Keeping Productivity High During the Summer Heat
For most people, the summer season is synonymous with sunny days, a packed social calendar and vacation time. It’s overwhelmingly recognized as the most popular time of year for relaxation, much to the chagrin of business owners everywhere come June 21st. As the temperature rises, and the days get longer, it’s easy for even the most motivated employees to lose enthusiasm, and likewise, can be difficult for employers to achieve a careful balance of flexibility and productivity so necessary during times like these.
At Power, we constantly strive to find new ways to strike that balance and let our employees know that their time is valued and that they are appreciated—without feeling as though our work product is suffering because of it. That said, creating a welcoming work environment that both rewards and inspires hard work can be a challenge, especially when employees are distracted by the allure of summer vacation. With the knowledge that every company’s culture and workforce is different, here are a few tips for keeping employees motivated during the dog days of summer.
Be flexible if possible. Consider offering flextime or reduced summer hours where employees can set their own schedule to fit their needs. While summer hours may not be right for every business or department, such as customer service, they can be a great motivator that encourages employees to use their limited office hours more wisely. In addition, switching up the routine with the occasional lunch or meeting outside, or a special happy hour where employees can mingle with management are easy ways to help employees feel valued at your company. Summer is also a great time to try something new, like a book club or “brown bag” professional development series.
Create motivation. Consider implementing a seasonal motivational game or competition that will encourage employees to deliver the best possible results throughout the summer. For companies like ours, with a large contingent of sales representatives, sales contests are a frequent tool we employ to motivate employees, and the summer is a prime time to do so. There’s no better way to create a sense of urgency and passion, among employees, then by offering an appealing slate of incentives for them to work toward.
Reward success. This simple tip makes a world of difference in motivating employees to stay productive as summer distractions run high. A thank you text message, phone call or congratulatory email is a great way to reward good performance and let employees know you recognize their accomplishments. For a larger accomplishment, such as an entire team meeting a challenging goal, treating the team to a baseball game, drinks at a local pub or even an afternoon movie at an air-conditioned theater can boost morale without taking too much time away from work.
Finding ways to keep your employees productive and satisfied should be a year-long priority for every business owner. Be sure to revisit your tactics throughout the year and evaluate which are effective, and which can be reconsidered. Your employees will thank you, and your business will thrive.