People who live in cold climates know that sometimes, when it’s particularly blustery outside, car engines just don’t want to fire up first thing in the morning. The colder the weather, the more the engine resists turning over. There’s very little motivation for the car to work as it should.
The same is true for employees — the dreary days, snowy and icy weather, the long nights and lack of sunshine make it really difficult to stay motivated and energetic when it’s so tempting to stay at home under blankets.
As their manager, it’s up to you to be a motivator when your team shows a lack of energy and enthusiasm for their projects. It might be challenging, but you can make the work environment a fun and inspiring place to help get your team back on track.
Here’s how to keep morale up and energies high to start 2023 off right.
- Make the work environment inviting and friendly. No office or workspace will be as cozy as your living room at home, or a favorite chair, but there are little things that can be done to help make work feel a little more friendly. Ease into the new year, and tackle the winter blahs, with some fun activities, like a hot cocoa day, or a day in which people are encouraged to dress thematically in support of a team or as their favorite movie characters. Maybe this is the year to start a birthday club, in which once a month the team gathers to celebrate the people born in that month with food, whether it’s cake or other snacks. Find a way to get your team to socialize and have something to look forward to and it can help keep the gloominess at bay.
- Make health a priority. Winter is a time for both resolutions and sickness. In order to support those who want to adopt healthier habits, and those who are doing all they can to fight off colds, the flu or other infections, make sure employee health and safety are prioritized. Encourage your team to schedule their annual physicals early in the year so they can maintain their health, including their mental health and well-being, which can take a hit with the lack of sunshine we experience in the winter. Keep snacks on hand that are rich in vitamin D and those that are healthy and easy to enjoy on the go. If your company has a discount program to a local gym, now’s the time to talk that up, as exercise — even just a walk! — is a great way to help boost a person’s mood and outlook.
- Be flexible if possible. If your company can adopt a more flexible remote work policy in the winter, do so. Your team should be trusted to complete their tasks wherever they’re working — we all learned that during the pandemic — and the ability to stay home on particularly cold and snowy days means your team has one less thing to worry about. If you’re in an environment where it snows a lot, the concern of digging out vehicles and driving on slippery roads in order to make it to work on time can cause undue stress or lead to lateness that will leave workers in a frantic dash to catch up all day. Offer to let people work from home either on a regular basis during the winter months or on an as-needed basis when the weather’s bad.
- Schedule some fun. Once a month, or once every six weeks, find something fun for your group to do together. Maybe it’s a bowling trip to the local lanes; maybe it’s a pizza lunch; maybe it’s a trip to the movies or a fun painting class in the break room where everyone shows off their artistic abilities. Whatever it is, create a fun event during the work day in which people can blow off a little steam and talk with their coworkers about things other than their to-do list and all the projects piling up. If you’re not sure what would work best for your group, ask them!
- Build a team playlist of sorts. Most people like music and will listen to it at some point during the day. Why not start an office playlist, or a running list of song or album suggestions? It’s a great way for people to learn about new music and artists and a wonderful way for people to share their favorites. It’s a great conversation starter and, who knows, it might inspire a karaoke outing when the weather’s nice! Music is a great mood lifter and it’s something everyone can contribute to with very little pressure.
It’s tough to keep a sunny disposition in the depths of winter, but your team will appreciate your dedication to their well-being and motivation. Show a little support and who knows, this could be your most productive winter yet.
If you’re looking to add to your team and continue your success, it’s time to call Davis Staffing. We have great candidates who are eager to join your team and bring their enthusiasm to your group! Give Davis Staffing a call and let’s get started.