Morale boosters
Winter is coming—and fast. It’s a time defined by sub-zero temperatures and overcast skies, conditions that are often… less than inspiring.Morale is a shared sense of pride and enthusiasm among those in a group. It is especially important in trying times and may be just the ticket to enduring a brutal winter, one that affects innumerable people all looking for the right diagnosis or medication for the bug that’s got them down. So when the endless stream of people keep coming and you and your team begin to feel a little beat yourselves, it’s time for a little office pick-me-up.

It’s all about timing
While your team members look to you for inspiration and optimism, particularly in slow seasons or times of need, they may not always ask for help when they need it. Keep an eye out for signs of melancholy colleagues, incomplete projects or sensitive moods because, as the leader of a team, it’s up to you when to decide the time is right. And if you begin to notice a less-than-the-best feeling permeating the office, take action. Make employee satisfaction a top priority to avoid getting caught up in another seasonal slowdown and use morale as a means to stay positive throughout those grey days.

Winter is for winners
Stay ahead of the bitter temperatures and shorter days by budgeting for a morale booster or three throughout winter. Consider these out-of-the-box ideas to recognize the great work—and teamwork—of your colleagues in winter:

  • Sweet tooth time. Surprise your team with a tin of tasty treats to help them power through those gloomy afternoons. Surreptitiously drop a tin of popcorn and other savory treats in the break room or have chocolates delivered with a special note for the group—from you!
  • Tag along traveller. If you’ve got an upcoming conference or trade show to attend, why not invite one of your team members in order to give them some insight into the industry and greater enthusiasm for it, too.
  • Treat them to lunch. Pick a day to treat everyone to a nice mid-day meal and use it as a time to remind everyone just how much they mean to the company by highlighting individual achievements in front of the group for all to hear and clap for.
  • Office-wide operation presentation. Break up a slow morning with a quick breakdown of how the office or company as a whole is performing. If the numbers are positive, tell them so; if the numbers are low, encourage them to work together and help one another and to come to you with any questions or concerns. Remind them of their singular and defining goal—to help people. Remind them, too, to take pride in it—and themselves.
  • Meeting, “schmeeting.” For a more fun approach: Call your team into an urgent afternoon meeting. Stress that attendance is mandatory. But, instead of using that time to discuss a serious work-related issue, make it a frivolous thirty minutes devoted to rewarding them for their incredible performance as of late. You could build suspense by starting in a serious voice to suggest the grave importance of the matter before kicking it into celebratory mode … and when you do, don’t just verbally praise them, show them! Give one person a rally towel, one person a pennant and another person a pom-pom or foam finger. Save the megaphone for yourself and use it to shout they’re a team worth cheering for!

When team morale is in good health, your team is in good spirits. And when your team is in good spirits, their attitude towards work—and their performance—is likely that much better. Take advantage of winter to boost their morale, and yours. Here’s to team spirit!

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