Winter can be a tough time for employee engagement. The weather turns colder, the sky is grey, and the excitement of the holidays has ended. However, there are several creative ideas that leaders can use to keep their employees engaged and motivated during this season.
One idea is to organize special team-bonding events. The key to any successful event is to build a lot of excitement around it. Plan the date with plenty of notice and make sure it is not falling on a major holiday or day when there is no school. Making it as easy as possible for your staff to be able to participate is also a key element. These could be anything from in-person activities such as ice skating or bowling, Ax throwing to virtual events like online game nights. Whether your team is made up of a hybrid, in-person, or fully remote staff, you could give them outlets for having fun together, both in-person or virtually. These are a terrific ways to keep morale high and encourage team building.
Leaders can also design health-conscious initiatives such as employee wellness challenges or group exercise classes. Partnering with a local gym or yoga studio around your office that offers special pricing. Design a strategy where you offer your employees a set amount of money that can be eligible for reimbursement. Offer a new Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefit that provides much-needed mental health support. Having something to work towards, both mentally and physically, will help employees stay engaged and motivated during the winter months.
Hosting virtual events with teammates can be another useful way to stay connected and maintain employee engagement. Ideas include hosting virtual trivia nights, coffee chats, happy hours, or even movie nights. These can be a terrific way to have fun and build relationships with co-workers from afar. The main intention is connection with your colleagues. Help them to feel connected to the organization by building trust and a genuine concern for each other. There does not have to be any complex itinerary; it could be as simple as using conversation cards.
Starting off the new year with a kickoff goal-setting session is also an effective strategy for employee engagement in the winter. Setting clear goals and objectives for the year can help bring focus, clarity, and purpose to an employee’s work. It is proven that when employees feel connected to the organization’s goals and mission, they engage in the work they do. Providing goals for each team member that feeds into the bigger picture goals of the organization brings meaning into their work and, therefore, provides better overall engagement.
Finally, leaders should also share ideas and pictures of upcoming vacations or vacation ideas. Planning a vacation or visualizing where you want to be in a couple of months gives the employee something to look forward to. This is a terrific way to get employees excited about their future getaways and inject some much-needed fun into the winter months!
Finding a perfect balance between work, fun, and recharging is the key to keeping your employees happy and healthy throughout the winter months. By implementing some of these employee engagement strategies during the winter, leaders can ensure that their team remains motivated and engaged all year round.
Looking for help with your company culture? Reach out to Purple Ink!