Three Tips to Get the Team Back on Track This Fall
Labor Day is around the corner, memories of summer are still fresh and water cooler conversations about vacations continue. Yet, fall is on its way, and with it, comes the demands of a season that is arguably the busiest of all for employers. Clients are coming back into town, managers are re-focusing on KPIs, the execution of plans for Black Friday and the holidays begin, and year-end activities such as budgeting and planning for 2020 are within view. How can employers help workers make the mental shift away from the beach and back to the boardroom?
The transition back to work may not be easy, especially as many companies are increasingly changing the hours they operate in the summer. The Minnesotan Star Tribune reported nearly half of U.S. companies were offering some type of summer work hour benefit in 2018. Offices work truncated hours on Fridays or even close for the full day. These kinds of benefits are highly prized in northern states like Minnesota where the summer is shorter. They allow workers a few more hours to spend out on weekend vacations and with their families. But, these benefits can make transitioning back to a ‘normal’ schedule more difficult for workers.
While the relaxation, activity, and fun with family and friends that happens during the summer can sometimes feel like a world away from cubicle life, there are ways for employers to help their workers make the transition. One way is to try to recapture some of the elements of fun they experienced over the summer with a team building exercise. Here are some ideas:
At Strayboots, we see an uptick of interest in corporate team building requests each fall, with managers and business leaders looking to re-engage and motivate their employees. Google, Verizon, and Capital One are only a few among some of the top companies that joined as Strayboots customers last fall. Interestingly, Starbucks and Nestle joined as customers the fall after their announcement of their partnership in the summer of 2018, using scavenger hunts as a tool to unite the two teams (using scavenger hunts as a team building tool for a merger or acquisition is another interesting topic we’ll address in a later post!)
An Event for Recognition
50% of employees say they would switch jobs in return for more recognition. In a 2018 study by Mercer, one-third of employees plan on leaving their job within the next 12 months, with 76% not feeling valued. Some large companies are tackling retention through enhanced recognition strategies. Facebook, for example, coined the phrase “Faceversaries” to celebrate employees’ annual work birthdays with balloons, gifts, and social media recognition. Apple holds “beer bashes” for employees where recognition is given to high achievers.
There are many ways for companies to recognize workers, some more expensive than others; but recognition does not have to be costly, it just has to exist, and the fall is a great opportunity to pay this homage to your employees. Hosting an event – like a team lunch, a town hall, a sit-down with the CEO or even a ceremony where you recognize the accomplishments of individuals or teams – can provide tremendous motivation, an opportunity for people to reconnect and double down on the company’s vision.
Schedule Goal-Setting 1:1s
Simple one-on-ones between managers and their direct reports can be just as powerful as a large event in terms of motivation and goal-setting for the remainder of the year and beyond. Having these conversations in early September, before the craziness of the fall fully begins, reminds employees that they are supported by management, and can help to keep employees laser-focused to ensure that they finish out the third and fourth quarters strong.
End of summer/early fall team building opportunities can help with the tricky task of transitioning employees from summer into the fall. These events can re-motivate your team, orient toward important tasks, help them to reconnect and foster stronger bonds. Call us to learn more!