Coming back to work after the holiday season can seem daunting. Implementing employee engagement initiatives is a great way to get your team back in the swing of things as the New Year begins. Here are five ways to keep employees motivated, driven and engaged:

1) Office Buddy: When employees start at an organization, an integral part of the onboarding process is for them to have someone to go to for all of the questions that will arise. By assigning an office buddy to new staff other than their manager, they can immediately connect with someone in their new environment and begin the process of adapting to a new team.

2) Wellness: Health and wellness eases stress and promotes increased productivity. It can be as simple as providing healthy snacks in your organization’s kitchen, putting ten minutes of meditation on your team’s calendar each week, or organizing a walking meeting. Wellness increases energy and by providing these options at work, your team will feel more engaged and focused.

3) Cross Collaboration: Employee engagement levels can reach new heights when your staff feels that they have a full grasp of your organization. Allow your team to work with other departments, shadow another colleague for a day, or attend meetings run by other teams. When they can see the “big picture” of what your organization is trying to accomplish, they will feel more connected to its mission.

4) Open-Door Policy: Many staff members are weary when giving their organization or manager feedback. Anonymous employee engagement surveys are a great method for collecting un-biased anecdotes on how connected your team is. One-on-one feedback sessions between a manager and staff are another way to build engagement. You can discuss goals, new ideas for a staff member’s role, personal and professional ambitions or the vision of your organization. This leads to trust and transparency.

5) Celebrate Your Staff: When employees feel that they are recognized, they become more active members of the work environment. You can choose specific occasions to celebrate your team, be it birthdays, the birth of a child, work anniversaries, or the completion of a long-term project. When staff feel that their organization cares about their personal well-being as well as their professional development, their engagement and appreciation will flourish.

Showing appreciation and building a collaborative and respectful environment will kick-off the New Year in a positive direction, and keep employees engaged and excited to be back at work.