Winter is tough, not only on business but also on your employees. If you take a look around, you will most likely find that your employees change a bit in the winter. The frigid weather, lack of sunlight and feeling of being cooped up inside start to take a toll on even your best employees. If you are a Cincinnati native like me, you may be so accustomed to these winter blues that you barely notice it. You have your eyes focused on your business and in many industries, this can be a hard time of year. Maybe we can take advantage of this slow season and think outside of the box on what we can do to keep employees motivated and the creative juices flowing.
Over the years, I have been an employee, a business co-owner, and am currently a unique combination of both in a sense. Though I don’t own a company right now, I am responsible for the day to day operations of one in addition to ultimately being an employee. I have been fortunate to have employers that take action to keep momentum going in the office when all I wanted to do was keep warm and count the days until spring (check out http://days.to/spring/2015 for that exact countdown!). It is amazing how something small can really reenergize a staff member. Below are a few ideas on how to combat the snow sluggishness.
Amusement Park Passes – Most helpful coworker earns day passes to the local amusement park.
BBQ – Bring in a crock pot of BBQ and have lunch and laughs together
Coconut Scents – Fragrance the office with the smell of summer.
Dance Party – Start the day off with fun & upbeat music.
Early Release Day – Have everyone collaborate together to get their work done and let them leave as soon as everything is done for the day.
Field Trip – Get everyone out of the office and treat them to something educational.
Gift Card Giveaway – Be the host of a summer trivia game and give out gift cards to the best summer hot spots.
Happy Hour – Close down early and take everyone out for a drink.
Ice Cream Social – Provide the ice cream and toppings and have everyone create their own summer treat.
Jeans Day – Being lax on the dress code helps keep everyone warm and brings a smile to their faces.
Keep a Calendar – Mark off the days until spring and summer.
Luau Party – Nothing says sun like leis and grass skirts!
Miniature Golf – Set up mini golf throughout the office and let everyone work on their swing while talking on their Bluetooth.
National Sports Day – Dress to impress in your favorite team apparel. Big game? Turn it on in the background.
Ocean Views on All Computers & Screensavers – If you can’t be at the beach, you might as well look at it, right?
Picnic Day – Create picnic lunches for everyone with hot dogs, chips, and red checkered napkins.
Quick Sand – Bring in a kiddie pool, sand and pails to build sand castles.
Radio Contest Day – Tune into your local radio station that holds contests and see if anyone wins.
Sandals Day – Have everyone bring in their favorite summer sandals to wear in the office.
Tea Tuesday – Bring in a pitcher of sweet tea and fun glasses for everything to use.
Umbrellas in Every Drink – Doesn’t it feel like you’re on the beach?
Vacation Day Giveaway – Hold a competition and the winner gets an extra day to redeem in the sun!
Work From Home Day – Let your employees work from home or wherever they choose.
Xcape with a Company Book Club – Build relationships between coworkers by reading a novel together.
Yellow Flower Bouquets – Brighten up the office with yellow flowers.
Zesty Potluck – Everyone bring in their favorite summer dish to share.
Obviously, not all of these ideas will work for your business or employees but you get the idea. Keep the energy going and the warm weather will be soon to follow!