Summer can be one of the busiest seasons of the year for employers and employees alike. Depending on the industry, many employers will also experience a sharp uptick in business. According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, 41 percent of employers will hire seasonal workers for the summer months. With higher profit opportunities, new employees to train, and your current employees to manage, getting through the dog days of summer will have its challenges.
Regardless of whether you are managing a retail store, restaurant, or hotel, it also can be tough to keep employees motivated during the summer months. Students are out of school, vacations are on the rise, and the pool is open (or the ski slopes if you’re south of the equator!). Even so, your business still needs a productive, engaged team perhaps now more than any other time of the year.
If this problem sounds all-too-familiar, read on. Here are five tips to help your employees stay motivated and engaged as the summer months roll around.
1. Honor vacation and other time off requests
We have all been in those situations where we’re running ourselves to the ground, caught right in the middle of the daily grind, without a glimmer of vacation in sight. Anyone in this situation could lose their minds. Employee burnout — the mental or even physical collapse from too much stress — is a very real problem in America’s workforce.
For most employees, those few precious vacation days are vital to their mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Yet, too often, these time-off requests get lost in a pile of paperwork. By using employee management software, these requests are received and processed quickly. As a small business owner, you can approve or disapprove these requests nearly instantaneously after checking for any scheduling conflicts on the same dashboard.
2. Offer incentives to move the company forward
No matter what kind of business you’re in, there are times when your employees (and you) become less productive. A study by Captive Network found that workplace productivity dropped 20% and attendance dropped 19% in the summer months. Workers are also 45% more likely to be distracted during the summer. While there’s no way to eliminate all the trending loss of productivity at work, there is a way to put some spice back into your workplace while growing revenues.
Incentive programs can provide a goal for your employees who may be less motivated during these months. For instance, offering gift cards (or even a free vacation day!) as a prize for a sales competition is a relatively inexpensive way to get your employees interested in their work again, while increasing profits for your company. Even something as simple as a summer fitness program or competition can make work more engaging and bring a sense of unity among the team.
3. Step up your company culture game
For today’s younger workforce, working for a company with a culture they enjoy is one of the top priorities when looking for a job. For some massive corporations like Apple or Coca-Cola, millions of dollars are spent on creating a stellar company culture. While you likely don’t have that level of resources to use for such a purpose, creating a culture that keeps employees motivated in the summer is easier than you may think.
For example, something as simple as catered Taco Tuesdays or other events where employees can all take a break and do something enjoyable together creates a reason to love your business. Even planning an after-hours event, like a picnic dinner or happy hour, can show your employees you care while giving them the chance to get to know each other outside the workplace. When employees are happy with where they work, they are more productive. A recent study even showed that, when employees enjoy their workplace but make a little less than they would in other jobs, they are still happier than those who get paid more for less enjoyable work.
4. Set personal goals with each employee
Even if you don’t have the resources to fiscally incentivize your employees, setting individual goals in the summer provides something for them to work toward. Creating unique goals with every person on your payroll has its benefits. It gives your employees a reason to value their work, even during these summer months with decreased employee motivation and productivity. Second, it also creates a more personal connection between you and your employees.
If you help coach your employees to reach their goals, they may come to see you as more than just a boss; you may even become their mentor. And when employees know someone has a vested interest in their professional development, they are more motivated to become better at their job, which benefits both them and your business as a whole. You can easily keep track of these performance goals and milestones with Deputy’s simple Tasking and Journaling features.
5. Incorporate new training programs
Once you have set goals with each of your employees, it’s important to provide the tools they need to reach them. Training that is in line with the newest standards and innovations in your industry can help your employees reach new heights in their professional careers. Whether you own a bar or a private medical practice, having employees who are well-trained can launch you above your competition.
There are any number of ways to provide training for your employees. Local colleges and civic centers offer professional summer classes for a small fee that can be taken in the evenings or during the workday. You can also use Deputy’s Newsfeed communication feature to both provide the education you are looking for, as well as keep track of which employees have and have not received specific training.
Here’s to a productive summer!
Though the summer is the time of year when employee motivation hits an all-time low, it doesn’t have to be. By encouraging your employees to be engaged in their work through goals, training, company culture and other tactics, you can ensure your summer is just as productive as the rest of the year.
By using Deputy’s employee scheduling software, you and your employees can keep track of vacation time, goals and milestones, training and more — all through the power of an easy to use mobile app. To learn more or get a free 30 day trial, visit www.deputy.com.
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