By mid-July you may already be seeing the signs: Checked out employees gazing out the window despite pressing deadlines, mornings that start at 10:00, ten minute team meetings that extend into an hour of off-topic laughter and heated arguments about a popular TV show, and more “mental health days” taken per person, per month, then you’ve seen all year. These are classic signs of disengagement and summer burnout. And if you don’t find a way to motivate your teams and bring their attention back to the task at hand, productivity may drop for the rest of the season.
So how can you bring your teams back on board and salvage their flagging attention? Here are a few methods that might help.
Despite the long days and torpid, laid-back vibe of the season, the summer can be an extremely stressful time for employees. Deadlines are as urgent as ever, some business cycles are on overdrive, and longer days simply mean more frenetic activity and more demands on your employees’ time. So let them know that you’re watching and paying attention. Keep your door and your ears open, and when they need to vent, ask for help, or request resources, make yourself available.
Keep an eye on company policy.
If you have a dress code, don’t throw it out the window during the summer time just because it’s hot. But do consider implementing casual Fridays. Keep safety policies in effect and work hours consistent, but flexible. Make sure an eight hour day is still an eight hour day, but let employees who come in at ten stay till six to make up the time. Offer a summer hours program or remote work arrangements if this will help your burned out employees stay productive.
Keep things fun.
Sponsor happy hours on Fridays during the summer; this can be a great way to keep the wheels turning all the way to 5:00 on the last day of the week. Consider sponsoring Saturday outings to the park or a miniature golf course. Sponsor a softball or Frisbee team. And if you can, offer a “hack day” once a year during the height of the summer. Encourage your employees to work on their own non-work related projects for a day.
When employees leave for vacations, encourage the rest of the team to pick up the slack and share the load without blinking an eye. Make this as easy as possible by reassigning tasks and personally taking on as much of the burden as you can. Employees should not begrudge each other and should trust that the help and support that goes around comes around.
For more on how to keep your office functioning during the heat and stress of the summer season, reach out to the staffing team at Cordia Recruiting & Staffing.