The arrival of the summer months each year is both a blessing and a curse for the workforce. On one hand, the summer is exciting for a lot of people – it’s a chance for kids to get out of school, their parents to take some time off work and families to enjoy nice vacations together. On the other hand, when you’re not on vacation, it can be a lousy time to be cooped up in an office.
It’s never fun to be stuck at work when the weather outside is beautiful and there’s a whole wide world of stuff you’re missing out on. For this very reason, the summer presents some serious difficulties for HR leaders, who are tasked with maintaining employee retention and productivity. How do you keep the workforce engaged and motivated during the summer, when it’s so tough for people to stay on top of their game?
“How do you keep the workforce engaged and motivated during the summer?”
Deb LaMere, VP of Employee Engagement at Ceridian, was recently approached by Business Management Daily to discuss this problem. Her solution? Allow a little bit of flexibility in the workday. If you allow people to modify their traditional 9-to-5 office routine, it might help them achieve work-life balance and be happier in their jobs:
“Employees need flexibility in order to achieve work/life balance, especially during the summer when children are out of school and child care often falls to the working parent,” said LaMere. “Allow for flexible work options, like regularly working from home a few days a week or letting employees head out a few hours early, as long as their work is completed. When you give flexibility, you get better results – not just during the summer, but year-round.”
That’s just one idea, though. The possibilities are truly endless. Here are five more strategies that might be effective for reenergizing your staff members during the difficult summer months:
Allow people to go outside
No one likes being cooped up indoors – so don’t force people to be! Instead, you can hold group meetings outside on occasion, allowing people to enjoy the fresh air while also still staying productive.
Arrange for work outings
When you were a kid, you enjoyed school field trips, right? Well, even grownups can benefit from the occasional change of scenery. A work outing can be a nice deviation from the usual routine, helping to keep people engaged.
Encourage more creative work
Perhaps, if work is becoming dull during the summer months, you can offer people projects that are more interesting. This might get their creative juices flowing, encouraging them to attack their work with renewed enthusiasm.
Set challenging employee goals
Sometimes people slow down during the summer because they just aren’t challenged enough. If you can set ambitious goals for your employees’ achievement, that might be the trick for getting them reenergized.
Offer tantalizing new incentives
A small bonus or a gift card for high-achieving employees can be a big difference maker. If people have an incentive to step up their performance during the summer, they just might do it. What “carrots” do you have to offer?