The cold, dreary months of winter are never great for productivity. What’s one suggestion you have for how leaders can keep their teams motivated and productive no matter the weather?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Implement Fun Competitions With Rewards
If you’re a leader struggling to keep your team motivated throughout the winter months, consider implementing some fun challenges with rewards. This will help them stay in a competitive state of mind and hopefully increase productivity. Whatever you choose, make sure there’s something at stake that everyone can get excited about.
2. Give Them Autonomy Over Their Work
If you give your team a little bit of autonomy, they’ll surprise you with their drive and ambition. I try to create an environment where my employees are encouraged to take ownership over their work instead of just doing what I tell them to do. When they feel like they have agency over their own roles, they’re much more likely to get up early in the morning and make sure they get stuff done!
3. Encourage the Use of PTO
Winters are never a very productive time for employees. Due to the cold, most of us don’t feel very efficient even if we try to focus on our work. That’s why we encourage our employees to utilize their PTO. It’s a good way to help them break away from the monotony and revitalize themselves when they get back.
4. Allow the Team to Work From Home
In areas where winter can be unforgiving, businesses can allow their employees to work remotely. This minimizes the hassle of commuting to work, which can be a struggle in the winter season. The team can stay cozy in their homes and stay productive. However, if the nature of your work doesn’t allow you to be active remotely, keeping the workplace warm is the best way to keep your team motivated.
5. Host a Fitness Challenge
Try hosting a fitness challenge. This can be as simple as tracking how many steps each team member takes daily. Not only will a fitness challenge help to keep team members physically active, but it will also help to boost their mood and mental well-being. Studies have shown that regular exercise can help to improve cognitive function, reduce stress levels and increase overall happiness.
6. Encourage Discussion Around Personal Goals
One of the best ways to improve team spirit and keep everyone motivated during the winter months is to encourage your employees to discuss their personal goals during meetings and in your company chat channel. People tend to feel inspired and productive when talking about the things that matter to them. If you can spark their attention this way, expect a noticeable morale boost.
7. Organize Virtual Team-Building Activities
Think about including online team-building activities, such as a virtual happy hour or online game night. Virtual team-building is the buzz of this year in this hybrid work culture. Get personal and learn about your team’s lives and their daily family challenges. This will help them feel a touch of warmth and a sense of appreciation from you. Engage with your team virtually on a weekly basis this winter.
8. Provide Incentives for Good Performance
One idea is to provide incentives for good performance specifically during the winter months. Some possible incentive ideas include paid time off, gift cards or a bonus payout. While this seems like a normal idea, the key difference here is that it is linked to the “down” season. Employees could start associating gray skies with new opportunities.
9. Get Festive
Winter is all about celebrations and holidays, so make your employees feel that vibe every day when they walk into the office. For example, during Halloween, you can decorate the office in the Halloween style for the entire week and allow everyone to dress accordingly. This will set a festive tone to the environment and motivate people to be active and lively.
10. Make Their Workday Easier
One heavily overlooked way to keep your employees engaged is to make their workday easier. Introducing workflow automation during the darker, slower months is a great way to take some of the pressure off your team as their personal lives begin to get more demanding during the holiday season. Take a look at the manual tasks that slow your team’s day down and invest in freeing them up.