They don’t call it the “dead” of winter for nothing. The holidays are over, and spring is nowhere in sight. It’s dark when you leave for work early in the morning, and it’s dark when you leave the office at the end of the day. Not to mention the pervasive cold. And the endless scraping, shoveling, and stomping! The dreariness and discomfort of a long winter can certainly take its toll on your staff’s motivation–and in turn, on your business. But only if you let it. Fight your employees’ instinct to hibernate during the gloomy days of winter by trying these 5 tips.
- The Comfortable Workplace
Just because winter chills you to the bone doesn’t mean the office has to. Stingy bosses are notorious for leaving the thermostat just above the level at which hypothermia sets in. Don’t play that game. Make your employees feel cozy by keeping the office temperature at a comfortable level. Lighting is equally important. With darkness all around, making subtle adjustments to office lighting can have a surprisingly big impact on employee motivation.
- Earned Hibernation
So your employees want to stay home and hibernate during the winter? Well, who doesn’t? Since it’s only natural for staff not to want to leave the comfort of their own homes and fight the weather to come to the office, set up a contest that rewards the winner with a stay-home day. Call it a “Hibernation Day!” Be sure that your employees that will be going into hibernation have the proper tools to be efficient while they are in pajamas.
- Set Seasonal Goals
A good manager will constantly be setting goals for staff to work towards. But in the winter, even good managers stop pushing. After all, when it’s hard just to get out of your driveway, you might find your zeal for goal-setting at an all-time low. Fight wintertime complacency by setting seasonal goals for yourself and your staff. Challenge employees to finish a new project by the end of winter, so they continue to push all the way through till spring. To raise the stakes, promise to take them on an outing on the first day of spring–preferably outdoors in the sunshine!
- Put Downtime to Good Use
For many companies, winter can be its least productive quarter. This general malaise could mean you and your staff have more downtime than usual at the office during these months. Instead of sitting around bemoaning the cold, encourage staff members to undertake that program of training and development they’ve been putting off. If things are slow enough, you could invite guest speakers and educators into the office to give seminars on various topics.
- Get Creative
Often the best way to re-engage disaffected staff members is to start a dialogue with them. Showing interest in them and their state of mind is a great way of not only demonstrating that you care, but it can also help elicit creative ideas to jump up your staff’s motivation. Meet with staff and invite them to brainstorm creative ideas that might get their chilled blood pumping again. Keep these sessions light and fun, and you just might hit on an unexpected cure for your staff’s gloomy mental forecast.
By following these simple tips you can help employees get over the winter blues by creating fun new ways for your business to stay productive! Since it is still the beginning of the year, have you considered some New Year’s resolutions for yourself as a business leader? We have a few ideas that can help yourself become a better leader for 2016.
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