The winter blahs can take a toll on even the most energetic workplace culture. If you’re looking around the office and seeing more window gazing and checked-out behavior than usual, don’t start cracking down just yet. Instead, recognize the effects of the season and search for ways to ease the repetition, boredom or weariness that may be bringing down the general vibe.
Energize Your Employees: Bring on the Spring
1. Increase individual contact. One-on-one management is always a good idea, but during periods of low morale, it’s even more important to establish close connections between managers and employees. Personal observation, open communication channels, regular check-ins, goal setting and progress monitoring can all make employees feel that their contributions are appreciated and their work is getting the attention it deserves.
2. Bring fun to the workplace. Encourage an unofficial (or official) happy hour at a local establishment that’s clean, inviting, and within easy reach. Bring treats to the breakroom every other Friday. Suggest theme days like funny hat day, or sponsor a “hack day” once every few months—a day in which employees are encouraged to focus on unconventional or non-work related projects.
3. Bring in some fresh air, both literally and metaphorically. Sealed buildings are energy efficient, but they can often result in very poor (sometimes even dangerous) air quality that tends to go unrecognized. Encourage your employees to get up from their desks, move around, and leave the building at least once a day.
4. Match the right employees to the right tasks. If you can shift responsibilities and change partnerships and pairings to keep things fresh, do so. Make sure employees are given opportunities to learn new things and exercise varied skill sets.
5. Encourage socialization, teamwork, and friendship, especially the kind that extends beyond the workplace. At the same time, pay attention to your culture and keep toxic relationships, pointless competition, and solo-flying under control. An unhealthy office is a quiet, dimly lit place where employees are rewarded for stabbing each other in the back. A healthy environment is one that’s full of low grade background chatter, laugher, collaboration, and natural light.
Great personnel management requires a great retention strategy. But it also requires great staffing and screening. Hire the right people to begin with, and you’re halfway home. Turn to the North Carolina staffing pros at PSU and start building a talented, motivated team from the ground up.