There are often peaks and valleys in our businesses. We as business leaders don’t like the valleys (the idle times). The peaks (the busy times) are what we’re after.
A busy company is generally a good thing for everyone, but it’s important to watch out for some side effects of prolonged pressure on employees to meet goals or demand.
Here are some ways to mitigate this pressure.
Your processes should support a busy workload; they shouldn’t disappear because you get busy. Typically, as the volume of work increases, the first thing that goes out the window is training.
But the busier we get, the more training issues surface, and the more critical it is that we address those so we can correct our course.
And think about safety: when we’re busy, our employees are more likely to have an accident because of lost focus, fatigue, or disregard for safe practices. Consistent safety awareness becomes much more important.
A little appreciation goes a long way. Generally, morale improves when we are busy because we feel a sense of accomplishment in our work.
If employees don’t get a bit of praise or appreciation along the way, that sense of accomplishment can turn into a feeling of resentment. Adding some positive interaction can keep everyone pumped up and feeling good about all they’re achieving!
This positive interaction can be as formal as a coaching session or as simple as a brief visit to see how things are going.
Breaking up the monotony of a full workload can be a nice distraction. Having a summer picnic with your employees and their families may cause a slight loss of production, but it can go a long way in showing that you care about your employees and that they work for a good company.
This also includes important charitable activities that your company may be involved with or sponsor. Doing charitable work only when you are slow doesn’t send the message that you really care about your causes.
Your team will be proud of their involvement in good causes — as long as you don’t work them twice as hard the next day to make up for the time.
Keep Programs Going
Contests, awards, recognition and team meetings shouldn’t stop just because it’s a busy time. Hopefully, we’re always busy, so these activities will always be relevant.
Having an Employee of the Month doesn’t mean less just because the whole team worked hard — the rewards are still appreciated!
If your employees don’t feel like they’re a part of the company or that they’re appreciated, the money they’re earning won’t be strong enough to keep them. Keep your team engaged all the time. They’re your most valuable asset; don’t forget to show them that.