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Keeping the Team Motivated Through the Depths of Winter

January and February are horrible months. The excitement of Christmas is over. Bills are still looming. The days are dark, cold and or wet. For some people the greyness means that seasonal effective disorder threatens. It feels as if life becomes plodding to work in the dark and back again and not much else. Because of this, it is important to have something to look forward to.

Finding ways of energising and getting the most out of your team has to be planned in advance. Right from the off, the best thing to do is to make sure that everyone has something in the pipeline to keep them motivated.


Having something fun to do soon is really helpful at this time of year. Consider booking in some team treats to help keep your staff in high spirits. They will have something to look forward to and to talk about before and after the event.

A team building day could be something that involves a physical activity, where staff must work together to achieve a common goal. It could mean volunteering together, cookery, singing, learning a new skill, a mystery dinner. For those that aren’t keen on physical activities, a sports hospitality package could be a better option. It doesn’t matter as long as everyone gets involved.

Having a fun team building activity is not only a great way to bring the office closer, allowing employees to get to know each other in a non-professional setting, it will ensure that they feel valued and their efforts are not going unnoticed. In return they are likely to work harder for you and remain focused in the office.

Clear Objectives

Having a sense of purpose, doing meaningful work is important to employees, so put clear objectives into place to help you achieve your goals. A business won’t be successful if there is no direction or goals. Create your plan with the input of the team and make sure everyone understands what part they have to play. For example, if your goal is to sell a specific number of products by the end of the year then you could break this down into quarterly objectives to make targets seem more achievable and the end goal easy to understand.

Achieving targets energises people. When the targets are achieved at your scheduled intervals, staff become motivated and ready to face the next quarter. When the individual targets haven’t been achieved put a plan in place so the next one is. This way your employees don’t see the end goal as an impossible stretch and can focus on reaching the next quarterly target with a new plan of action.

Setting realistic targets for individuals can also be great tool to aid motivation, particularly if the end goal for achieving these targets is an advancement in their career. Targets should remain personal to the individual team members. They also should be made aware of the steps needed to achieve these targets and offered any training required.

Introduce Some Mid-Winter Incentives

There are many benefits to a company of implementing short-term tactical incentives. They:

  • are quick to set up and roll out;
  • enable you to set specific targets;
  • create focus and motivation among your workforce;
  • focus on specific sales targets that need immediate drive;
  • generate a surge of activity from your team;
  • increase short-term sales;
  • enable you to move product fast;
  • achieve positive results in a short time-frame.

To get the best from your incentive programme, and for it to achieve its objectives and provide a return on investment, it must be set up properly. That means you must:

develop a programme that meets your specific needs and performance targets

create an evaluation system to track performance;

implement regular communications to staff in order to inform, educate and motivate them;

choose rewards that will motivate individual staff rather than offering a one-size suits all reward;

regularly report and feedback to ensure it is achieving its objectives.

The very nature of a tactical incentive is that it rewards a workforce, either as a unit or as individuals, and enables employers to achieve specific targets and sales objectives. It also offers companies the flexibility to provide different rewards to incentivise team members. It’s important to recognise that your employees are motivated by different things, and what might motivate one won’t necessarily motivate another.

If you’re an employer with HR queries and problems, get in touch!

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Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this blog, nothing herein should be construed as giving advice and no responsibility will be taken for inaccuracies or errors.

Copyright © 2020 all rights reserved. You may copy or distribute this blog as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.

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