The warm weather has arrived and many of us are ready for that summertime frame of mind — longer days, more outdoor activities, and a relaxed pace of life. For some businesses this season is slower but that need not cause concern. Cyclical ups and downs are normal and you can use extra time constructively. Whether your slow season is during the summer or comes at another time of year, use it to invest in your people and your customers.
Take a moment to breathe
Life is busy and we all need time to recharge. Rest-filled moments are good for our brains and help us think more creatively. According to a cognitive neuroscience study by Dr. Roger Beaty, people produced more innovative solutions to problems during a relaxed state. Even when you’re daydreaming or resting, your neural default mode network (DMN) remains engaged and important processes keep flowing. This is why inspiration seems to strike during exercise sessions, long drives, or when you’re just plain zoning out.
Promote taking time to relax and recharge. Show your employees ❤️ by encouraging them to relax, step back a bit, and enjoy the season – spending time with friends and family or getting “me time” in a hammock. Your team will feel valued and know you understand that rest is important.
Some organizations close down the entire shop for a few days or a week during slow seasons. Companies like LinkedIn, Bumble, and Hootsuite closed for a week in 2021 to help address the growing concern of burnout in the workplace. They demonstrated their commitment to health and wellness not only to their employees but to customers and the market in general. If closing entirely isn’t possible for your organization, promoting the message of rest signals to clients that you share some of the same values, and certainly shows your employees that they are valued and should enjoy some time to themselves.
Invest in your mission
In the spirit of rest and creative thinking, slower periods are optimal for leaders to dedicate time to strategic thinking and planning. Check in on the goals you set at the beginning of the year. How is your organization progressing? Do you need to adjust your plan, execution, or even the goals you set?
When evaluating goals and strategizing for the months or years ahead, thoroughly think about how these ideas and intentions not only tie into the overall mission of your organization but how you are going to communicate that to your organization in a way that earns understanding and trust – audience-focused and benefits-led.
Like I said in a previous post, “People do their best work and are most satisfied when they feel like they’re associated with a mission that is bigger than themselves and they care about the people they’re working with.”
A slow season is the perfect time to recalibrate and evaluate: Is your messaging in alignment with your mission? Are your employees satisfied with their work? Are they connected to the organization?
As a leader, you can let your hair down and find creative ways to connect with your employees. Put on a chef’s hat and record yourself working the grill while offering a mix of company updates and barbecue tips. Or offer virtual office hours or “ask me anything” sessions that allow employees to interact directly with you. Make yourself available and relatable.
Invest in your people
Your people are your most important asset, so invest in them. If you know when your slower periods tend to happen, plan to use the time for building skills. Training and continuing education promote your employees’ full potential, so capitalize on slower times to help them grow.
For example, one of our clients engaged 3C Communications last summer to create a seasonal training program for their employees. It consisted of five short workshops across five weeks, including direct access to subject matter experts. The employees could plan their work and vacation around the training sessions and learn something new during a season of less pressure.
Interested in building a summer training program for your organization? Reach out to us today to learn more about the courses we offer to promote employee growth and ❤️.
In addition to training programs, there are many work-related events and conferences available throughout the year. Whether these events are in-person or virtual, attending them at a time when there are fewer work demands gives your team the freedom to immerse themselves in sessions with fewer distractions.
Invest in your customers
Can you use this time to build something that your customers will value and that deepens their relationship with your organization? Whether it’s taking this time to conduct interviews or take a deep dive into your data, learn more about what your customers want from your company. Find new ways you can show them a little extra ❤️in the months ahead.
You can test different promotions or launch new products (or both!). With less pressure and distractions, your team can dig in to get solid results.
A 3C Communications client used a slow period to hold client-focused events. This financial services company held conferences and seminars in cities where they had a critical mass of clients. They gave their clients opportunities to share with and learn from each other. As a bonus, the slower summer season was more cost-effective for the host.
Find the right mix for your organization
Whether it is promoting rest, holding a few extra strategy sessions, or offering some training sessions for your team (or a mix), take advantage of a slow season for your business. Be prepared and communicate your plan for slower periods and you will ease employees’ stress and concerns, giving them freedom to enjoy the temporarily slower pace.
If you are looking for training ideas during slower periods or want to talk about how to communicate effectively to your team, reach out to us today! We help leaders and their organizations create education and communication plans that build more ❤️ and get results.