Christmas has come and gone and the new year has begun. We can see the festive Christmas lights and trees disappear all around us. However, it is still dark and cold outside! It is possible that many of your colleagues are crankier now than they were before Christmas.
We have some tips to keep your organization motivated to keep the winter blues at bay!
Step 1: Be Flexible and Open-minded
Anderson argues that managers who respond to their employees’ needs for a bit of time off during the Holidays, will more likely see recharged people in the new year. After all, Christmas can be quite stressful for some people with shopping, baking, cooking, and, of course, family visits. However, your business does not stop during the Christmas period. So be sure to plan ahead and keep on top of whom of your employees has time off.
Simply allowing employees to take a much needed break at Christmas will see them return happier, less stressed and more motivated. This could have a snowball effect where the staff member who returns from their break motivates others around them to “embrace the clean slate New Years brings.”
Bear in mind that the goals you set at the start of the New Year are attainable so that you can celebrate the successes, no matter how big or small. How about making resolutions for the upcoming year in your teams? That way your staff will be involved from the start and in charge of their own goals.
Step 2: Encourage Healthy Habits
For some people the winter period means their alarms sound too early, their commutes are too cold, the mornings too dark, motivation too low, and concentration too lost. So why not help your colleagues out?
- Encourage exercise among your staff: it is tempting to go to work and burrow in a nice warm blanket when you come home, but will not help the sluggishness at all. Perhaps you can form a group to walk during lunch, or to work out together once (or more) times a week after work. Some companies offer discounted fitness subscriptions for their staff which might just work to give them that little extra push to sign up for the local gym.
- Offer healthy food choices: Christmas is over. A lot of people will be happy to return to their previously, and normal, eating habits. It is possible that some of your coworkers have made New Year’s resolutions to lose few pounds. Why not help them by offering healthy food options at the office? In other words; replace the cookies with fruit!
Step 3: Communicate with Your People
Do you know how your team members are feeling? Did you ask what your colleague did for Christmas? These types of questions would be a good place to start so that you know what is going on in the workplace. So talk to people at the coffee machine, have breaks with colleagues you have not talked to in a while, and put effort into showing your employees that you care about them. Create a work environment that people like and they will be more motivated.
Step 4: Celebrate Successes
Are there any birthdays coming up? Did you finish a deadline or pass a new goal? Or has it simply been a while since you organized an office party? There are many ways to celebrate small victories but always remember to make them social and inclusive. It does not matter if the setting is slightly more formal, such as a meeting, or if it is more fun and low key, like a New Year’s office party. Why not add a competitive element to have a bit of fun during the short and grey days? You could bring your team together to decide on new small goals and keep score of who reaches theirs first. If this sounds too serious, then there are plenty of indoor games to play in the office that will double as “excellent bonding exercises”.
What do we at FourVision do in the office to keep our people happy, motivated and focused? We have a monthly meeting where we eat lunch together, we organize Friday afternoon drinks and invite the whole office to come to the coffee room and chat, and we certainly like to chat to each other. What do you do to combat winter depression among your staff?