Something about the summer makes people want to get out and do something. Maybe it’s the advent of reliably warm weather. Maybe it’s all of the kids on summer vacation. Maybe it’s the first lull in a series of busy months. During this season, people at all levels take a vacation and others mentally check out.
Whatever the reason, organizations in all fields feel the slowdown when summer hits, but there are some ways to keep engagement and morale up. In fact, slower seasons are the perfect time to put more of a focus on caring for your team and ramp up engagement.
Community Involvement - Choose a community organization or charity that you would like to support. Hold events to raise money such as pancake breakfasts, chili cook-offs, and more. Or schedule a day to volunteer at the organization. For larger organizations, consider asking each team lead to organize smaller team events.
Random Acts of Kindness - Send out a survey asking your team to share some of their favorite treats and gifts. Bring these gifts for team members to find as a fun surprise on their desks. If you’re a Leadr customer, log in now to see your team’s favorites on their care card.
You can also organize an after-work happy hour, have lunch catered once a month, or organize a family park day where team members can bring their families to bridge that work-life gap.
Training and Development
Today’s workforce wants to know that they have the opportunity to grow with the organization that they work for. When work starts to slow down, this is the perfect time to focus on that need in simple ways.
Recognize Hard Work - The summer months might be the first time that you’ve had to slow down and evaluate how hard your teams have been working. Use this time to celebrate the wins that your team had over the busy season. This can be through individual thank you's or a big group celebration or recognition.
Ask for Feedback - Organize roundtables or special feedback sessions. These conversations can be used to determine what is working and develop a plan for addressing concerns. They can also be used to drive innovation and start new projects or initiatives in the Fall.
Skill Share - Pair up members across teams or departments and have them spend a day shadowing each other. This helps to reinforce the importance of the roles each team plays in the success of the whole organization. It is also a great way to promote cross-training and develop multiple skill sets.
Plan For Next Season
A slow summer season doesn’t need to mean that all work comes to a stop. Use this time as a warm-up and preparation for your next busy season to help motivate people.
Complete Preparation Projects - The slow summer months are the perfect time to plan and complete projects that will set you up for success in the coming months. Maybe these are goals that got set aside when business was busy, or there’s a bit of record-keeping and organization that will allow you to enter the next season with a clean slate.
Assess The Budget - Take time to review your spending up to this point and determine if there are any course corrections that need to be made. Are there any areas where you need to spend more? Use this time to share your plan with your teams, so that they can begin making plans for their team’s goals and projects.
Develop a Marketing Plan - The summer months are the perfect time to examine marketing and business trends. Spend time during the slow season developing a plan for how you will attract and retain clients. Then, when the busy season starts, you won’t have to think about it.
Get Out of the Office
Bright sunshine and beautiful weather can make it hard to stay indoors. Use that to your advantage to help balance a lighter workload with a lighter team.
Paid Time Off - If the summer is typically a slow season for your team, let people know that this is an optimal time to take vacations. With fewer people in the office, less work will still take up a full workday. PTO is necessary for people to refuel and show up to work at their best. Let your team know you encourage and prioritize their mental health.
Hold Meetings Outside - When everyone looks like they would rather be outside, there is nothing keeping you from moving at least some of your work outdoors. Take a walk while you hold your weekly 1:1 meetings, find a shady spot and hold a team meeting outside, or organize lunches with different members of your team as a team building activity.
Award Days Off for Performance - If a member of your team has been performing at a high level during the slow season, reward them with an extra paid day off. This helps them to feel appreciated and it can boost the morale of other members of your team.
What are some strategies that you use to keep engagement high during the summer months?