Avoiding Winter Employee Burnout

Jan-MillennialMeeting-imageWinter is in full-swing, which has many people excited to either hit the slopes or hunker down for the next few months. While the dead of winter is a great time for reflection, it can also lead to burnout for even the most productive employees. Between the cold weather, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and short days, winter can be enough to make anyone not want to give it their all at work.


Fortunately, there are a number of things that HR directors can do in order to keep employee burnout at bay during the winter—here are just a few ways to get started.

1. Implement the Morning Meeting

One of the most effective ways to ensure your entire staff is on the same page is to implement a morning status meeting each day. During the morning meeting, all projects should be discussed, as well as who will be handling which tasks. This gives everyone a high-level view of daily expectations and can also help employees feel more engaged and part of the puzzle than if they were to simply show up each day and begin working on their own. Strive to keep your morning meeting short—15-30 minutes to cover the day’s major priorities.

2. Show Your Appreciation

For those who live and work in cold weather climates, just showing up to the office on time can be challenge during the winter months. One way to help ensure your employees don’t end up on autopilot is to show your appreciation for their work during this tough stretch of the year. A random coffee gift card or other token of appreciation on a snowy day can go a long way in terms of boosting morale, and since small gifts typically count as business expenses, there’s no reason not to show your appreciation from time to time.

3. Lead as an Example

Anyone who is in a management role needs to ensure they’re acting exactly how they’d like their employees to act. When it comes to productivity and avoiding burnout, this means leading by example yourself—showing up to work on time, making strides to improve processes, and staying as productive as possible during the week. If an employee sees his or her boss slacking on the job, they’re likely to follow suit—don’t be the reason for burnout.

4. Consider Personal Check-ins

If your staff is relatively small, it should be easy enough to check in with all of your employees regularly to ensure that they have what they need to perform their work properly and aren’t experiencing any issues. In larger organizations, however, employees can easily fall through the cracks, and their experiences at work may be unknown to anyone other than themselves. Making it a point to check in with all of your employees individually throughout the winter months can help you identify burnout before it occurs.


Winter burnout is real, but it’s also avoidable. Be there for your staff, and spring will be here before you know it.