Are You Feeling the Winter Blues?

A man drinking coffee in front of his laptop

When the roads are icy, the skies are gray, and it seems like the season of heavy coats and dreary days will never end, it can be hard for employees to keep up their usual workplace morale. In fact, employee morale significantly decreases during the winter months, especially January and February. To help everyone in the office beat the “winter blues,” managers, supervisors, and other workplace leaders can follow these three tips to brighten morale even on the coldest days.

Create a Welcoming Environment

In the winter, everyone can use a little extra warmth and support! If you have in-office team members, consider offering occasional perks like free coffee or hot chocolate, or host a before-work breakfast event with warm and healthy snacks. Creating a welcoming winter environment also means being aware of the issues your employees may be facing, from to mental health issues like Seasonal Affective Disorder to burnout from the busy holiday season. By making yourself available to talk to your team about ways you can help and support them, you show that you care about their needs and that you value them as employees.

Respect the Time and Needs of Your Employees

During the long winter months, many employees may find themselves feeling burnt-out. To help fatigued or stressed employees get back on track, managers and other leaders should listen to what their employees need to feel valued and supported. For instance, if an employee expresses that they’re struggling to keep up with their own tasks due to long, everyday meetings, consider moving those meetings to once a week, if possible, or shorten them to only focus on necessary information. Be respecting their time and knowing the causes of their team member’s burnout, managers can work to get them back to a happier and more productive mindset.

Start New Projects or Set New Goals

If employees are feeling unmotivated during the winter months, kicking off an exciting new project or setting a new goal can help break them out of their winter slump. After the winter holidays is the perfect time to start something new, whether it’s a new quarterly goal or a long-term project like launching a new product or a company-wide rebrand. Starting the new year with new projects or new goals is a great way to invigorate employees and remind them of the valuable role they play. You might even consider offering prizes or incentives to team members who meet their goals or offering some kind of office-wide social or virtual event to celebrate the exciting milestones of a new project. However, be sure to set realistic goals or assign reasonable task loads to avoid overwhelming employees.

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