Summer slump or comeback of the year?
By Hebba Youssef
^^if you know what this headline is referencing please reply. Hint: screaming into the void playlist.
As a kid I looked forward to summer more than any other time. Summers were synonymous with trips to see my family in Egypt. I have about 25 first cousins and 6 of them were around my age. We would have sleepovers at my uncle’s, stay up late with my grandparents eating sunflower seeds, and play card games until things got heated.
To be young again!
I think summer might still be my favorite season though! Despite the hot swamp that is DC there’s just something still so special about summer.
Even work feels better in the summer.
I think it’s because most employees take vacation during the summer and it becomes a tiny bit quieter at work.
Cough peace cough.
In the past when it has been quiet at work I start to get uneasy and think the other shoe is going to drop.
I even feel a little guilty about not having a packed schedule.
But it doesn’t have to be like that! When things are slower at work, I wish we stopped and appreciated the time we had.
But if you’re like me and you need a reminder, this is it.
This edition is for the tired and weary HR professionals. Aka me and maybe you?
Here are 3 things you can do when work is slower!
1. Take it easy
When was the last time you really rested? I mean took an utterly guilt free break and just rested. 🧐
If you’re like me, maybe probably never? I’m always spinning and trying to run to the next thing.
I’m working on slowing down, embracing the current moments and resting.
Rest is beautiful. And you deserve it.
In fact, rest *can be* resistance.
We have a real problem with productivity as a society and maybe it’s time to break those bad habits??
The average employee can realistically be productive for 3-4 hours a day. What are we doing with those other hours?
Probably trying to cram more work in, maybe at the expense of our wellbeing!
When work gets quiet this summer, I encourage you to rest. You can’t, and don’t have to, be productive 8 hours a day.
Do something for yourself and take a break.
2. Seek inspiration
When was the last time you were really inspired? I mean, woke up with a FIRE in your body ready to revolutionize an HR process.
If you can’t remember a time in the last few weeks, months or even years then you might be in inspiration debt.
How’d you get there you may wonder?
Well, working in HR can feel so draining! Some of our tasks are repetitive and we manage a lot of emotions on the daily, not just ours!
It’s easy to wake up and just go through the motions.
But a lot of our work needs to be rethought and revolutionized. But you can’t do that if you’re in inspiration debt.
Check out this newsletter I wrote about finding inspiration.
A game changer: knowing how to get into the inspiration zone.
3 things that help me get into the inspiration zone:
- Working out. The rush after a workout is when I have some of my best ideas
- Taking a shower. Shower thoughts are real! My theory is you relax in the shower and then it helps you let go of what’s blocking your creative energy.
- Blasting music. I have a playlist that I’ve been collecting songs on for the last 8ish years called stream of consciousness. Am I that woman shazaming in the coffee shop? YUPPP. And all those songs are on that playlist. I put the playlist on shuffle and just listen through different eras in my life. Live music also gives me a major inspiration boost.
If I know I’m in a rut, I’m probably doing one of the 3 things above to put myself into the inspiration zone.
How are you getting in the inspiration zone?
Define your 3 ways and put them into rotation this summer when things are slower.
Fuel your creativity and I promise you that your work and your company will benefit!
3. Plan for the future
Are you good at planning? My hunch is most HR people are when we are given the time to do so.
Key word: WHEN
If you’re constantly chasing down the next dumpster fire, it can feel impossible to thoughtfully plan anything.
Just get it done was my motto for a while.
It usually resulted in me feeling like I couldn’t do anything exceptionally well because I was constantly rushing to get it done.
Lately my motto has been, what’s our plan?
When work is slow it’s an amazing time to thoughtfully plan for future initiatives.
Take time this summer to pause and plan.
Better yet: get in your inspiration zone and come up with new and possibly revolutionary ideas for how to evolve your team, company and all your HR initiatives.
Put pen to paper and build your People Ops Roadmap!
It is okay for work to be slower sometimes!
Use that slow time to refresh, recharge and maybe revolutionize what you’re currently doing.
But, as always, zero pressure. You do you.
Just remember, HR folks are experiencing burnout at a high rate! And the cure for burnout is not vacation, it’s a proper workload.
So when things are slow, remind yourself maybe your workload is balancing out?
If you have no balance at work, you should maybe consider a change.
Next week, I’m diving into a whole new series about culture at work.