Employee productivity tends to decline during the winter months. The cold makes us sluggish and grouchy; the lack of regular exercise combined with a heavy diet makes us less confident; and a few holidays in a row can easily distract us from our work responsibilities.

It’s a shame that employee motivation takes a downward turn during such an optimal time of year – businesses can take advantage of the holidays in their marketing, and customers are more likely to buy your products. So how do you combat decreasing employee productivity in time to make the most out of the holidays?

Have Fun

Our western culture put a lot of holidays in the winter in order to break up its dreariness. That same attitude needs to happen in the office.

  • Decorate your workspace for the holidays. You can buy decorations or get creative and make some. Ask everyone to participate. Taking a few minutes off from working to decorate will refresh employees, and having a more joyful office environment will keep them motivated.
  • Host parties and contests. Contests do not have to be work-related: you can have contests based on decorating, cooking, and more!

Collaborate with Charities

Thanksgiving and Christmas is generally a time to remember those less fortunate than us. Individual families like to donate to charity organizations; you can make it easier on them by participating as well.

  • Host a food or clothing drive in your office. You can also make it a company-wide contest to see who collects the most.
  • Sponsor a charity event and ask employees to attend and participate.

Motivate Employees

It’s easy to start feeling bogged down as an employee. With the cold weather and shorter days, their work responsibilities start to feel like more of a burden. Counter their emotional fatigue with some positivity!

  • Concentrate on the positives. When employees do well, celebrate their successes. Make sure you positively reinforce good behavior by generously doling out compliments on work accomplishments.
  • Find out what is frustrating your employees. Maybe inter-department communications could be improved. Maybe they are missing vital tools they need to complete tasks.
  • Help them to feel important within the company by keeping them in the loop. Ask for suggestions and feedback.
  • Set reasonable goals. Accomplishing a goal is a great motivator, but making it too challenging will only further depress employees.

Sources:

“5 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged During the Holidays.” http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/1675-holiday-employee-engagement.html. (7 Nov. 2013).