Are you looking for ideas to improve employee morale before the upcoming winter? It may seem early to start thinking about the winter blues, but September has arrived.
The weather is about to cool down, days are going to get shorter and before you know it, winter will be here. The combination of cold weather and shorter days will make it harder for your employees to stay healthy and happy. Here are 6 ideas to prepare yourself and your employees to keep ahead of the blues.
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.
Beating the Winter Blues: 6 Tips to Improve Employee Morale
1.Inspire employees to stay hydrated.
This doesn’t mean everyone should increase their coffee or soda intake everyday. In fact, too much caffeine has been proven to make people feel stressed and tense. But drinking enough water has been proven to have quite different effects — it can help workers feel more awake, improve their mood, and flush out toxins in the body.
Plan to encourage more water intake by providing water coolers around the office, giving employees reusable water bottles, or having a company water-drinking challenge. Simply by drinking more water, your employees will stay healthier and more productive throughout the day.
2. Promote company wellness through exercise.
Exercise has been proven to be a great tool for stress-relief. Those who exercise consistently are happier and more productive -- not to mention that a strong, healthy body makes it easier to ward off those winter colds.
Simple things like encouraging biking and walking to work where possible, and encouraging employees to leave their desks at lunchtime will get people moving more.
Plan an office exercise challenge or hold a five minute stretching session every afternoon. Any kind of movement employees can have during the day will positively affect their health.
3. Encourage employees to eat healthier food.
Eating the right food can be an easy way to stay healthy and happy during the winter months. Avoiding sugar is important because sugar can make it harder to fight off those winter colds.
Offering healthy options in the vending machines provides employees with easy access to better choices. Consider offering healthier options for your company's holiday party or hosting a healthy food tasting at work. Providing a microwave and refrigerator in the office for employees to store and cook their own food encourages bringing healthy options from home instead of running out to lunch.
4. Keep the office clean and clutter-free.
It’s easier to focus when you’re working from a clean desk. People are more productive when they can find the things they’re looking for. A clean desk also prevents distraction. Frequently disinfecting desks will help keep the germs at bay.
Hold a “desk declutter day” or give out a “cleanest desk award” every week. It may seem silly, but a clean desk can really improve the focus and productivity of your workers. Some companies have felt so strongly about the positive effects of a tidy workspace that they have implemented a clean desk policy.
5. Create a culture of laughter.
There’s a reason they say, “Laughter is the best medicine.” A good chuckle can turn a bad day completely around. Laughter releases feel-good endorphins and helps the body fight off infections.
At weekly meetings, take a minute to play a silly game to get everyone laughing. Find ways to incorporate laughter into team-building exercises or send around a funny video occasionally. It's important to be focused and productive, but having a little fun can relieve stress.
6. Motivate through encouragement.
Everyone likes to know they are valued. Rewarding employees for meeting their goals or going above and beyond expectations is a simple way to improve employee morale and have happy employees. That goes double when it's cold and deary outside.
Buy a fun lunch for the team, give out gift cards, or treat employees to a relaxing in-office massage. Relaxed employees are healthy employees.