3 Recommendations For Avoiding The Midyear Team Morale Slump

Spring cleaning isn’t just a useful concept for cleaning your desk or (finally) cleaning out your email inbox. It’s also a good springboard for brainstorming ways to help your team hit the “Refresh” button. After all, when most companies hit the middle of the year, their teams are probably feeling a little stretched and strained.

What’s causing the slowdown in mid-year momentum? Often, this is due to a number of factors, the first of which is a lack of free time. Even if your company has a generous vacation program and PTO policy, many employees probably haven’t taken a week or more off since at least the end of the year holidays. In other words, they feel the stress that comes from the constant grind.

Another reason for the team’s boredom is the pressure to meet all the goals and initiatives set in January. If the team starts to regress or is far behind expected numbers, stagnation can begin to set in. This only causes everyone to fall further behind, becoming a vicious circle.

Instead of allowing your best assets, your trusted employees, to become defined and frustrated, do a little “spring cleaning.” From your processes to your resources, making changes can reset everyone’s attitude, performance and productivity. Here are some recommendations to help you start your cleaning operation:

1. Get everyone on the same page.

You want to be a transparent leader, but it’s hard to keep everyone in the loop. A lot can happen between winter and summer. And you may find that some of you know more than others. Not only can this lead to unrest, but it can also lead to a misalignment of missions and growing distrust among your workforce.

To correct the decline in communication, Nicole Durham, chief marketing officer of Enertia Software, the leading developer of integrated business solutions for the oil and gas industry, suggests scheduling times when leaders and workers can meet , share information and discuss problems. As he explains, his company hosts monthly town hall meetings. The push for meetings began 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. “Not only do we review goals during the meetings, but they are also great opportunities to share good news and reminders of accomplished goals that are driving our annual momentum.” As an additional way to make sure everyone on the team knows their importance, Durham plans outings, events, and get-togethers to build camaraderie, let off steam, and invest in the emotional well-being of her employees.

2. Take steps to combat burnout.

For American workers, burnout isn’t just a possibility. It’s a surprising and difficult reality for 59% of employees, according to a recently released Aflac report. Of course, you’ll want to step in if you suspect a member of your team (including yourself) is struggling with burnout. But you can also use your “spring cleaning” to look for ways to remove barriers to optimal mental health for your workers.

For example, you might want to take a page from the book of Seth Casden, the founder and CEO of materials science company Hologenix. Because his company is on a mission to help people improve their lives, he tries to get rid of all the things that make his people feel overwhelmed. To that end, he has structured company benefits to provide what he calls “periodic relief” so employees can get care when they need it. It also ensures that your workers have space to recharge.

“We create opportunities for people to return to a healthy balance by enjoying and participating in their lives outside of work,” explains Casden. “We observe, as a company, more holidays than average. In addition to our vacation policy, we also have week-long breaks in the summer and winter for the team to collectively check in, refresh and make sure they feel valued as individuals.”

3. Invest in the latest tools.

Outdated technology is not only difficult to work with. It can lead to constant problems for your team. If you’ve ever tried to do something on an aging computer with slow loading speeds, you can relate. However, many workers (perhaps including yours) have to make do with technology that was probably outdated sometime in the last decade.

Although it requires a financial commitment to bring all your technology tools and systems up to date, it can pay off. First, your team will be rewarded for being able to streamline their work and potentially be much more productive. Second, you will give your employees the opportunity to strengthen their skills. SHRM reports show that nearly half of workers are eager to improve their skills in the workplace. By helping your team learn a different system, as long as it’s necessary and not superfluous, you’ll provide them with opportunities for professional development.

Of course, if you have remote employees, you might want to take the time to see if they’re working on old equipment. According to GroWrk, only 38% of organizations give their virtual employees a special stipend to work from home. Maybe now is a good opportunity to send devices to your remote team members or offer everyone money to cover some of their internet bills. Yes, it’s money spent up front, but your employees will appreciate the gesture. Plus, it could revitalize them to continue beyond the warm weather months.

Your team must work throughout the year. Instead of allowing them to fall into the middle of the current drop, take some steps to give them a chance to restart their engines. Then move forward together to make the next six months even better than the last.

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When it comes to workplace morale, the midyear period can often be the toughest time for teams as motivation and energy levels begin to wane. Fortunately, there are some strategies organizations and leaders can use to help prevent the midyear morale slump and keep teams engaged and enthusiastic even in the toughest times. Here are three tips from Ikaroa, a full-stack tech company, to help get the momentum going at your workplace.

1. Nurture Team Relationships. It is important for teammates to feel connected and appreciated, which means teams need to focus on building strong relationships built on mutual respect, trust and cooperation. Take time to nurture the relationships in the team with team-building activities, such as team lunches or group games. This investment in team morale will help prevent the midyear morale slump and foster a more positive atmosphere.

2. Allow Flexible Working Arrangements. Flexible working arrangements not only boosts team morale, but also helps employees balance their job commitments with outside responsibilities and interests. In allowing employees to work remotely, durationally and flexibly, organizations are reinforcing their commitment to their people and giving them the freedom to prioritize and manage their workload.

3. Introduce New Challenges. To encourage team members to stay focused and motivate them to give their best, many companies introduce new challenges and projects for teams. The change of pace can reinvigorate the team and give them something new to focus on. Introducing creative and innovative tasks or projects can also stimulate the team and help inspire them to complete the task.

By implementing these recommendations, your team can stay engaged and energized all year round, and you can enjoy a positive, productive and successful team this midyear and beyond. At Ikaroa, we understand the importance of managing employee morale, and have worked with organizations to help them achieve their desired results. Get in touch today to find out how we can help get your team back on track!


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