As a youngster in your school years, you probably counted the days until school was out for the summer. Do you remember the activities you anticipated...reading out in the hammock or running around the neighborhood with friends. Maybe you enjoyed fishing at the local pond.
Even though your team at work is all grown up with adult responsibilities, they can still feel a yearning for the freedom of those summer days gone by. A study conducted by Captivate Network found that, during the summer months, employees were 45% more distracted than other times of the year. Additionally, the study revealed that productivity in the workplace drops 20% in the summer months. When the entire group is affected by the summertime blues, it can be challenging to keep them motivated and focused on workplace goals. Read on to learn what you can do to maintain focus and motivation as you strive to keep your employees' performance on-track throughout summer.
Tips for Getting Through or Avoiding a Summer Slump with Your Employees
1. Be Understanding and Empathetic. Keep an open door policy to encourage staff members to talk with you about summertime struggles. Be empathetic toward the desire to spend more time with family or take a much-needed break after a long winter and spring. Sometimes a good listening ear is all someone needs to get back on track.
2. Plan Fun Company Events. Break up the summer season with fun company or team events that employees can look forward to. Rather than scheduling them on the weekend when they want to spend time with family or friends, plan these occasions during a workday afternoon. If possible, include families and significant others for at least one event.
3. Encourage Vacation Time. A break from the same routine can help your staff members return to work refreshed and motivated. If the summer schedule allows for it, encourage employees to schedule a vacation. Should the summer season be one of your busiest, offering a half-day option on Fridays can also give your team members time to rejuvenate.
4. Offer Flex Time If Possible. How important is it to the success of your business that your employees work from 9 to 5? A little flexibility in the workday can boost morale and motivate workers to perform better throughout the summer months. Set reasonable parameters for flex time and give it a trial run. It may end up working out so well that you decide to incorporate it throughout the year.
5. Provide Outdoor Work or Break Space. Have you ever caught yourself looking longingly out the window on a beautiful, sunny day? You probably wished you could be outside enjoying the weather instead of sitting behind your desk. Capitalize on the best of both worlds by providing outdoor work space. If this is not within the realm of possibility, giving your team an outdoor break area will at least help satisfy their desire to be outside on a summer day.
6. Rewards & Acknowledge Accomplishments. Give employees something to strive for by scheduling a rewards and recognition ceremony. One to two months notice fulfills the need for quick gratification and can be the boost your team needs to push through the dog days of summer. Include certificates, and small to large tangible items as part of the recognition and reward.
7. Take a Work-Related Field Trip. Get everyone out of the office without compromising focus on work. Schedule a once-per-month field trip that can build insight, skills and/or knowledge that will benefit your employees and your business.