Nothing brings out the inner-child like the first snowfall or the first few days of summer. But unlike the years spent in school, employees most likely do not have a 1-3 month long break to look forward to. When most would rather watch the falling snow by a fireside or be out enjoying the sunshine, businesses struggle to keep employees motivated during these seasons. According to a Captivate Network study, in the summer months, workplace productivity drops an immense 20%.1 Another study shows that during the holidays 62% of companies see a decrease in productivity.2 What can you do to keep your employees engaged during seasonal changes? Here are some helpful ideas.

Offer Flexible Schedules

Take a break from the regular 8-hour shift Monday through Friday and offer options for flexible schedules. Allowing your staff to work 10 hour days for an extra day off each week, might give the boost they need. Another way to jump start the weekend is to end a little early on Fridays or bring back casual Friday.

Encourage Taking Time Off

Be proactive in insisting that everyone take some time away from the office. This alone will set the tone of your office. Instead of reluctantly granting PTO requests, you are acknowledging their hard work.

Run Seasonally Themed Moral Boosters

Bring some fun into the office with seasonally themed meals, parties, or small gifts.

  • During the holiday season, throw a movie night with classic Christmas movies, hot chocolate, and puzzles.
  • Bring in a barbecue lunch and give your staff the option of eating outside. For added fun, incorporate a Tiki theme with Hawaiian garb and tropical drinks.
  • Create a game on winter or holiday trivia where points are earned.  Allow workers to redeem points for gift cards, donations to a charity of their choice, or a day off.
  • Give special recognition to those who add extra holiday cheer, such as decorating the office, bringing in cookies, organizing a holiday fundraiser or holiday party, etc.
  • Setup a putting zone and allow employees to use it when on break. Leave golf balls and a themed golf towel on each desk.
  • Provide employees with a s’mores kit or a small potted plant so they have something green to look at.

Run a Special Fitness Program

Whether winter or summer, it is a good idea to set some fitness challenges for the season. During summer your staff will be eager to get outside and be active, so encourage taking walks and biking to work. Likewise, staying active during the colder months is a great way to avoid the winter blues. Take a fitness class with your team, bring in a yoga instructor or incorporate wall-sit and plank challenges.

Set Seasonal Goals

Nothing is worse than being stuck in a monotonous work environment while the world changes around you. Keep your employees engaged with seasonal goals. When your staff looks back on the last couple of months, they should have a clear idea of what they accomplished. To enforce these goals consider rewarding employees with small incentives such as museum and zoo passes or baseball tickets when goals are accomplished during the seasonal months of summer and winter. This is a great way of encouraging staff to take advantage of the season while still boosting productivity.

Extend Special Services
During the summer months, employees may be anxious to get outside to enjoy warmer weather at the end of the workday.  In the same respect, during the winter holidays, employees may have a multitude of tasks that await them – shopping, gift wrapping, baking, shipping out packages, writing out greeting cards, etc.  Offering extra services such as help picking up dry cleaning, gift wrapping, ordering gifts online, addressing envelopes, etc. can be a big help.  This can be a perfect time to experiment with adding extra services to boost employee morale on a longer-term basis!

 Dangle a Carrot
While a culture of appreciation is certain to boost morale, a big productivity booster can also come from providing an incentive based upon setting a bigger, longer term goal.  For example, if you notice that productivity seems to grow slower in the summer months, offer an incentive program, such as a travel program to a tropical destination during the winter months if certain objectives are met during the summer months.  Not only can this improve engagement during the summer months, but it can help enhance long-term behavioral changes and have a positive impact on the long-term goals.

Seasonal changes can be a time when productivity plummets, but it doesn’t need to be. Use the changing seasons to your advantage. Fun team-building exercises and focused goals will serve as a springboard to higher productivity levels for the rest of the year.

Are you seeking ideas to reward your employees to boost motivation among them? If so, contact Gavel International to learn more about travel incentive programs.