The weather has cooled down, days have gone shorter, and winter is well and truly here. A lot of us go in to hibernation mode every time the cold comes around, socializing less and feeling like we only have enough energy for binge-watching TV shows. Some of us may be finding that we tend to do things like oversleep, overeat, feel guilty, irritable and hopeless. These feelings are often associated with a form of clinical depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

It’s important that business owners and managers fully understand the effects that lack of motivation and enthusiasm can have on both the individual and consequently the productivity of a business. The combination of cold weather and shorter days will make it harder for your employees to stay healthy and happy. Planning ahead to prevent the winter blues and have healthier and happier employees will help your company’s overall employee morale through the long winter months. Here are a few approaches managers can adopt to boost workplace morale and assist employees with fighting off the winter blues:

1. Recognize achievements

If any of your people excel themselves, it’s imperative to recognize their achievement and success. If employees feel as though their accomplishments are being recognized, their desire to go the extra mile for the organization will increase. Extrinsic, tangible rewards will give high-performing employees a goal to work towards, and will serve as a lasting reminder of what they can achieve through hard work.

Employee recognition and positive motivation are powerful tools for getting the best out of each employee. Depending on your business and industry, you can custom-design rewards and recognition programs that reflect your organization’s particular needs.

2. Encourage a healthy work-life balance

It’s vital to workplace morale that staff feel as though they have a good work-life balance, and plenty of time to pursue non-work related activities. It’s easy to assume that striking the optimal work-life balance is entirely down to employees – but really it’s down to management to encourage their staff to make the most of their free time.

3. Offer additional employee benefits

Offering your employees extra benefits during winter could go a long way to help boost workplace morale. Something as small as offering each employee a free massage could help your employees beat the winter blues and it doesn’t cost you the earth. Some organizations offer a wellness allowance that employees can spend on anything health related, which would go some way in helping staff to stick to their new year detox regime and ultimately help employees to lead a healthier lifestyle, decreasing absenteeism through illness.

Putting these few small steps in place will go a long way to boost workplace morale and keep your people happy. It's important to listen to staff, and knowing when they're unhappy. That way, you can find solutions that will maintain employee engagement and productivity and guarantee success for your organization.

We at Anista Employee Benefits pride ourselves in the work we do in partnership with organizations to help build and maintain employee engagement levels. If you would like to know more about how we can help your organization, please book in a time with me.

Here's to escaping the winter blues – from the team at Anista Employee Benefits! 🙂