Advice by Health Assured CEO & wellbeing expert David Price
During autumn the seasonal shift away from summer and the arrival of colder weather can leave employees feeling unmotivated.
To avoid the seasonal change having a detrimental impact on your business, here are five steps you can take to ensure employees’ spirits and productivity levels remain high, even as the temperature drops.
- As the days become shorter, employees making the morning commute are likely to be arriving in the dark. This can impact alertness and employees may need longer to get into their stride as the day progresses. With this in mind, you should avoid planning any prolonged or arduous activities at the beginning of the day. This includes any large team meetings, which commonly take place first thing in the morning, as these can cause even the most diligent employees to switch off under the circumstances. Instead, you can replace these with brief and concise ‘buzz meetings’ which focus solely on essential information to get staff engaged in the morning and ready for the day ahead.
- It is not uncommon for employees to use a large amount of annual leave during the summer months, leaving many with little opportunity to take a break from work until the new year. This can often be demoralising for staff and you should consider how introducing performance targets and providing inexpensive perks as rewards can offer a break from the standard working routine. Measures such as these can help motivate staff and increase performance, whilst also fostering a sense of camaraderie where team targets are measured.
- The colder weather can, unfortunately, create significant issues and you should listen to any employee complaints regarding temperature, ensuring central heating remains operational and that temperatures are reasonable at all times. You should specifically look out for employees who may be adversely affected by the low temperature, such as those who are pregnant or suffer from a disability, and consider moving them away from doors and windows which can create a draught.
- Another impact of the weather becoming less welcoming is that staff will be less inclined to go outside on their lunch breaks. With this in mind, you can check that staff rooms and kitchens are up to scratch and fit for purpose dependent on the amount of employees in your organisation. Having a clean and relaxing environment in which all staff are able to enjoy their lunch will help them make the most of their breaks and prevent the unhealthy practice of ‘working through lunch’ which can lead to instances of burnout.
- Finally, Autumn also offers you the opportunity to host a series of themed work social events based around events such as Halloween, Bonfire Night or Children in Need. If organised appropriately, these events can help lift employee’s spirits and improve relationships between co-workers who are able to communicate in a less formal setting. All events should be inclusive and non-discriminatory, avoiding these centring around alcohol consumption as this could exclude certain employees with differing religious beliefs.