It's no secret that busy season burnout is a common occurrence across many firms, and at the end of the day, a successful busy season will always be... well... busy! Which means finding ways to reenergize yourself shortly thereafter is critical to regrouping everyone's energy and focus. With that in mind, we put together 7 ways to help kickstart the efforts! How you implement the ideas may vary, and at the end of the day, it's determined by the culture and personalities of your team. Some strategies might work exactly as it's laid out below, others might need to be adjusted. It's up to you, but we hope this gets the juices going 🙂
1) Game Day
For a friendly, competitive environment, you can put together a "Game Day" for your firm. This can involve a variety of games (Horseshoe, Bocce Ball, Darts, Foosball, Ping Pong, etc), and the winner with the most points wins. It's important that throughout this day, everyone in your firm should feel like a winner. This might include everyone getting a gift card, an afternoon off, a small token of appreciation, anything. Keep the environment light, after all, this day is relaxing!
2) Catered Food for a Week or Month
This could be both used during and after tax season. The stress the body goes through can be high, so why not reward the team with the rejuvenation of healthy food! Chances are during the busy season, the first thing to go is healthy food (and even exercise), then sleep. Take the mental burden of figuring out "what should we eat" or "what should we pack" by catering a week or month for your team.
3) Individual "Me" Days
In this idea, you sponsor or support each team member to take a "me" day or afternoon. So for some, this might be going to the driving range. For others, it might just be being able to walk at the mall or bookstore in the middle of the afternoon. Or going to the gym in the middle of the day, or the park. The point is, each team member has to do something that is done for the sole purpose of their enjoyment. The only rule is that it has to be for them! We all love our families and kids, but let's be honest, busy season + a family can be taxing (no pun intended!). This is about doing something for YOU.
4) Firm Retreat / Conference Outing
This is a more ambitious effort, but for those that are growing their team quickly, can be a great way to outline the future of the firm while building team cohesion. A Firm retreat can be a single day, renting out a cabin and having it catered. Discussing the clients, the team, and the goals of the firm. You can do activities like the DISC profile for each team member, and you can outline how everyone wants the rest of the year (and beyond) to go.
5) Family/Spouse Time Gift
This is a sponsored "Date Night", very similar to the "me day", but in this scenario, you get your team gift cards for a Dinner, Movie, and even Babysitter budget. Alternatively, you can get a gift card for a team member's family to play mini golf, go to a water park, bowling, etc (just be sure the entire family might enjoy it). If they have 3 kids under 3, I'd suggest the date night. 🙂 If they have kids 5-13, mini golf could be an exciting and memorable outing.
6) 1 Week Remote Working
Perhaps what your team would really appreciate is a week of working from home! This way they can catch up on some sleep, while still working on important matters. For this one, your team will have to be more tech savvy, and have the ability to work from home (back to the 3 kids under 3 example... if that's the case, there's no way they can work from home!). But if this is a good fit for your team, this could be an easy way to allow them time to rejuvenate.
7) Practice "Spa Day"
The practice spa day is similar to game day (in that you bring games to the practice), but in this instance, you're bringing in massage therapist, yoga instructors, and perhaps a big screen TV with video games. The point is to just make it as relaxing as possible, and create an environment where, by the end of the day, your team members will say "this was the most relaxed I've been in months!". In the end, we truly believe that the investment in your team can yield a tremendous ROI for your firm. Your team should up each and every day to help you build the firm of your dreams. It's not always easy (for you or for them), and these ideas, whether big or small, can go a long way to showing "we care". If you're an up and coming sole practitioner, consider applying these strategies for yourself now, and for your team in the future! If you have an additional strategy or idea, leave it in the comments below!