Here’s Why You Need to Let Your Employees Cool Down After a Busy Period

My son cooling down after a family game of basketball Sunday afternoon

I started running a little more than a year ago. The running training program I started with insisted on a 5-minute cool down after each run. Sometimes I’d cool down and sometimes I wouldn’t. I didn’t notice any problems when I didn’t cool down so I really didn’t think it was a big deal. For weeks I ran 2-3 miles with my indifferent attitude toward the cool down. Then one day I ran 4 miles, my longest and most vigorous at that point. I was so proud of myself and I felt amazing. I felt so good that I didn’t “cool down.” After my run, I showered and resumed normal activities. Or, at least I tried to resume normal activities.

Within an hour of my amazing run I was feeling dizzy and nauseous. I couldn’t shake the feeling for hours. It was that day that I learned the importance of cooling down after a run. I now know that physiologically, cooling down helps the body transition from intense activity to normal activity. Cooling down helps prevent blood from pooling in the legs, which I now know can happen after a hard run. This limits blood flow to the heart and brain, and can lead to the dizziness and nausea I experienced that day.

What happens when employees don’t cool down after a busy season?

When employees come out of a tremendously busy season such as a large product recall, holiday season or a new product launch, the mental toll is not unlike a vigorous run. Just because they “survived” the busy season doesn’t mean all is well. I survived my first 4 mile run, but I didn’t transition to normal activity well at all. Provide your employees with a “cool down” period so they can transition into normal business activity.

How do you cool down after a busy season?

Offer paid time off if you can, celebrate accomplishments, award your employees with gift cards, have lunch brought in or bring fun into the office. Get creative. The important thing is to acknowledge the sacrifice and challenge and to provide a transition into normal activity.

Cooling down after a busy period helps your employees de-stress and refresh. Failing to cool down can lead to burnout and low morale. Proactively provide a corporate cool down and you’ll avoid potentially serious problems later on…and your people will be better prepared for the next busy season. (I now cool down after every run!)

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  ~Ovid

3 Ways to Mitigate Recall Risk

Regulatory officials, government agencies and members of Congress are more fiercely focused on consumer safety than ever before. This intense focus is great for consumers and companies, but it means that companies now have to step up to higher standards.

Recent recalls in the automotive industry have drawn international attention and threatened brands’ global reputations. One of the lessons the recent automotive recalls have taught companies is that it’s critically important for companies in all industries to have proper plans and procedures in place before a recall happens.

 We can keep our fingers crossed and hope we’re never in a recall situation or we can proactively plan for a recall situation. Here are 3 Ways to Mitigate Recall Risks through proactive planning:

 

1. Monitor and Examine Consumer Complaints

All consumer feedback and complaints must be captured and analyzed. In a recent automotive recall, the company is alleged to have ignored or minimized thousands of early reports of a problem with its vehicles. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a few complaints on a product means that the complaints aren’t valid. One complaint can trigger a recall. Constantly analyze complaint data and look for credibility, seriousness, and unexpected issues. Don’t turn a blind eye to any consumer complaint.

2.  Know and Understand the Standards for Your Products

When you know better, you do better. It’s that simple.  Stay on top of new regulations that impact your products by getting actively involved in trade associations. Large trade associations typically hold educational workshops throughout the year to help members stay in compliance with new regulatory laws and to understand how to interpret the standards for their companies. Additionally, companies should monitor The Federal Registry and news from the regulatory agencies for updates on new standards.

3.  Develop a Recall Plan

Even when the best preventive practices are in place, a company may still have to recall a product. Now, before a crisis, is the time to develop a recall plan. A recall plan needs to be developed when the company is not in crisis mode. The recall plan includes selecting a recall coordinator and committee, preparing a detailed plan of action, conducting mock recalls to test the effectiveness and speed of the plan, and revising the recall plan based on the mock recall results.

Recalls are costly, stressful and put a brand’s reputation at risk. Closely examine consumer complaints, stay apprised of regulations affecting your products, and proactively develop a recall plan. When you do, you’ll minimize the risks to your reputation and of civil or criminal penalty from federal regulators.

Source cited

Giannini, Brian and Rozembajgier, Mike, “There’s a New Recall Sheriff in Town”, Customer Relationship Management, SOCAP International, Summer 2010.