5 Ways Leaders Can Maintain Momentum This Summer

The summer months can signal the death knell for a business unless managed properly. As leaders and business owners, we all know that it is important for us and our team members to have balanced life; but have you ever stopped to consider how the summer months can literally kill the momentum in your business?

Think about an aircraft. It uses a large proportion of its fuel to simply get off the ground. Once airborne, only a tiny amount of energy is then required to keep it flying. And it’s the same in your business, too.

Projects take time, energy and resources to get going, and then when you think everything is going swimmingly, summer kicks in — and unless managed carefully, the momentum can be lost.

It’s a bit like the plane crashing en-route to its destination. The results can be devastating because, not only is productivity lost during these summer months, but the impact lasts into the third quarter of the year — meaning that close to six months of the year can be impacted by the loss of momentum during the summer.

If you don’t believe me, then let’s look at the research by American Express that reveals during the summer months there is:

  • 20% decline in workplace productivity
  • 19% drop in employee attendance
  • 13% increase in the time it takes to complete projects
  • 2.6 times increase in the time taken for lunch

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the research also revealed that there is a:

  • 200% increase in shopping during work hours
  • 120% increase in employees searching for another job

Which is why the summer months can have such a negative impact on overall business performance, unless managed appropriately.

Here are five things leaders can do to help maintain momentum during the summer months

1. Schedule Employee Vacation In Advance

Make sure you get everyone’s vacation days planned in advance. This way you can best minimize the impact on the business, and you will have clarity on what is happening. Plus, team members can support each other in managing workloads prior to going on their vacation.

2. Insist Employees Unplug When They Are on Vacation

It is essential that team members take vacation so they can recharge, and in today's world it is important to ensure that your team members really do dis-connect and unplug from the business. Way too many people go on vacation but stay connected to the office by technology, meaning they never really switch off. To operate at high performance, employees need to rest and relax so they can replenish their energy sources. Ensure team members put out-of-office notifications on their emails so they don’t feel compelled to respond to email whilst they are away.

3. Create Focus By Having Clearly Defined Projects/Activities

Focus gives team members clarity and certainty, so make sure that the team has some fun goals to achieve over the summer. Maybe even consider setting some challenges for the team to keep them engaged, and give out prizes or incentives for those team members who complete the challenges.

4. Be Flexible With The Hours Worked

As a leader, we all know that it is not the hours worked that is important but rather the outputs delivered. Allowing team members to leave early, once certain milestones are met, will help keep the team focused and working at a high level. It will also encourage cooperation as the team pulls together to achieve the objectives, and everyone wins.

5. Model The Way

As a leader, your team looks to you to create a positive example for them. So model the way and set yourself higher goals for the summer. It’s often easier to get meetings during the summer because others are in the mentality of slowing down, so leverage this to your best advantage. Arrange meetings, attend events, and stay positive. Your team will see your drive and excitement and feed off this, thereby maintaining their own personal momentum.

Implement these five strategies if you want your business to grow over the summer; and remember, your momentum becomes your team’s momentum. So lead your team towards a productive summer.