Summer’s here in full force and, no matter where your business is located, chances are your employees have caught summer fever. How can you keep employees motivated, engaged and present when beautiful summer days are calling them away?
The big essential for summer management is being realistic. Know that employees will take vacations, want random days off and, yes, stare out the window longingly at about 3 in the afternoon. That said, here are some ideas to help your team enjoy summer without leaving your business high and dry:
Offer Personal Days
Some companies only provide sick days and holidays, so employees who want to take a day off have to feign being sick. No one likes making (or getting) these phone calls. Be honest about the situation and turn your sick days into sick/personal days so employees can feel better about taking a day off.
Institute Summer Hours
If your business’s workload permits, offering a schedule where employees get every Friday afternoon or every other Friday afternoon off in the summer is a huge morale-booster (and also helps eliminate those fake sick days). If your workload doesn’t permit that, letting employees work four, 10-hour days with Fridays off during the summer can be a great way to give your staff more flexibility. (Make sure you are not breaking any laws with regard to overtime.)
Reward Employees With Comp Time
Comp time off is especially appreciated in the summer. Rewarding employees for their accomplishments with comp time can help motivate them to work harder.
If you don’t already offer flextime, summer can be a good time to try it out. Before offering flextime, think through any problems it might cause in terms of scheduling, ensuring adequate coverage among employees. It’s important to be fair and offer flextime options to all employees within a certain category. For instance, while you may not offer it to all employees unilaterally, you can’t offer it to some managers and not others, or to some salespeople and not others.
Offer Remote Work Options
Depending on what your business does, it’s likely many of your employees could easily do their jobs from home or outside the office at least part of the time. As with flextime, think through your remote work policy before you implement it. Let employees know that remote work is a privilege, not a right, and institute checks and balances so you know work is really getting done.
Even if you can’t offer employees time off or the other perks mentioned above, get into the summer spirit. Hold seasonal company events like a company picnic, beach party with family members, Friday BBQ lunches or Friday afternoon ice cream sundaes.
Use Downtime Wisely
If your business slows down a bit in summer, as many do, use the time well. Take care of business tasks you don’t have time for during the normal rush of the workweek. Or consider taking a vacation yourself. After all, it’s not just employees who get summer fever.
Daydreaming Employee Photo via Shutterstock
All good suggestions, Rieva. Though it might seem lazy to pick the first one, it’s one that I’ve found is equally vexing to employees and employers. Personal days should be offered more widely.
Thanks Dave. I agree, obviously. Personal days are an easy perk to offer, and since employees generally ask in advance for them, they’re fairly easy to manage.
Nice one Rieva! We’re a high-tech recruitment company that is trying to encourage more employees to do this – i.e. ask their bosses about working remotely over the summer. Our IT team can facilitate the connections so your boss won’t even know you’re at the beach on your laptop! 😉
LOVE that Nicola!
This is really a great list of suggestions! I think my favorite one is “Institute Summer Hours.”