Remember what it was like to leave the office at the end of the day and still see the sun in the sky? Me neither. For employees in cold climates, like me, the stretch between New Year’s Day and Memorial Day Weekend can feel unbearable and bring on some serious winter blues. Long gone are the sunny days when you could eat lunch outdoors or step outside for a breath of fresh air. Even employees based in warmer regions are not immune to the winter blues. With the excitement of the holidays a distant memory, the winter months can drag.
These factors can lead to decreased productivity and engagement among employees. So, what can you do to lift their spirits and beat the blues? Here are three tactics to consider:
Escape the office and have some fun
A TINYpulse Engagement Report found a strong correlation between employee happiness and how they feel about their colleagues. Additionally, team play and collaboration rank as the top traits employees love about their co-workers. With that in mind, encourage employees to bond and have fun by planning an outing for your team in February or March, rather than waiting for the summer. For example, consider signing your team up for an escape room adventure or an improv workshop that encourages collaboration and problem solving. The time with coworkers outside of the office will brighten spirits and ultimately, make for happier employees during the grey months.
Encourage balance and commit to supporting it
A study by Ernst & Young found that one in three employees say maintaining work-life balance has become more difficult in recent years. Finding time for work-life balance in the winter can be especially tough when days are short and the weather is harsh.
To combat this challenge, encourage employees to set a personal goal that supports balance, such as going to a yoga class every Thursday, or leaving the office early on Fridays to pick their kids up from school. As an organization, commit to supporting these goals as much as possible. You could coordinate with a local yoga studio, for example, to offer a corporate discount.
This program will allow employees the opportunity to recharge outside of the office, which ultimately, will make them more productive and energetic in the office.
Show your appreciation and celebrate employees
Did you know the first Friday of March is Employee Appreciation Day? This day is the perfect opportunity to combat the winter blues by celebrating your employees. Think about hosting a luncheon for all employees or asking managers to write notes of appreciation to each of their team members. Taking time and making the effort to celebrate employees will help them feel more valued and more enthusiastic about their time at work.