Top tips from Jarrod Di Blasi

Give your team a much needed boost this February with Ezard head chef, Jarrod Di Blasi's special ingredients to keep your team motivated after the holidays.

Everyone dreads coming back to work after the end of the year holiday closures. And it’s not just the thought of an overflowing inbox or the tasks left unfinished by the end of the year either. As we take time off to rest, travel and reflect over the holiday season, it’s likely that some of your employees’ New Year’s resolutions will be to shift their careers.

To ensure your team comes back feeling motivated and ready to tackle the challenges ahead, we’ve asked Jarrod Di Blasi, head chef of Ezard, to dish up his secrets to keep his staff motivated after the burnout of the holiday season.

“Stay fresh” he says. “As soon as things go stale, people start to wonder. I constantly keep the guys on their toes, it keeps them motivated and hungry to always be learning more.”

Recognise what’s needed

Most companies choose to run team building events towards the end of the year as people’s patience and drive begin to dwindle. However, by organising events early on in the year, you’re boosting appreciation and making a valuable investment in employee retention. By planning something right away, you’re giving your office something to look forward to besides sifting through weeks of unopened emails and lengthy to-do lists.

As Di Blasi says, by holding off on your annual staff party until the end of January or February,  you’re giving your staff a great chance to reflect as a team on the whole year that was and build up any failing morale moving through the New Year.

This boost is necessary as he knows that working in hospitality means the holiday season is the busiest and most ruthless time of the year for his employees. To help them through, Di Blasi has learned to harvest the not-so-secret ingredient: Culture.

“Kitchens are generally tight spaced places with lots of bodies, as a manager it’s important to curate the culture. For me it’s important to stress the ‘one team one dream’ approach in our workplace.”

This mantra can be taken away from the kitchen and served up across a number of industries to help retain staff and boost morale through peak periods.

Why it’s important

In a survey by Glassdoor, it was found that the beginning of the year is the most popular time for employees to think of changing jobs.

While team building stereotypically gets a bad rap, it is still the most important investment you can make. It’s a great way to build trust, open up the floor for better communication and increase collaboration amongst your staff. Plus, the right team building activity can be both beneficial and enjoyable.

And since happiness and learning are closely linked, choosing something different will encourage your team to come together in unique ways. This allows everyone to come out of their shells, reacquaint themselves with one another and bring that momentum back to the office to tackle the New Year’s goals. By engaging them and motivating them through experiences rather than meetings, your team will feel more empowered in their positions, making them less likely to search for other career avenues.

Di Blasi says something as simple as lunch and a couple of beers with the team definitely goes a long way. “And if you are lucky enough to create a ‘family’ style culture, staff will generally stick around for a long while.”

Maintain that energy

Team bonding should not be a once a year activity. If your team is riding a high afterwards, then don’t let that momentum die. Think of corporate team building as a year-round occurrence. You will be given the opportunity to get creative with these events and think outside the standard icebreakers and corny games.

Use this post-holiday period to strategically lay out the company’s upcoming events and see where you can slot in time for your employees. Allow them the opportunity to have a say in what they’d like to achieve and learn to incorporate those requests into your planning.

You’ll be well on your way to instilling great company culture, as well as providing exciting opportunities for a potentially under-challenged workforce. This will combat the 23% and 22% of workers, respectively, who are willing to leave their workplace.

For Di Blasi and the team at Ezard, these team building events helps the business stay proactive in planning, but also keeps everyone in tune and feeling valued.

Ready to plan your next corporate team building event? Contact us today to learn about our customised events.