The transition from summer to fall can be a jarring shift for many workplaces, even those with a business model that doesn’t fluctuate based on the seasons. Employees with children are making the move from summer vacation to scheduled activities, and those who are still in school themselves are moving back into academic life and making adjustments that will have an impact on their productivity. Overlapping vacations are beginning and ending, clients are closing their books for the year, and temporary summer employees are leaving. Keep your workflows on track amid these fluctuations and you’ll come out on the other side of the season without missing a beat.
1. Keep the focus on work.
Busy employees can start leaning away from their desks during this time, so keep their attention, even if you have to use cheap ploys. For example, an occasional free pizza in the break room, an unexpected sandwich delivery during a meeting, a sponsored happy hour every Friday, elevated praise for those who go the extra mile, and an understanding attitude from direct supervisors can go a long way.
2. Tap into the mood of the season.
Fall is often a dreamy season, and dreaminess tends to bring creative boosts, which in turn bring great ideas, new innovations, better methods, and more effective and spontaneous brain storming sessions. Channel this energy. Be receptive to suggestions during this time and try not to close down employees who are bold enough to share their visions.
3. Plan retreats and networking events.
If you’ve ever considered sponsoring a networking event or lecture series, the fall is a great time to do this. It’s also a great time for leadership retreats and trust workshops that can take a single hour or an entire weekend.
4. Start the strategic planning process for the year ahead.
Where do you hope to take this company in the coming year? If your influence doesn’t extend that far, then where do you plan to take your own team or your own department? Where do you plan to take your own career? Now is the time to start thinking about your long term timeline and encouraging your employees to do the same.
5. Start thinking about performance reviews.
When you sit down to evaluate your employees in a few months, you’ll be looking carefully back over the year for accomplishments and highlights that contribute to a complete picture of their annual progress. Start putting the pieces together now, and you’ll be less likely to let key details fall through the cracks.