The days get shorter and the nights get longer in the winter time, leading to what is often referred to as the winter blues. You start to notice that your employees do not seem as happy as before, at times even becoming impatient with each other. This can have a significant impact on productivity in the workplace.
Spring and sunshine are still months away. You want to help, but are unsure of what to do. Here are some ideas to overcome the negative effects of winter.
Plan Morale-Boosting Activities
Being cooped up indoors under fluorescent lights can be taxing on employee morale. Consider giving your employees an extended lunch and plan events like Casino Night or Bingo. Offer prizes that your employees with enjoy and appreciate. The cost will be well worth it, and you’ll be rewarded with happy, productive employees.
Capture That Natural Light
Take advantage of the natural light that is still available. Even in the winter time, exposure to natural light helps slow the production of melatonin, and it won’t negatively impacting the sleep cycle. Make sure that any curtains or blinds are left open to allow as much natural light into the building as possible. The use of light therapy lamps can also be very helpful to your employees.
New Projects and Incentives
Sometimes starting a new project can be just what your employees need to get motivated again. Find something that your employees can get excited about, and move on it. You might even want to sweeten the pot by offering an incentive for reaching certain goals by set deadlines. Anything that your employees can rally around will work, but select something that will be new and interesting to them, and you’ll be amazed at the results.
Boost Their Immune Systems
Support your employees’ immune systems. They are much more likely to catch a cold or flu in the winter months, which can quickly spread to other employees. Make sure to provide plenty of hand sanitizer, and consider leaving the heater turned down just a notch. Germs thrive in warm conditions, so keeping the temperature a bit cooler might make the difference from becoming sick or not.
Keep Them Comfortable
Have your furnace checked prior to winter. Furnaces sit idle for much of the year and may need a little attention to have it operating at its best. While it’s best to keep the temperatures a bit cooler than you might have in the warmer months, you also don’t want your employees to be cold—discomfort is distracting. Maintaining your furnace will help you maintain a consistent temperature in the building. Here as some great tips from PSR Solutions on how to prep for winter as a facilities manager.
Keep Them Safe and Show You Care
Show your employees that you care. Being prepared before the first snow demonstrates to your employees that you care about their well-being. Maintaining clear walking paths and entries into the building can help your employees avoid having a fall that could result in a broken bone. Nothing pulls down employee morale faster than working for a boss who only cares about productivity.
Taking just these few simple steps can go a long way to helping your employees avoid the winter blues. Productivity will be improved, and your employees will know that they are appreciated. Perhaps you or your employees can come up with more ideas for avoiding the winter blues.
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