How to help your team rest without going rusty
How you can help your team stay motivated during quiet times
Both the lead up to Christmas and the summer holiday period can cause slow periods in the workplace. When the pace slows it is easy for the team to take their foot off the gas and just cruise. And once your team is cruising it can be hard to get them motoring again.In these circumstances cracking the whip isn’t the most effective way to get the most out of your team, it can actually be best to give them a little break before ramping up the workload. But finding this balance can be difficult, so to make your job easier we have compiled our best tips to help you give your team an effective break when they need it, without disrupting the office rhythm long term.
1. A rest is important, every now and then
The brain needs a break in order to be productive. The short rest gives a break in productivity and your brain has the opportunity to pause and recharge for the next task. Employees who do not get a good break will have a drop in productivity.
2. Creating natural breaks
The same way you build a muscle; you have days when you train hard but more importantly, you have recovery periods. Use a technique called the Pomodoro technique to help your team perform effectively while also building in much needed time for rest. To use this technique help your team set time goals for key tasks they have and encourage them to set a time limit, for say 25 minutes, work hard to finish the task within this time, and afterwards reward them with a short break. The timer will create a sense of urgency while increasing productivity due to having the knowledge that a break is on the horizon.
3. Respect annual leave
When an employee is on annual leave, make sure this is respected. You will cause more stress if you’re asking them to check emails regularly and filed phone calls from colleagues to help with issues while they are out of the office. Reassure them everything will be under control while they’re taking time off and that you look forward to seeing them when they return. You’ll be grateful for it when a refreshed and eager employee comes back to work after a week out.
4. Upskill your team
Cross-train employees, this way when one member of the team is absent the work can easily be picked up. Your team will be strengthened by the new skills they have and kept engaged because they are constantly being challenged.
5. Be flexible
If possible, give employees flexible working hours. Allowing employees the autonomy to control their own hours has been shown to increase productivity. Alternatively, let them leave early on a Friday, providing business isn’t flooding through the door. Your employees will appreciate the early finish and return ready and refreshed on Monday.
6. Dig deeper
A drop in productivity could be a sign of a bigger problem. Are your employees bored? Do they need a new challenge? Better yet, do they need a completely new role? If none of the above helps, it might be time to talk about their performance and what they need to keep them motivated.