Seasonal Opportunities for Managers

As we return from summer adventures, managers have the unique opportunity to harness the momentum of summer R&R. It’s hard not to feel like the change of the season is a new year. As people are returning from their summer vacations and much-needed rest and relaxation, organizations and their managers have an opportunity to elevate their workplaces and prolong these feelings.

Self-care is taking care of your health and well-being so that you can manage your life, your relationships, and your job. Promoting self-care is a cost-effective investment in your people. Organizations that encourage their staff to maintain their mental and physical health build a workplace where employees are able to perform at their best.

Many people feel that spending time on their own self-care is a selfish act; but this could not be further from the truth. Self-care allows us to conquer burnout, enhance our mindfulness, and be more productive and helpful in our professional roles. 

Preventing Burnout 

Burnout is defined as exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or lack of motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration. In 2019, the World Health Organization added burnout to the official list of medical diagnoses for disease.

According to the Mayo Clinic, burnout often has multiple causes. Possible causes of burnout might include lack of control, lack of support, unclear job expectations, work/life imbalance, or a dysfunctional work environment. Whereas a climate and culture of caring and compassion serves everyone. 

When the job becomes more about the activities surrounding the work – supervising, meetings, and management – many professionals miss the actual hands-on functions of their profession. This is a setup for burnout. Professionals no longer feel like their work is as valuable or meaningful. Burnout does not have to be inevitable. We can revamp and incorporate kindness into our labors to benefit ourselves and those we serve.

Do everything in your power to honor your employees’ time. This might mean that meetings are scheduled more sparingly, kept shorter, or are limited to just one day a week. Meetings are often the reason people feel they aren’t able to get their “real” work done. If it is possible to adjust meeting frequencies or distribute information in any other way without a meeting, do it. As people are returning from time off or traveling with a refreshed mind, allow your employees to come back to their “real” work. 

Mindfulness and Employee Engagement 

You might not initially think that you can add opportunities for mindfulness in a place of work. You may even question the ROI, but organizations that have implemented ways to enhance the mindfulness of their employees are seeing a positive return. As we return to our offices, consider these ways you can provide your teams with opportunities to have additional time for mindfulness and self-care. 

Harness the Momentum of Summer R&R blog post Pro Tip

3 Strategies to Try this Fall

1 – Flexible Hours

Flexible Hours could be an option. Talk to your employees and find out what would help them be most productive and also balance their lives. For example, starting work an hour later or earlier may solve transportation issues.

2 – Autonomy

Autonomy allows for stronger self-care. Some organizations have proven that they can work effectively remotely, and allow employees the autonomy to do so. They are able to continue as valued employees while managing their personal responsibilities with less pressure.

3 – A Quiet Room

A Quiet Room is one way to create a designated space for employees to recenter themselves at the office. When I visited Cascade Centers Inc., a Portland-based EAP, they showed me a repurposed space enhanced with donated artwork and pillows, a comfortable couch and pillows, a sound machine and softer lighting, and a door sign letting people know it was a quiet space. It was a huge hit with their team and helped support their employees’ well-being, with a total cost of only $500!

Elevating Culture

Science shows that intentional kindness decreases burnout and stress. Consider employing self-care initiatives to lower the intensity of your workplace while maintaining productivity. Encourage mindfulness, and watch employee productivity, retention, and resilience soar.

As your employees return from their summer adventures, create ways for them to maintain a refreshed mind and encourage their own self-care. Remember that self-care is not selfish, and in order to effectively contribute to collective goals we must first attend to our own needs. If we live by the idea that we cannot serve from an empty tank, we must find ways to help our employees re-fill their tanks too! 

Try it Yourself! 

How are you planning to harness the momentum of summer R&R? Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn!  

For more resources and tools for elevating culture, preventing burnout, and encouraging employee mindfulness, visit my Resources page! Start a conversation with me for more information about creating custom kindness resources for your organization.