3 min read

Ah, winter. The time of year when the sun sets before we’d like it to and we wear more layers than we thought possible. Now that we’re through the worst of it, I'd like to think most of us are focussing on setting goals and making sure we're making the most of increased energy and productivity (and soon, sunlight!) for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, dark and cold days haven't been very kind for most of us.

Employees who should be excited about new budgets, goals, and projects have felt the negative impacts of the ongoing cold, wet weather and winter blues.

Thankfully, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD – a fitting acronym, in my opinion), which is a type of depression related to the changes in light exposure that occur in winter, is pretty rare in Australia. But even with springtime in the air, many us still need a hand dealing with SAD-like symptoms such as lack of energy, lowered mood and battling serious carb cravings. 

What does this mean for you and your workforce? It could mean a lack of motivation, lower morale, and overall lower productivity. So, how do you as a leader help energise teams instead? Here are three ideas to kick-start your motivation and morale:

1. Stay active

Give your team 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 Reward Gateway are big fans of any YouTube video – whether it’s Baby Shark or Ariana Grande’s nostalgically entertaining Thank U Next music video. Laughter and music can truly be the best medicine.

energize teams during winter months

2. Make it personal

Stay in touch with your employees on a more personal level. Open and honest communication doesn’t come naturally to all, but even small conversations about upcoming family events, favourite 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.

Download our eBook to discover ways to motivate and engage employees during  the winter months »

3. Regularly recognise 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. You can improve manager-led recognition at your organisation by setting aside time each week to recognise top performers on your team.

energize teams during winter months
An example of manager-led recognition with a values-based eCard.

For example, on top of Brian's daily tasks, today he demonstrated the RG value "Work Hard" and went above and beyond with strategic planning for the quarter up ahead to make sure everyone on the team is on the same page. 

Share this as an example with other team members. They’ll benefit from seeing an example of how you expect them to behave, especially when connecting the behaviours to values, and I guarantee Brian will feel appreciated for his hard work.

Springtime is here and summer is just around the corner! Taking time to make the most of the season means everyone around you will benefit. How have you motivated your own teams? Share any creative and unique ideas with us in the comments section below.

Hend Dabash

Based in our Melbourne office, Hend spends most of her day speaking to HR professionals, and loves discovering what they are most proud of and how she can add value and help make an impact to the initiatives that are on top of their people priority list. Being human and pushing the boundaries is what she does best, along with sharing how Reward Gateway takes steps to making the world a better place to work.

Employee Engagement Specialist

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