With employee vacations and slowing business in many industries, it’s easy to see why many organizations shy away from scheduling training sessions during the summer months.
But I want to offer a contrary point of view. Summer is actually the perfect time to schedule training, especially for your leaders.
So why is this?
On the one hand, there is the inescapable fact that employees are increasingly frustrated and burnt out. In our Leadership IQ study on employee burnout, we found that only 25% of leaders felt their employees thrived emotionally and mentally. Meanwhile, 79% of leaders said they saw a drop in productivity due to employee burnout.
Second, even though we weren’t having a particularly difficult year, employees still demand better leadership from their managers and executives. For example, research shows that only 20% of employees believe their leader always takes an active role in helping them grow and reach their full potential. Leaders disagree. In a recent leadership skills study, only 19% of leaders said they were good at reducing employee burnout, and only 28% thought they were good at managing hybrid teams.
But… why summer?
In themselves, of course, these are legitimate arguments for more leadership development. But they are not necessarily to conduct training in the summer months. So why this season? Let me make a more detailed case:
There are fewer emergencies:
As many companies naturally slow down a bit during the summer, leaders have more time to think about their development. At this time of year, managers and executives are less beset by one emergency after another. This means they have more mental and intellectual leeway to reflect on their own growth and development. As the saying goes, it is difficult to rebuild the engine while the car is running. But right now, and for the next few months, the car is not running (or at least not getting hot too).
It feels good:
When training is done well, including when people are less busy, people learn new things and learning is enjoyable. In one study, only 35% of people say they always learn something new at work, while 52% never, occasionally or rarely learn new things. But here’s the kicker; When someone is constantly learning new things at work, they are literally ten times more likely to be inspired to do their best at work than someone who never learns new skills at work. Too many companies see training as a painful and superficial exercise when, if the training were better, it would actually be an emotional boost for the participants.
He uses managers who don’t want to rest
The most common objection to conducting training during the summer months is that companies want to give their leaders a break, let them rest and recharge. But most leaders (usually) don’t know how to rest, even on holidays. In our research on employee burnout, we find that more than three-quarters of leaders admit to working while on vacation (including taking calls from employees and co-workers). So if managers don’t fully relax, at least give them some training to use their time.
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make hay in the sun
If you’re going to enforce strict vacation protocols, it’s definitely a good idea to avoid training during the summer. But since your company probably doesn’t, you have the option of setting aside a rather mundane job and replacing it with training. Not only is this training likely to be psychologically refreshing, but it can also demonstrably improve a leader’s CV. As the saying goes – making hay while the sun is shining. Use daylight saving time to give your leaders an edge that not only improves your business, but also improves leaders’ careers.