While we’ve been pretty lucky this winter to have mild weather compared to past years, cold weather can still be a major downer to many and can affect the overall mood of a small business. As a small business leader, you may want to look for ways to “warm up” or improve company morale during the winter, so here are my top four:
1. Work from Home
This is a huge one, especially if weather is bad! No one wants to drive 5 MPH in snow and ice, dealing with accidents and bad drivers. If you allow your staff to stay home and work during crummy weather, they will be more productive in the long run. They will also have extra time by avoiding the awful driving conditions. I know that I’m very happy when I have the flexibility to stay home, avoid the roads and stay in comfy warm clothes at my own desk.
2. Offer Training or Development
Sometimes people just get in a rut. It seems to happen frequently during January or February. The “high” from the holidays is over and people get bored of winter. This can show up in employee productivity. Offering some type of training or development to your staff is a great way to get around this “funk.” Suggestions could be lunch and learns or off site training, depending on your industry. If seminars (or webinars) are available, offer these to staff to break up the monotony of winter and improve company morale.
3. Keep Employees Informed
Bad weather can affect everyone at the office, from upper management to the newly hired intern. Make sure to keep everyone aware of changes to schedules or policies, as the new year is a normal time to make adjustments at work. An informed employee feels like they are included in the big picture of the company.
4. Keep It Fun to Improve Company Morale
We are pretty good at this one at ExactHire! We have monthly FunDay Mondays and try to do group outings a few times a year. Even if your office is not able to do something frequently, make sure to keep things interesting, especially during boring winter months. Good suggestions are coffee or hot chocolate bar, chili soup cook off (more on this to come later in the month!), or even just playing board games for an hour one afternoon with popcorn. It can lighten the mood and help the whole team reconnect and re-energize before conquering the next big project.
As you can tell, none of these items are rocket science or expensive. It really is the little things that go a long way, especially for small businesses looking to improve company morale. Everyone on the team is imperative to the success of the company – make it a fun winter, not a dull one!
** Disclaimer: I wrote this before 60 degree weather in Indianapolis…in February – Crazy!! **