Winter Wellbeing: Boosting Business Morale
- by Career Moves Group
- 18 Jan 2019
Spirits within the company can often fall below the radar during the wintery months. This is not news, and each year businesses work to find the merriest result possible and support their employees through the shorter days.
To combat this issue, it takes a certain amount of charisma, warmth, and friendly culture to increase business morale, and these benefits do not depreciate during the Winter, and may even need a little boost to acquire, engage, manage, and develop talent.
Engage with Employees
Speaking with employees and understanding the benefits that they feel will increase their engagement during these winter months should always be first and foremost. Introducing a list of winter benefits that are found to be distracting and decrease productivity will not fall in high favour.
Instead, discuss with senior leaders who can gather feedback from their teams to solve any seasonal mood changes.
Maintain Position Purposes
Everyone wants to feel that their job holds a higher purpose for their company. During the winter season, it is common for this purpose to become lost in the day to day grind and Christmas celebrations. If this sense of purpose slowly becomes diminished then individuals can often begin to seek other companies to further their career.
Through ensuring that employees have a sustained direction within their position, with clear, executional goals to achieve before the next quarter, then companies offer an easy route to sustain motivation with their workforce.
Introducing flexible schedules around the Winter period can generate loyalty from employees. As natural body clocks adjust to the festive season and later sunrises, individuals may be more productive with a later starting time and finishing time. Whereas others may prefer an earlier starting time and finishing time to accommodate for the earlier sunsets. Offering this logical alteration to employee’s work schedules can offer a definitive means to boosting business morale and encouraging a more committed workforce.
Take Time to Celebrate Accomplishments
When the company is celebrating their successes as a whole, individual hard workers can often be left by the wayside without personal recognition. Many companies already take the initiative to offer rewards for business critical deliverables throughout the office, yet offering creative awards for softer skills throughout the business can provide an all-inclusive means to winter celebrations. Ensuring that all members of staff throughout a company are looked after and feel appreciated is a quick and easy way to create a warm winter environment.
Schedule Team-Building Activities
Valuing individual team members, across the business, will always play a key role in developing a positive environment during the winter months. When work experiences are
positive, productivity increases and employees feel free to offer their full contribution to their work.
Realising this, places onus on leadership to develop team-building activities that will increase self-esteem and workplace relationships. The Winter period, when people want to be sharing time with their family and those close to them, is the perfect time to develop internal business relationships to increase overall company positivity.
Although digital communication has improved the speed and convenience of exchanging information, face-to-face conversations in the working environment can build connection between employees, creating productive and powerful relationships.
Building trust and credibility in person, allows employees to show their personality through emotions and reactions, facilitating meaningful interactions. Holding a face-to-face meeting can improve the office environment and generate a warmer internal environment that encourages trust through driving closer comradeship during the Winter period.
To drive this communication focused environment, companies can have a ‘no-internal-email’ hour on a Friday afternoon to drive cross-company engagement and form meaningful connections. Ensuring that company meetings are held to develop those cross-company relationships, and making sure they aren’t simply brushed under the carpet, is a very simple means to build those internal relationships.
Light Exercise as a Quick Group Activity
Colder months are known to exasperate muscle tension and joint pain. When combined with relatively static office environments, this can often lead to inflexibility and a decrease in energy. Together through keeping a workforce active and collectively taking efforts to stretch, improve flexibility increase the range of joint movement, and generate heat, employees put their physical health first and alleviate some of the stressors associated with Winter.
Offer Healthy Snacking Options
Now festivities have passed, it is time to trade in the advent calendars and desk chocolates for refreshing fruit and vegetables, even nuts, to reinvigorate employees and colleagues and increase their productivity.
Since most, us included, will be experiencing a sugar crash following the festivities, introducing a day for cake and biscuits, around office fruit and healthy snacks can be a great directive and motivator to generate balance throughout the office.
Plus, a little bit of fruit helps fight off any wintery colds.
Introducing Plants to the Office
Winter months are known to bring around stress and discomfort as temperatures drop and daylight reduces. Yet introducing plants into the office environment can reduce tension, anxiety, and depression due to their natural relaxing and calming effect. Plants psychologically engage employees, which encourages their personal happiness and drives productivity, according to Dr Chris Knight.
Dr Knight conducted research around plants and their effect on memory retention and other basic tests, and measured a substantial improvement as employees who actively engage with their surrounding environment are better workers.
Utilising Music within the Workspace
Music in the office can be a fantastic means to keep the ebb and flow of the company functions as employees work beyond sunset. As the natural light begins to decrease outside of the office, it is important to keep people happy and motivated when working late. To do this, creating a positive physical environment that avoids stifling creativity, and encourages a social environment can often lead to positive business morale, without a winter droop.
Light Therapy to Combat Darker Months
Shorter days during the winter period can produce a gloomy effect on the workforce, this can stiffen creativity within the office.
Not only does artificial lighting not provide the same benefits as natural, but often has a negative impact on employee motivation, either through dimness that can result in drowsiness and lack of focus, or through harsh lighting that is known for causing eye strain and trigger migraine headaches. When dealing with less natural light on a day-to-day basis, these other lighting flaws need to be accounted for and taken into consideration.
Create a Culture of Laughter
Workplace happiness is known to bring enormous contribution to business outcomes. Encouraging laughter within the workplace is known to increase the release of endorphins and create a communal environment that effectively reduces stress and increases productivity.
This reduction of stress has been known to significantly and stress. Most immune cells also have endorphin receptors and rely on endorphins to function, as the hormone stimulates the immune system through activating blood cells, introducing a culture of laughter can help protect staff against infection within the office.
Offer Warm Drinks to Combat the Cold
Simple gestures during winter months can create a big impact on the internal moral of a business. Through acknowledging the cold weather and addressing the issue head on, colleagues create a moment to engage and communicate with their fellow workers and begin to bond.
Offering a warm drink, caffeinated or not, can provide a the necessary mid-afternoon boost to reach the end of the day, or the early morning hit to drive through until lunch. Small motivators that engage staff members with each other is a fantastic route to creating a healthier culture, whilst encouraging a collaborative environment and increasing productivity.
Sustaining a positive work environment during winter months can drive employee engagement with their work as members of the company all work together to achieve
positive business morale.