Best Practices in HR

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Robyn Whalen
  May 22, 2018

How to Keep Vacation-Minded Employees Productive and Engaged Over Summertime

Summertime is just around the corner! With longer days and beautiful weather, it’s no surprise that work might not always be your employees’ top priority throughout the season. In fact, 25% of people report feeling less productive in the office over the summer months. That’s why it’s crucial for employers to learn and implement some new strategies for successful summertime management.

While productivity and engagement are two critical factors for most employers, it’s important to realize that employees deserve a little fun during this lively season. Below, we share seven tips to help employers keep employees productive and engaged over the summer – without sacrificing the excitement the season has to bring.

Encourage vacations.

While it might sound counterintuitive, encouraging your employees to take vacation will help them feel more motivated and focused while at the office. Taking time off has been shown to have a positive impact on employee productivity. A study by Mark Rosekind found that taking a vacation can increase performance by 80%. Employees who skip vacation tend to feel more stressed and are subject to burnout – meaning they are a lot more likely to have trouble staying productive and engaged at work. Going on a vacation can also help employees get those summertime cravings out of their system, so they’ll come back to work feeling recharged and refreshed.

Offer summer hours and flexibility.

Summer Fridays have become increasingly popular within the past few years. Offering employees the opportunity to leave early on Fridays during the summer months is a cheap and easy way for employers to boost employee engagement, job satisfaction, and productivity. You can also try creating a more flexible schedule over the summer months. Let employees work outside during office hours on a nice day, allow them to work remotely when out of town, or let them work extra hours on a Monday if they want to leave early on a Friday.

Go on some outings.

The summer months bring plenty of opportunities for some workplace fun. Throw team events, parties, or outings once a month throughout summer to keep things fun and boost productivity. Company picnics, BBQs, bowling parties, and half-day field trips are all some great ideas that will help employees enjoy their summer days spent at the office. The increased social interaction and feelings of excitement will help boost motivation and engagement at your company.

Start new wellness initiatives.

While the summer brings warmer weather, it doesn’t always bring healthier behaviors. Between cookouts, drinks by the pool, and vacations, the summer months can be especially hard for employees trying to maintain healthy habits. And without healthy habits in place, employees might start to lose energy and feel less productive in the office. However, this season is a great opportunity for employers to kick-start some new wellness initiatives to boost productivity in the workplace. Start a new wellness challenge, host an employee wellness day, or kickoff the summer months with an employee health screening. Some other summertime employee wellness ideas include:

  • An outdoor walking club
  • Drink more water challenge
  • Company garden
  • Outdoor exercise challenge
  • Healthy summer picnic
  • Bike to work challenge
  • Fresh fruit and veggie challenge

Boost office morale.

Happy employees are more productive employees. Research has found that happier employees can be up to 20% more productive than their less happy counterparts. As an employer, it’s part of your responsibility to make sure that your employees feel happy and satisfied in their roles. You can easily help boost employee morale by expressing gratitude to your employees, giving company-wide shout-outs to your team, or sharing a team breakfast together once a week. Be sure to also ask employees for their input on what would boost morale at your office. When employees feel involved, they become more engaged in their work.

Incentivize productivity.

If you feel like productivity is really starting to slack in your office, consider incentivizing productivity. Reward top-performers on your team with gift cards, extra PTO, a free lunch, or a jeans day. Set reasonable productivity goals so that employees know what to work towards. A little friendly competition can perk things up in the office in no time! 

Don’t stress it.

Breathing down employees’ necks to make sure they are being productive over the summer months will do a lot more harm than good. It’s normal for employees to be a bit more involved in their personal lives during this time of year. Stressing out employees by putting unreasonable demands on productivity and performance will only lead to high levels of stress and burnout at your company. Be patient with employees, and encourage them rather than pressure them to perform their best. The best work will be done when employees are in their best moods!

While summer is a wonderful time of the year, it can be a bit tricky to keep employees engaged, productive, and focused. But by offering flexibility, kick-starting some new goals, and having a bit of fun, summertime can be one of the best times of the year for you and your workforce.

Do you think workplace productivity takes a nose-dive during the summer season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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