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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 holidays, it’s time to focus on setting goals for the year ahead and being productive throughout the winter. Unfortunately, dark and cold days aren’t the most motivating for most.

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 it affects approximately one in 15 people in the UK between September and April.

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? Now is the time to get creative with ways to energise and motivate employees. Here are four ideas to kick-start your creative juices:

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.

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. Improve employee wellbeing with the right tools

Introduce employees to a wealth of wellbeing knowledge by giving them expert article packed full of advice. Our Wellbeing Centre walks employees through hundreds of videos and articles on how to cook the best beef stew, take a 10-minute meditation break, how to budget for the upcoming New Year and more, with expert content on a variety of wellbeing activities. 

Even if they can't get outside, they can still find ways to improve wellbeing and regular wellness with great of tools to help get moving, stay mindful, save big and eat right! 

4. 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 employee 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, 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 below.

Fergus McIntosh

As Health and Wellbeing Manager, Fergus spends his days helping clients discover the best wellbeing strategies for their business and leads RG wellbeing solutions.

Health and Wellbeing Manager

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