As the leaves turn from vibrant green to hues of red and gold, and the unmistakable scent of pumpkin spice wafts through the air, there’s no denying it – winter is coming. While some might argue that it’s a bit early to don our cozy scarves and mittens, the signs are all around us. Christmas decorations are already gracing department store shelves, and pumpkin spice recipes are multiplying faster than bunnies in a magic hat. But beyond the excitement of the holiday season, the arrival of fall and winter presents a unique set of challenges for team leaders and HR departments. Namely, the lack of employee engagement during winter, impact on our health or the holiday stress. Let’s explore these challenges and provide creative strategies, including the concept of a virtual employee engagement challenge with our platform atlasGO, to keep your employees and community happy and engaged during the colder months.
The Winter Challenge: Why Fall and Winter are Especially Challenging
Fall and winter are notorious for presenting a variety of challenges when it comes to maintaining employee well-being and engagement. These challenges are rooted in human biology and are exacerbated by external factors. Here are some of the key reasons why this time of year can be particularly tough:
Less Daylight, Diminished Mental Health: The reduced daylight in fall and winter can have a profound impact on mental health. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects millions of people, causing symptoms of depression, fatigue, and a general sense of low energy. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 5% of adults in the United States experience SAD.
Decreased Physical Activity: The weather can be a significant deterrent to physical activity. Colder temperatures and less inviting outdoor conditions often lead people to spend more time indoors. The lack of exercise can impact both physical and mental well-being.
Increased risk of illness: The sniffles, the flu (or the newest straint of COVID) seem to lurk around every corner as we move closer together in the subway and indoor venues.
Holiday Stress: While the holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, it can also be incredibly stressful. There are expectations to meet, gifts to buy, and family gatherings to navigate. A 2019 survey by the American Psychological Association found that 38% of people reported that their stress level increased during the holidays. Another reason why employee engagement during winter usually drops.
Creative Ideas to Mitigate the Winter Challenge
It’s essential to come up with creative strategies to address these issues and keep employees and communities engaged and healthy throughout the winter. Here are some ideas to consider:
Flexible Work Hours: Allow employees to adjust their work hours to accommodate the reduced daylight. This can help improve their overall well-being and mental health.
Virtual Employee Engagement Challenge with atlasGO: Consider hosting a virtual employee engagement challenge with atlasGO. Our platform offers customizable challenges that feature activities like physical fitness, mindfulness, and impactful activities for the holiday season. These challenges help foster a sense of community and well-being while promoting being active during these more lazy months.
Mental Health Resources: Offer mental health resources and support to employees. This can include access to counseling services, mindfulness workshops, or simply providing information on managing stress during the holiday season. Such resources can easily be implemented into your customized atlasGO Challenge.
Encourage Outdoor Activities: Even in colder climates, there are ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Encourage employees to participate in winter sports or activities like snowshoeing, ice skating, or even a friendly snowball fight. All activities we can feature on atlasGO as well!
The Benefits of a Virtual Employee Engagement Challenge with atlasGO
A virtual employee engagement initiative with atlasGO can be a game-changer for addressing all the challenges Winter is bringing to you, specially increasing employee engagement during winter. Here’s how it can help mitigate the issues mentioned earlier:
Fostering Connection: Virtual challenges create a sense of connection among participants, even when they can’t be physically present. This sense of community can help combat feelings of isolation and depression that often accompany the winter months.
Customization: With atlasGO, challenges can be customized to suit the specific needs and interests of your team. Whether it’s focusing on physical well-being, mindfulness, or holiday-themed activities, the platform provides flexibility to meet your unique requirements.
No Boundaries: Virtual challenges have no geographical boundaries. Whether your team members are scattered across different cities or countries, everyone can participate, fostering a sense of unity and togetherness.
Impactful Activities: The platform offers a variety of activities that go beyond just exercise. Employees can engage in activities that have a positive impact on their communities, such as supporting local charities or brightening someone’s holiday with a surprise gift.
We’re Here to Help
We at atlasGO are here to assist you with any questions or showcase our product to help you prepare for Winter. We believe that with creativity, innovation, and a commitment to well-being, you can keep your employees and community engaged, healthy and happy throughout the colder months. Winter may be coming, but with the right strategies, we can make it a season of warmth and unity!
If you want to know more about atlasGO, our corporate challenges or our fully-fletched wellbeing platform schedule a quick chat or try it for free. In any case, we are happy to help you make a positive impact for your organization!
Spooktacular Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Work and Boost Employee Engagement
Navigating Employee Wellbeing in the Banking Sector: Strategies and Success with atlasGO