While summer vacation schedules can create disruptions for many businesses, that’s just part of the problem.
During the summer months, often productivity slips and attendance dips. Projects seem to take longer to finish and contacts are harder to reach. Many employees feel distracted and disengaged. Even the heat can create lethargy.
Is there anything employers can do to help employees beat the summertime blues? Below are some simple, cost-effective tips.
OFFER FLEXIBLE WORK ARRANGEMENTS
While working parents may especially appreciate a flexible work schedule during the summer months, most employees enjoy this special perk. When it comes to flexible schedules, employers have several possibilities to consider, including shortened work weeks, telecommuting, late arrival or early departure. For those employers that do not already offer flexible scheduling, the summer could prove to be a great trial period.
ENCOURAGE CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Training and development can serve as a strong motivator for employees who appreciate learning and acquiring new skills. An extra incentive for some employees is to attend a local or out-of-state conference These are also great avenues for employees to gain practical knowledge from others in the same field and apply it to the company’s needs.
Even if the pace slows during the summer months, there are still goals to be met. Consider areas within the organization that could benefit from a little more attention and solicit input from employees on improvements. Or create a contest tied to marketing or sales. Make it fun by rewarding employees with paid time off, movie or concert tickets or whatever the budget allows. Simple incentives can stimulate great motivation.
TAKE A FIELD TRIP
A break from daily activities, as well as a change of scenery, can energize employees. Consider a company wide picnic, an outing to a ballpark or beach, or enrolling in a group art or cooking class. Not only will these types of activities be a refreshing break, they can also serve as great team-building events.
Volunteering is an excellent way to help inspire employees and to engender good will in the community. There is an endless supply of volunteer opportunities in each community and employees can either contribute their time independently or as a group. Allowing employees to take a few hours to volunteer during the workday can help them feel good about themselves and proud of the company.
OFFER CASUAL WORKDAYS
Many companies have implemented a casual workday, which typically allows employees to wear casual clothes, such as jeans, to work. But employers can also take it to a whole new level of fun by incorporating different themes, such as wacky hats, favorite team jerseys or costumes. Anything outside of the norm can help boost employee attitudes.
PROVIDE BREAKFAST, LUNCH OR AN ICE CREAM SOCIAL
Workplace events involving food for employees are nice gestures that can also help improve productivity. Consider providing breakfast, catering a lunch-and-learn event or having an ice cream social. Not only will this provide a nice break, but it may also encourage interaction between business groups that don’t always have the opportunity to spend time together.
Planning fun activities that break up the slower summer pace can help boost morale. By taking the time to do this, employers can potentially enjoy stronger employee performance, improved profitability, enhanced client satisfaction and increased employee loyalty not only during the summer but in the months ahead.
Laura Burkett is a district manager in the Purchase office of Insperity Inc., a national human resources and business performance consulting company with $2.6 billion in revenues in 2015. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit insperity.com.