By Renae Withoos
Is mid-year fatigue a thing? As we approach the middle of the year and the colder months here in Australia, it’s common for employees to experience a dip in motivation and energy levels (especially for those who aren’t jet-setting to Europe!). You may start to see an increase in sick days and a decrease in efficiency.
This common phenomenon is known as mid-year fatigue, and as a HR professional, I have witnessed it’s significant impact on productivity, engagement, and overall well-being. As an employer or manager, it is important to understand that it is normal for employees to experience a lull in motivation after several months of hard work and personal stress. It is crucial for employers to recognise that these feelings are valid and address this issue proactively.
Here are some actionable strategies you can implement to combat mid-year fatigue and ensure you are supporting your employees:
1. Regular check-ins: Schedule one-on-one meetings with each team member to discuss their workload, challenges, and any concerns they may have. In addition to work-related discussions, check in on the employees’ well-being. By providing a safe space for your employees to express themselves, you can gain valuable insights into their struggles and needs. Be an active listener and offer empathy, understanding and support where needed. These check-ins demonstrate that you value their overall well-being, not just their work output.
2. Recognise and appreciate efforts: Acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of your employees, especially during periods of increased fatigue or decreased performance. Celebrate their achievements, big or small, to boost morale and show that their hard work is valued. Recognising their contributions can help uplift their spirits and motivation. Buying an employee a morning coffee to say thanks is usually always a winner!
3. Adjust workload and priorities: Evaluate the workload and priorities of your team members. Ensure that tasks are distributed equitably and consider redistributing or delegating responsibilities where necessary. Mid-year is an opportune time to reassess goals and realign them with the current needs and resources. By making adjustments, you can alleviate stress and provide a fresh perspective to tackle the remainder of the year.
4. Provide opportunities for growth: Mid-year fatigue can be mitigated by offering opportunities for growth and development. Discuss career aspirations with your employees and identify areas where they can expand their skills or take on new challenges. By investing in their professional development, you not only alleviate their fatigue but also foster a sense of growth and purpose within the team.
5. Encourage Physical Wellness: Promote physical wellness among employees by encouraging regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and staying hydrated. Consider organising wellness initiatives such as group fitness activities, offering healthy snacks, team mediation sessions and regular stretching breaks. This can help combat winter fatigue and boost overall well-being.
6. Encourage work-life balance and flexibility: Encourage employees to take breaks, use vacation days, and engage in activities that rejuvenate them outside of work. By prioritising self-care, employees can recharge and return to work with renewed energy and focus. Also consider providing flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or adjusted schedules, to accommodate employees’ needs. This flexibility can help them manage personal commitments and alleviate some of the stress associated with commuting during winter weather conditions.
Mid-year fatigue is a common challenge that can impact employee well-being and productivity. However, by implementing these strategies, you can help alleviate the effects of winter fatigue, support your employees’ well-being, and create a positive and productive work environment. Remember, investing in your employees’ well-being is an investment in the success of your organisation and sets the stage for a productive and motivated second half of the year.
Integrated Human Resourcing is an outsourced HR firm based in Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast. As human resource specialists, we work closely with your business to understand your needs and to ensure ongoing business success. If you would like to know more, or need assistance with Employee Engagement or burnout, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 5613 1846.