3 Steps to Boosting Employee Engagement on Mondays


Written by Mitch Gray, Contributor, May 2021

We have all felt the impact of a long week. Friday arrives and seemingly everyone is awaiting the end of the day with more excitement than is ever brought to the arrival of Monday. You begin hearing statements such as ‘Do you have plans for the weekend?’ or ‘Thank God it’s Friday!’ Looking forward to the weekend seems to be a favorite pastime for so many. 

The challenge of keeping employees engaged during the week has become an even greater obstacle as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and adjust to remote workers and hybrid workdays. As a leader, empowering the start of each week plays a critical role in how your team approaches success. You can greatly influence the mindset, rhythm and temperature of your team by making sure everyone begins the work week with as much positivity and excitement as possible. 

But success doesn’t happen by accident. The arrival of success is achieved through strategy, mindset, goals, timelines, and action. Setting your week up for success follows the same plan. Take time to identify what you want the beginning of the week to look like for each employee. Describe what success on Monday means. You can begin this process by asking yourself a few questions: 

  • How would you like each team member to define a successful start to the week?
  • How can you communicate this desire? 
  • What role can each employee play in setting up a successful week?

In Smith’s (2013) article, ’11 Ways to Beat the Monday Blues’, great strategies to take a proactive approach for individuals to tackle Monday were identified. But each of these ways also shed light on the proactive work a leader might do to prepare their team for what often seems like the Monday blues. Setting your team up for success takes strategy and preparation. While each of your employees carry a responsibility for preparing themselves to give their best, as a leader you also play an important role in creating an environment that gives each person every opportunity possible to build success. 

So how do you set your team up with a vision so strongly they soon find themselves on Sunday thinking of Monday like they once thought of Friday? While there are many elements that make up this cultural phenomenon of living for the weekend, there are also proactive steps you can take to unlock the power of Monday. 


1. Set each week up with courage

It seems to be human nature to desire a challenge. People perform at their best when they are tasked with a great challenge, given a purpose, and feel as if their actions are valued. Using Monday’s to set each team member with a purposeful challenge is critical in creating a successful start. Make sure this challenge calls for a bit of courage and creates an opportunity for high performance. More often than not, people rise to the occasion when a great challenge is presented (Valnampy, 2008). 

Calling out the courage in employees at the beginning of the week creates an excitement and energy that will carry them through the dull moments of day to day work. These dull moments become of great value when each person knows and understands the value of their work. 

Oftentimes employees don’t reach the level of success they are capable of because they are simply not asked. Give them a challenge that demands their best. Don’t be afraid to ask more of your team. When you do this through clarity, value, and empowerment, they will rise to the occasion. 


2. Make clarity the top priority

Each person should know why and what they are being asked to achieve, why their work is important, how it fulfills the larger vision, how to accomplish each task and be able to measure when they have reached success. Each of these elements should be clarified at the beginning of each week. This clarification of work removes confusion and allows each person to function at their highest level possible (Pijnacker, 2019). Do not underestimate the power of clarity and the influence of confusion. Confused people become ineffective people. When they feel they are ineffective, they lose focus, purpose, and desire. 

Create so much clarity within your organization that people rarely have to waste time strategizing or thinking about how to accomplish a task. Clarity of work and action will empower high performance and develop a readiness for teamwork and excitement. 


3. Share a heart of gratitude

The two most powerful words you can use toward employees is ‘Thank you.’ Make it a priority to begin and end each week saying thank you. Be so present with your team that you can show gratitude for a specific project, idea, action, or success. The more gratitude you show, the more you empower the willingness of people to work hard. 

Gratitude and affirmation are the greatest motivating factors for stimulating work and idealism (Ackerman, 2019). When people feel affirmed they are more vulnerable for sharing ideas as well as become more receptive to feedback. Be sincere and compassionate in your gratitude. Make sure to relate to your team so they know that when you say ‘thank you’ you truly mean it. 

You may also be interested in reading:
Increasing Your Employee Engagement With Gamification

Like success, unlocking the power of Monday doesn’t happen by accident. It takes strategy, skill, and action to prepare your team for a great week of opportunity. Be sure to include everyone in the process of empowering the start of their work week. This process is as valuable to the part time employee as someone in upper management. Make this a conversation that takes place often and amongst everyone. 

Finally, be proactive in your approach. Set a standing meeting within your organization where department or division managers meet with their respective teams at the end of each week to prepare for the next. There is no room for passiveness in building success. Ask your employees to measure the success they have had this week, what they have learned, and how they can prepare for the week ahead. 

When you unlock the power of Monday you are also allowing your employees to more fully enjoy their weekend. When they can leave work at the end of the week fully prepared for the week ahead, they no longer have to spend time worrying, stressing or fretting over what wasn’t accomplished and what might be awaiting them when they walk in the door the next week. If you have empowered them as best as possible, they have celebrated the success of the past, learned from their mistakes, and are already prepared for stepping into success on Monday. 


About The Author
About The Author

Mitch Gray has combined over two decades of experience as a former pastor, life coach, entrepreneur, community developer, and creator to develop a brand of leadership that is at its deepest level – human. As a Leadership and Personal Development Coach, Mitch takes his heart for inspiring others and his passion for empowering leaders to create the space needed for considering a new way of leading.


*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Humans of HR.


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We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

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References

 
Ackerman, C. E. (2017, February 28). What is gratitude and why is it so important?PositivePsychology.Com; Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-appreciation/

Pijnacker, L. (2019). HR analytics: Role clarity impacts performance. Effectory – Listen. Learn. Lead. https://www.effectory.com/knowledge/hr-analytics-role-clarity-impacts-performance/

Smith, J. (2013). 11 ways to beat the monday blues. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/02/25/11-ways-to-beat-the-monday-blues/

Velnampy, T. (2008). Job Attitude and Employees Performance of Public Sector Organizations in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka. GITAM Journal of Management6.

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