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How To Encourage High Team Morale During a Slow Business Season

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How To Encourage High Team Morale During a Slow Business Season

With the holidays ahead of us and the winter cold here, many executives and their employees may be experiencing a case of the blues - feeling bored or uninspired during a slow and uneventful business season.


However, now is the perfect time to level up on your career skill set, get to know your virtual and hybrid co-workers better, engage in local community efforts and begin to warm up for the busier project months ahead. 


1. Focus On Aligning Departments To The ‘Why’

Transparency is key in building expectations that seasonality is a reality, but what is done with that downtime can offer remarkable value.

Aligning employees to the company purpose by reinforcing it through recognition and stories that support communication of the “why” in your company.

Also, each department aligning towards one major business improvement supports continuous improvement. - Rob Catalano, WorkTango


2. Plan For The Busy Season

Make sure that people know in advance that it is the best time of year to take vacations. But with more people out of the office, less work will still take up a lot of the team's time.

In addition, you should go in with a number of projects or initiatives that you hope to complete during this time.

Framing a slow season as a warm-up in preparation for a busy season works well to motivate people. - Alex Pantich, Upshift


3. Build On Skill Sets

Use this time to develop your team. Set up training opportunities to grow their skill sets. Schedule team-building exercises to grow their relationships. Celebrate the wins the team had over the busy season.

The nature of this industry is that it's very cyclical. Highs and lows will happen, and the fun is in riding the waves.

Encourage employees to take a mental health day to recharge before the next wave of work! - Amy Odeneal, Business Enablement


4. Support A Charity Together

Involve them in a joint charitable effort. We chose the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

We’ve held various events like a pancake breakfast, chili cook-off, raffles and more where employees would donate money for their food or participate in contests and all of it went toward the charity fund.

We also had a thermometer to measure progress towards our goal. It really united us and boosted morale. - Kerri Johnson, Foam Supplies, Inc.


5. Show Empathy For Employee Development

During the slower business seasons, it's sensible to focus on professional development and technical training across all departments with little pushback. It's a win-win for all involved.

The employees feel supported using this time to focus on their development versus being bored or frustrated, and the company will see morale, turnover, leadership, productivity and revenue benefits. - Kelsey Habich, Mission Critical Solutions


6. Spearhead Initiatives Centered On Mission, Vision, Value And Future

Promoting high team morale during slow seasons is a critical activity that has a long-term impact on employee satisfaction and retention.

HR executives should spearhead initiatives that encourage a stronger connection to the organization's mission, vision, value and future.

Engaging in round tables and focus groups, building relationships and aligning with goals will yield positive results! - Niki Ramirez, HRAnswers.org


7. Participate In Community Engagement

When business slows, it’s a perfect time for HR to encourage employee participation in community involvement events.

This serves to help those less fortunate while also building the employer brand by showing others that the company truly cares about giving back to the community.

Also, these events strengthen teams and help employees bond, which is especially important when business starts picking up. - John Feldmann, Insperity


8. Express Employee Appreciation

Maintaining high morale is key when business is slow. Finding little ways to make employees feel like they are appreciated can boost morale and improve work performance.

These can be as simple as after-work happy hours or bringing in lunch once a month.

This is also a good time to promote career development and other learning opportunities in preparation for busier seasons. - Niki Jorgensen, Insperity


9. Keep The Conversation Going

Strengthen innovation within the organization by giving employees a voice to share suggestions and thoughts. During a slow period of business, companies should not stay still.

There should be several conversations about how to shake up the status quo through multiple viewpoints.

Who better to ask than employees with hands-on awareness? - Nakisha Griffin, Neustar Security Services


10. Improve Your Business Processes And Operations

Downtime from seasonality is a great time to reflect and focus on improving business processes and operations.

Empower self-directed teams to lead strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analyses and conduct delta reviews on one key business process to determine what is working well and build a plan for enhancing aspects that need refinement.

You'll be up and running even better than before when business picks back up. - Megan Leasher, Talent Plus


11. Conduct Case Studies

Completing case studies on past projects is key.

What went well and what could have been done better?

In my experience, HR professionals are hungry for real-life operational experience.

The "why" and "how" the HR Executive came to a particular decision is invaluable information for your team. - Patricia Sharkey, IMI A Global People Company


12. Pair Departments For Job Shadowing

During the slower times, HR can assist leaders by putting together job shadowing so that each department is refreshed on how intricate each part of the company is to each other's success.

Whether it's suggested training for employees or online workshops, many things can be done to prepare for the new year and also keep employees engaged.

Perhaps start a project post-mortem of the past year to learn from each department. - Heather Smith, Flimp Communications


13. Go On An Outing

Take advantage of this time to invest in your team to help them grow and achieve their goals.

Plan a team outing, offer personal growth sessions and host team-building exercises.

By doing so, employees will have the chance to build closer bonds with each other, feel more productive and boost their morale. - Jason Lee, DailyPay


14. Reinforce Your Values

Reinforce your values through recognition, both formal and informal.

Reconnect your team to your brand in case some employees may have lost sight of your vision and purpose during the busy season.

Last but not least, listen to your team members because they'll tell you what they are thinking if you take the time to ask.

Then it's up to you to decide what to do with that information! - Tracy Cote, StockX






Source: Here's How To Encourage High Team Morale During A Slow Business Season (forbes.com)

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