February 11, 2019
Here in NYC, the dead of winter can be one of the most challenging times of the year when it comes to morale and momentum at work. During the months between the end of the holidays and the start of spring, there’s not a lot to look forward to on the calendar, and the short, cloudy days affect our mood. (The recent bitter cold spell from the polar vortex certainly hasn’t helped either.) You and your teammates may be feeling a decrease in energy coupled with a general feeling of claustrophobia or even mild depression. Long-standing clients can become unsettlingly silent during these months, too.
What can you do to combat the winter doldrums and help get energy levels back up? Let’s explore some ideas on two fronts: boosting employee morale and improving client engagement.
Boosting Employee Morale
You might try one or more of the following ideas to restore staff morale and momentum.
- Hold a brainstorming session. Involving members of your team in your company’s creative process is one of the best ways to generate excitement and engagement. Consider having one or more team meetings, in which employees can bring ideas to the table about growing the company, enhancing your brand, or developing an innovative solution for a client, etc. Encourage and support creativity wherever you can. Your team have some great ideas that might actually benefit your company and clients in the process.
- Brighten the work space. If you’ve been thinking about updating and redecorating the office, now may be the perfect time to do it. Consider accenting walls or furnishings with cheery colors.
- Plan a company outing. Socializing after work is a great way to boost morale and bond with your team. Even planning a simple dinner can go a long way with your team this time of year. If you want to up the ante, try a comedy club, or maybe someone can score cheap tickets to an art installation, a Broadway (or off-Broadway) show or a sports event. (This is NYC, after all.)
Improving Client Engagement
The winter months can affect your clients as well as your employees. You may start to feel distant or disconnected from your customers, and it’s likely not your fault. If you’re concerned that this seasonal apathy might cause your customers to lose interest and look elsewhere, here are some ideas to re-engage them.
- Announce a value-adding improvement to your product or service. The best way to maintain client loyalty is never to stop innovating. Always look for new ways to create exceptional value so your clients never feel the need to shop your competition. What inexpensive improvement can you make to your product or service to make it more valuable—without upselling it? Examples: New client portal, newsletter, survey – how can we serve you better? Also, a special e-mail announcing awards or an especially successful case study.
- Offer a special promotion. This could be anything from a new loyalty program to a “Valentine’s Day discount” because you love your customers so much. Maybe you can launch a campaign that rewards your clients for referring new business to you. The actual promotion doesn’t matter as much as the idea of having one; it keeps you on your customers’ minds and conveys the idea that things are happening in your company.
- Schedule a customer appreciation event. Consider doing a customer social—a no-obligation, no-hard-sell gathering just to thank your customers for their loyalty. Appetizers, wine, door prizes and even a bit of live music may be well worth the investment to keep clients engaged for the coming year. A lunch with the staff in the office is a great way to put a face in the minds of your clients, It helps your clients to know the people you work with everyday and binds customers closer to your staff and company.
Here’s the good news: Spring is coming. It always does. By being proactive with your team and your clientele during the winter doldrums, you can make it to April without missing a beat.