Winter time can lead to less productivity and lower morale
If you’ve noticed your employees acting a little less than chipper during the winter, you’re not alone. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, lack of sunlight has been linked to feelings of sluggishness and mood changes, so winter’s shorter days may in fact lead to fewer productive work hours and lower employee morale.
While you may not be able to fly your employees to the Caribbean for a dose of Vitamin D, there some things you can do to keep your workers motivated at this time of the year.
How to Energize Your Employees
• Encourage your workers to step outside for at least 30 minutes each day.
• Encourage employees to take a brisk walk.
• Offer employees healthy food choices in the office such as fruit and nuts
How to Motivate Your Employees
• Employees may become more motivated when their jobs are challenging and interesting
• Consider lateral moves to build your workers’ skill levels and knowledge base
Also, create opportunities for casual interaction: a company sports team, a family day, or an after-hours social event can keep your staff engaged and interested in each other and in their workplace.
Be sure to give your workers some face to face time with you. Email, voicemail and texting often eliminate the need for personal interaction. Step out of your office every so often and speak with your employees directly.
Finally, let your employees know how they’re doing. Even a simple gesture such as a hand-written thank you note for a job well-done may go a long way to letting employees know they’re appreciated. Don’t forget annual performance reviews. A good review provides the employee with an honest assessment of his or her strengths and weaknesses and offers the employee a platform to bring up any concerns he or she may have keeping the lines of communication open.
One last thing to keep in mind, for some people, the shortening of daylight hours may lead to a form of depression, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Symptoms of SAD include a loss of energy and ability to concentrate. Loss of interest in work and social withdrawal. Like employees with other serious health conditions, an employee with SAD may be entitled to some protection under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Federal American with Disabilities Act and similar state laws. If you’re unsure about your obligations, speak with a knowledgeable employment law attorney.