2nd August 2022

Helping Your Team Beat the End-of-Summer Blues

Labor Day Marks the End of Summer, and the End of Summer Fun

The long, sunny, warm days of summer are beginning to shorten, and as we look ahead toward the coming of fall, you can expect your employees to face some end-of-summer blues. After months of family vacations, outdoor activities, and an excess of sunshine, it can be hard to return to work and feel excited about being there. While this is both normal and natural, it doesn’t have to be the norm for your staff; as a leader, there are many ways you can help your employees transition back into work with a positive attitude.

Whether your team members had their best summer ever or they feel like they missed out on the summer fun, it’s important to acknowledge their feelings and be aware of how you can help. The reality is, burnout is a very present danger amidst the Great Resignation, and a tough transition back to work isn’t going to help. As a leader, the end of summer will go more smoothly for you and your team if you can show them that you value their emotional wellness.

Soak Up the Last Days of Summer

While the end of summer is in sight, it’s not over yet! So, rather than letting your staff look ahead with disappointment, give them some activities to get excited about. There are a number of great ways you and your team can make the most of these waning summer days. It can be as simple as hosting an ice cream social, or as big as taking a staff trip somewhere to enjoy nature. 

Having fun at the office will do more than just fight off the end-of-summer blues, too; Forbes points out how adding in a little fun can actually increase motivation and productivity in the workplace. With this in mind, making end-of-summer plans seems all the more important.  

Have One-on-One Conversations with Employees

Take the time to speak with your team members personally. It’s no secret how important two-way communication is to healthy employer-employee relationships. While it’s helpful to create ways for your staff to enjoy the end-of-summer season, it’s also important to check in with them to see how else you can support them. Employee mental health matters; those who feel burnout and don’t receive support may leave your company. Fostering connections with your team can help them feel more engaged and fulfilled. It can also help them clarify what they really need during this transitional time. 

These one-on-one conversations can open up many options for how to best move forward. Not only does it give you an idea of who may be dealing with sadness or exhaustion, but it can give you time to discuss each person’s goals and career path, or to praise their good work. Goals and a vision of the long-term are strong motivators, and employee recognition is a valuable method of engagement. Consider pointing out your team member’s successes in front of others, as well; having one’s hard work recognized can go a long way in terms of feeling encouraged at work!

Encourage Teamwork

Find new ways for your employees to work together, either as peers or in a mentorship capacity. Working in a small group, or even with one other individual, can create the opportunity for more powerful ideas and outcomes. Not only that, but it offers a social outlet for your employees. With the end of summer often bringing fewer social gatherings, this can be a real benefit. 

Also, consider implementing an employee mentorship program, even on a small scale. The University of Massachusetts Global describes many mutual benefits offered by mentorship in the workplace. Beyond helping your employees ward off the end-of-summer blues, mentorship has the added advantages of offering a sense of purpose in the workplace and encouraging employee development, both of which are helpful for overall retention.

Re-evaluate Goals

Goals provide a clear direction for your team, which in turn can boost productivity and motivation. However, goals can (and should) be adjusted from time to time in order to remain relevant and attainable, and this mid-way point in the year is a natural time to make any necessary changes. During your one-on-one conversations, spend some time asking your employees about their career goals. What goals do they already have, and are they on track to reach them? What adjustments could be made to ensure they get to where they want to be? 

Goals can be motivating, but not if they are irrelevant or overwhelming. Take some time to help your team sort out the details to make sure their goals are useful. 

As the end of summer draws near, take the time to equip yourself and your employees with strategies like these to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible. If you are looking for some help with employee engagement now or throughout the year, we’d love to help! Check out our Employee Engagement page here and feel free to reach out.