According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in recent years, the 1st Qtr. has been quite slow. As you can imagine, a slowdown will impact organisations, employees and ultimately the wider Australian population, so this is not good news.
This slowdown is predominantly related to a lower volume of sales, which in turn comes from the fact that we’ve entered a new ﬁnancial year. Sales people have been hustling to meet their targets and quotas for the end of the ﬁnancial year, and from their perspective they need to take a breather.
Think about it: they think that they can afford to slow down - especially now - because they have the rest of the year to catch up on their quota. For salespeople it’s a calculated risk that’s well worth taking, but they are unaware of the impact on the organisation.
However, the salesperson shouldn’t be shouldering the blame for this downturn because it’s not wholly and solely their responsibility. We also need to have a look at what’s happening with organisational leaders.
Typically at the start of a new ﬁnancial year most organisational leaders are focused on challenges and problems facing them. In fact it’s quite common to hear many leaders describing how tough the last year was and how they now need to knuckle down as times are getting tougher.
This is demotivating, and salespeople especially don’t do too well with demotivating messages. As such, they tend to slow down, because they are human after all. How much can they take?
This is the start of the problem we call “Hump Month”.
Meet “Hump Month”
“Hump Month“ is the time of the year where everyone feels like they’ve just climbed a steep hill. People can be tired both physically and emotionally - especially sales people because they have been chasing serious sales targets.
With tired employees, productivity takes a hit, and subsequently ﬁnancial targets take a hit as well.
While the end of the ﬁnancial year is a natural Hump Month for many businesses it is not necessarily a hard and fast rule. Different industry sectors will be affected by slowing productivity at different times of the year, and this can depend upon seasonal factors as well. However, we ﬁnd that most sales and marketing driven organisations will experience their Hump Month at the commencement of the new ﬁnancial year.
It’s important to understand where individual businesses have their Hump Months so that they can plan for it and work with it.
Managing the Hump
When an organisation identiﬁes when their Hump Month is, it is the perfect opportunity to engage with internal marketing and communications and have employee focused events, but more importantly, organisations leaders need to take extra effort to make sure that the lines of communication are open. This is the perfect time to reconnect employees to the values and the culture of the company and have them incorporate it into their daily work.
The focus needs to be on new opportunities that lie ahead and not the challenges. The last ﬁnancial year is over. It’s a new ﬁnancial year, and that means new opportunities.
Leaders need to communicate this to their teams and help them to ride the hump and not be overwhelmed by it.
For More Strategies on How to Increase Productivity, Employee Morale and Revenues,
Click Here and Download: “Frequently Asked Questions on Beating Slumps, Climbing Humps and Hitting the Ground Running in the New Financial Year”