By Laura Harrison

The winter months can often be a difficult time of the year for many smaller businesses – many business owners will see a large increase in staff absentees. Therefore, a lot of businesses are not as productive as they should be, jeopardising the success of the business. Follow these steps to ensure that your business doesn’t suffer during the winter months.

Employee moral
Part of effective productivity is thought to be directly related to the morale of the employees. Therefore it is important to make sure that your employees have high employee morale by making sure that they are happy and positive in the workplace. Listen and implement any requests that employees might have to improve their surrounding environment so they are as comfortable as can be.

Notice employees hard work
It’s important to let your employees know that their hard work has not gone un-noticed. You’ll be surprised at how much a little praise can do to employee’s happiness. If employees know they are doing a good job, they will be more motivated to continue working hard. Incentives are also a great way to improve the productivity of staff.  Offer employees some kind of reward for hitting targets – for example, with the expense of Christmas, winter bonuses will be greatly appreciated.

Implement a management system
Businesses are put off implementing any kind of management system because they associate it with endless amounts of paperwork. However, this isn’t the case and management systems, such as ISO 9001 are a great way to make companies more productive as well as save money.  For example, if any staff are absent, there are various methods that can be put in place to make sure that your business can be as productive as possible. Find out more on management systems and how they can benefit your business.

Fun into the office
Although the workplace should be professional, it doesn’t have to mean being completely serious all the time. Implementing something fun in to the office will increase employee enjoyment and as a result productivity in the workplace.  For instance, incorporate ‘fun Fridays’ where you can do some fun staff building exercises and bring some delicious treats for staff to enjoy. Doing a short fun activity on a weekly basis will give staff something to look forward to as well improve employee relationships.

Laura Harrison is a freelance writer and this blog is on behalf of QMS International plc. Laura enjoys writing about a broad range of topics, in particular business. Follow her at @Laura_JHarrison.