Written by, Sarah King
It’s winter in Michigan and let’s face it, for most of us, this time of year is the worst! The fun from the holiday parties is gone, your kids are on their twelfth snow day from school and you genuinely have no recollection of how long your drive to work is supposed to take, because you’ve spent months forcing yourself to leave early knowing that you have no clue how the roads are going to be. So, how do we find the good in this repeatedly shaken snow globe we live in? More importantly, how can we create a positive ripple effect for our work team?
A recent article in Everyday Health claims that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), affects about 1 to 9 percent of Americans, this is 4 times more likely in women, and increases the farther you live from the equator. One of the best things we can do for ourselves, and each other, is to recognize the situation and find good ways to shake those blues off. If we can do this as a work team, then everyone feels the good vibes!
First things first, anyone who studies or works on employee engagement will tell you that you can’t please everyone, but typically the effort is meaningful; anything you do to brighten up your team’s day is going to go a long way. Sometimes it’s as easy as setting up a hot cocoa bar in the break room. Grab a few flavors and toppings, maybe even some fun cups, and let everyone know there’s a sweet, WARM, treat waiting for them when they’d like it! A few lifetimes ago I worked in a hotel and we did this for our guests as they checked in. Our customer satisfaction scores had never been so high!
If you’re thinking about doing something out of the office, get in touch with your local watering hole to see if they’ll work with you to create a themed happy hour with summer drinks on special. Margaritas, daquiris and mojitos all have a summer feel and can easily be enjoyed without alcohol. Invite everyone to join after work to cheers away the winter blues!
If you’re really ambitious and looking to keep things in-house then here’s another fun idea for you! You’ve heard of “Christmas in July”? Why not celebrate your own Winter Independence Day on March 4th? Decorate the office with the 4thof July décor you already have stored away, cook burgers and hot dogs, and maybe even stand outside with some sparklers just for the fun of it! Make it more engaged by having it potluck style, where everyone brings their favorite summer picnic dish. It may seem cheesy, but it’ll be a lot more fun than staring out the window as the snow plows pass by.
If your budget doesn’t allow for a mid-winter party, another easy, fun idea is to send out a mass email asking your team to reply with their favorite summer activities and, ideally, a picture or 2. Put it all together in an email and send it out to your team. Even if it’s just five minutes of their day, everyone will have a sunny disposition as they read through with the anticipation of the fun they’ll have this upcoming spring/summer.
Anything you do to bring a little sunshine into the workplace will be appreciated. It’s all about boosting morale and creating the positive ripple effect for everyone around you!
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”