Have you ever thought about what makes the “dog days of summer” so truly difficult to get through? For many employees across the country, the warm weather and tempting summertime activities can make the drive to work and the subsequent 8-plus hours that follow a form of torture. And as we all know, when employees are not happy, their productivity tends to plummet. How can you boost employee morale and keep employees motivated through the summer?
While we don’t encourage you to install a swimming pool in the parking lot and have poolside margaritas every day at lunch, we do have a few recommendations for you to provide to your employees to keep them motivated, inspired and productive all summer long.
• Make a list, and check it twice. The value of lists is something that is often underestimated. Encourage your employees to make a list – it can be with a pen and paper or on their computers – but either way, this is an effective way to manage work and avoid overload.
• Power through the day. Once your employees have a list, encourage them to power through it. The faster they can get it done, the more enjoyment they can get out of the rest of the day. Want to sweeten the pot? Offer shortened summer hours on Fridays. Employees who have powered through all of their week’s work are free to leave a bit early and start their summer weekends BEFORE rush hour.
• Remember the simple pleasures. It can be all too easy for employees to focus so much on work that they forget to indulge in the simpler things in life – this is especially true in the summer. Encourage them to remember to enjoy the summer. Send out emails with local events and if something happens to fall before 5 o’clock, offer flex-time for them to get there on time and enjoy the summer festivities.
• The power of 15 minutes. Many people have never considered how much can get done in 15-minutes. To fight off the lazy feeling many get in the summer, encourage employees to attempt to work on tasks in 15-minute intervals until they are complete. Then they are competing with themselves and getting things done.
And of course, remind employees to get outside whenever they can! Even if during their lunch hour they take a stroll around the office, it’s something. The sun is shining and they need to enjoy it – their happiness and productivity depends on it!