Celebrate and Motivate: Creating Intuitive Catalysts for Winter Productivity in Your Organization

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Cheers to the first week of 2019! Ideally, your organization has wrapped up the holiday season and your team is eager to hit the ground running to break even bigger ground this year. In reality, some are still adjusting from the additional hustle that happens in the end of the year. Studies show that January and February are the lowest months of productivity across the board. How can you motivate yourself and your team to break through the mold and begin 2019 with a bang? January is a great time to take stock in what you’ve accomplished in the last year, as well as plan for your future endeavors. Here are some easy ideas you can implement throughout the new winter months that may help motivate your team towards even greater success this 2019.

Personalized positive feedback keeps everyone in the loop.

Have you ever heard of the “Broaden and Build Theory of Positive Emotions,” coined by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson? Dr. Fredrickson explains how positive emotions scientifically broaden our thinking and thereby make us more open to new ideas. She describes how it’s 47% more effective if the positive feedback is performed regularly and genuinely. With that in mind, a personal touch is always appreciated. Whether you have a 300 person team or a small startup, it’s a great idea to send personalized messages to individual team members so they know their work is being appreciated. Emails may be easier, but handwritten cards with specific anecdotes will blow them out of the water with a lasting impression.

Shake up old conventions of what the office culture should look like.

Here in the Midwest, the cold season can be isolating. Ernie Smith from Associations Now speaks to the benefits of shaking up the traditional office model with the coworking concept of WeWork. “The coworking giant has encouraged new takes on traditional office space…In just a few years—and seemingly out of nowhere—the modern office landscape has been completely redefined into a hip, open environment..” With shared cooperative spaces, your team can enjoy finding the right environments where they feel comfortable and inspiredto do their best work. From common areas with big windows, to cozy corners with coffee and tea on tap, executives of all types can experience the focus they require to be consistent.

Shared offices can also offer terrific community events that bring your team together. At Van Petten Group (VPG), we participated in an office wide Chili cook-off as a part of MakeOffices. This was an enjoyable way to get to know each other and see different strengths come out of the team in a low pressure environment. We were also rallied by a decadent hot cocoa bar with all the fixings. Stoke your executive fire with a little food and competition!

Take care and give back.

Keeping morale stable for your organization can also be found through self-care. Partnering with wellness programs that come to corporate settings can create systems to support your specific mission. VPG understands the importance of balance while we enjoy taking a moment to relax in our massage office chairs. Self-care can also be experienced in the form of giving back to the community by participating in charitable giving. Our office participated in a gently used Coat Drive for Button and Zipper sponsored by Visual Fizz. Finding ways to incorporate the season of giving into your culture all year round can keep everyone grounded.

Above all, remind your team of why you’re all here and how none of what we accomplish could happen without them. They chose you and you chose them. Each individual is a part of your organization to further your mission and create bigger successes and milestones throughout 2019 and beyond!


Megan Van Petten

CEO & President

Van Petten Group, Inc.

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