.

Bring in an animal or a fun guest during a break or lunch. Cute animals give a quick uplifting break for some. If animal fur allergies are a problem, invite a motivational speaker to an office lunch party. Is there someone who can discuss diet and exercise? Organization? If a guest or animal is too difficult to invite, organize a simple lunch in the break or conference room to encourage employees to mingle amongst themselves for some fun chat.

Offer coffee or caffeine drinks. Many people depend on caffeine to keep them going, especially on a Monday. If your company or some employees are concerned about their caffeine intake, provide hot chocolate or Crystal Light packets for other options to spice up their drinks. Doing even small things, like providing drinks, shows you want your employees to succeed when Mondays are hard.

Encourage employees to finish up work on Friday. Dreading deadlines and the overwhelmingly large amount of work to do can make Mondays seem intolerable. Encourage employees to whittle down their Friday work so they don’t feel that upcoming-Monday-dread during their weekend.

Be the lift your employees need. Set the tone for Monday by being positive and upbeat. Focus on what can be accomplished. Ask employees about their weekend. Negativity breeds negativity and that’s the last thing you need when you’re trying to spark productivity on a Monday.

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