The holidays can be an enjoyable time for your employees, but can also be a stressful one. Stress from time off, family, and travel can derail even your most productive employees. With all of these distractions, it is important that managers and business owners help get employees back on track after the holidays. A recent article from Entrepreneur gives four easy ways companies improve employee productivity after the holidays.

Communicate clearly: Improving employee communications is likely an area most small businesses could work on. Missing information or lack of clear expectations is one of the biggest causes of stress for employees. But after time off for the holidays, employees will be wading through lots of email communications. Instead of adding to their email backlog, look for ways to change your communications with employees to include more in person and phone communications. Perhaps explore ways that technology, such as internal chat or private social media groups can improve the way your team talks to one another. Most importantly, be sure to choose the channel that will communicate your message most effectively.

Set goals for the New Year: Help employees set personal and professional goals tied to the overall company goals. Understanding what is expected and how performance will be measures is one of the best ways to increase employee engagement and job satisfaction. Having clear goals increases productivity and gives employees something to look forward to.

Facilitate teamwork: With lots of employees taking time off during the holidays, it is easy for teams to get disconnected. One of the biggest complaints employees have about working in a team is unclear expectations and accountability. Bring your employee teams back together and redefine roles and expectations. Create opportunities for people to work together to lighten the overall workload and make work more enjoyable.

Eliminate procrastination: It can be easy for employees to find ways to waste time and procrastinate tackling the mountain of work that piled up over the holidays. Help employees who are feeling overwhelmed by breaking up work into a list of tasks and prioritizing those tasks. Also, encourage employees to take productive breaks to socialize and then back to work. Managers should be setting this example for their teams.

Do you have tips and tricks for getting employees back on track after the holidays? We would love to hear what had worked for you. Share with us on Twitter or Facebook @helpsideteam.