Spring cleaning isn’t just a useful concept for tidying up your desktop or (finally) tidying up your email inbox. It’s also a great springboard for you to brainstorm ways to help your team hit the “refresh” button. After all, by the time most companies hit the middle of the year, their teams are probably feeling a little stretched and tense.
What is causing the mid-year slowdown in momentum? Often it is due to a number of factors, the first of which is lack of free time. Even if your company has a generous vacation schedule and PTO policies, many employees probably haven’t taken advantage of a week or more off since at least the year-end holiday. In other words, they feel the stress that comes from the constant grind.
Another reason for team boredom is the pressure to meet all the goals and initiatives set in January. If the team starts to decline or fall hopelessly behind the expected numbers, stagnation can set in. This only causes everyone to fall further behind and become a vicious circle.
Instead of allowing your best assets – your trusted employees – to become exhausted and frustrated, do a little “spring cleaning.” From your processes to your resources, making changes can reset everyone’s attitude, performance and productivity. The following are some recommendations to help you start your cleanup:
1. Get everyone on the same page.
You want to be a transparent leader, but it’s hard to keep everyone informed. So much can happen between winter and summer. And you may find that some of your people know more than others. Not only can this lead to hard feelings, but it can lead to misalignment of missions and growing distrust among your staff.
To correct declining communications, Nicole Durham, director of marketing at Enertia Software, the leading developer of integrated business solutions for the upstream oil and gas industry, suggests scheduling times for leaders and employees to meet, share information, and resolve issues. discuss. As she explains, her company hosts monthly town hall meetings. The impetus for the meetings started during the pandemic, but they have become an important part of Enertia’s culture.
“Getting everyone together once in a while is key,” says Durham. “As well as reviewing goals during the meetings, they are great opportunities to share good news and reminisce about the goals achieved that propel us toward our annual momentum.” As an additional way of making sure all team members know how important they are, Durham plans outings, events and gatherings to build camaraderie, blow off some steam and invest in the emotional well-being of its employees.
2. Take measures to prevent burnout.
For American workers, burnout isn’t just a possibility. It’s a surprising, difficult reality for 59% of employees, according to a recently released Aflac report. Of course you want to intervene if you suspect that a member of your team (including yourself) is suffering from a burnout. But you can also use your “spring cleaning” to look for ways to remove any barriers to optimal mental health for your employees.
For example, you can take a page from the book by Seth Casden, the founder and CEO of the materials science company Hologenix. Since his company has a mission to help people improve their lives, he tries to get rid of all the things that make his people feel overworked. To that end, he’s structured the company’s benefits to provide what he calls “periodic assistance,” so employees can get care when they need it. He also ensures that his employees have space to recharge.
“We create opportunities for people to regain a healthy balance by enjoying and participating in their lives outside of work,” explains Casden. “As a company, we observe more holidays than average. In addition to our holiday policy, we have week-long breaks in both summer and winter for the team to collectively watch, refresh and make sure they feel valued as human beings.
3. Invest in the latest tools.
Dated technology isn’t just hard to work with. It can lead to ongoing problems for your team. If you’ve ever tried to get something done on an outdated computer with slow loading speeds, you can understand. Yet far too many employees (perhaps yours included) have to make do with technology that was probably obsolete at some point in the last decade.
While it takes a financial commitment to get all of your technology tools and systems up to speed, it can pay off. First, your team is rewarded by being able to actually streamline their work and potentially be significantly more productive. Second, you give your employees the opportunity to improve their skills. SHRM reporting shows that almost half of employees are eager to improve their skills at work. By helping your team learn another system – as long as it’s necessary and not superfluous – you provide them with professional development opportunities.
If you have remote employees, you may want to take the time to see if they are working with outdated equipment. According to GroWrkonly 38% of organizations give their virtual employees a special work-from-home allowance. Perhaps this is a good opportunity to send devices to your remote team members or offer everyone money to cover part of their internet bill. Yes, it’s money spent up front for you, but your employees will appreciate the gesture. Plus, it could give them new impetus to keep going after the warm weather months.
Your team has to work all year round. Instead of letting them fall into the midstream slump, take some steps to give them a chance to restart their engines. Then continue together to make the next six months even better than the last.