The holidays are behind us, we’re setting new personal and professional goals, and the days are filled with 20 degree temperatures and limited sunlight. It’s officially winter in Western New York.
Anyone living in the land of lake effect snow is all too familiar with what this time of year brings. Employees who should be excited about new budgets, goals, and projects often feel the negative impacts of the seemingly dreary environment and fall into a winter slump. In fact, an increasing number of people are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), with leading medical experts estimating that up to 26% of Americans may be experiencing some form of seasonal depression.
What does this mean for you and your workforce? It could mean a lack of motivation, lower morale, and overall lower productivity. As a leader, now is the time to get creative with ways to energize and motivate employees. Here are three ideas to kick-start your creative juices:
- Stay Active
Give your teams activities to look forward to and mix up the daily grind.
Host a daily afternoon “stretch break,” start an in-office yoga club, or take brisk walks (outside if you can). Or, simply find a funny YouTube clip or online meme to start the day.
Team members at Brand Integrity are big fans of any YouTube video involving Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and Classroom Instruments. Laughter—and music—really can be the best medicine.
- Make it Personal
Stay in touch with your employees on a more personal level. This doesn’t come naturally to every manager, but even small conversations about upcoming family events, favorite sports teams, or the latest funny Facebook post can help evolve your relationship and boost an individual’s morale.
Are you a leader of teams in multiple locations? Set up a mid-day Google Hangout to get some added face time and catch up on life.
- Regularly Recognize Achievements
A little kudos can go a long way. Even something that might be viewed as a standard expectation of the employee’s role can (and should) be celebrated.
For example, Susan may handle customer support calls on a daily basis, but today she really made a customer’s day by taking some extra time to understand his challenge. Share this as an example with other team members. They’ll benefit from seeing an example of how you expect them to handle customer interactions, and I guarantee Susan will feel appreciated.
Springtime will be here soon enough. Until then, take a little time to help your team beat the winter slump and everyone will benefit.
How have you motivated your own teams? Share any creative and unique ideas with us in the comments section.