5 Tips to Keep Employees Engaged and Motivated During the Summer

Joe Weinlick
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Summer is a time when employee motivation often wanes. Workers look forward to beach days with the family and relaxed vacation weeks, letting that holiday vibe seep into their working hours. Help your workforce stay on task with these five tips for improving employee engagement.

1. Set Productivity Goals

The summer season is the perfect time to add a little friendly competition to your department to improve employee motivation. Try to up the fun factor by setting goals in the format of a game with fun rewards, such as movie tickets or an overnight at a nearby resort. Alternatively, set cooperative team goals with a shared reward when the goal is met. Choose something everyone is likely to enjoy, say, getting out early on Friday.

2. Embrace Flex Time

Employees work harder when they have some control over the timing of their workday. Consider offering flex hours during the summer months, with employees putting in their hours within a loose framework, instead of requiring everyone to be at the office from 9 to 5. Summer is also the perfect time to offer a shortened workday or workweek, and to allow more workers to complete tasks from home when possible. Increase your team's options and watch employee motivation grow.

3. Increase the Perks

Perks make work fun. Try keeping the breakroom freezer stocked with free ice cream for the summer season or add a gaming console to the employee lounge. Have a bring-your-pet to work day. Offer a surprise day or afternoon off just-because in the middle of the week. Think outside the box about summer perks particular to your area. Employees might enjoy free amusement park tickets or a summer beach pass.

4. Improve Paid-Time-Off Policies

Employee motivation flags when employees feel that they are missing out on opportunities for spontaneous summer fun. Loosen up paid-time-off policies to make it easier for your employees to enjoy great summer weather. Try reducing the amount of notice required when requesting vacation days and encourage your team to take single vacation days or even half days when the mood strikes. Expect workers to be better motivated after their break.

5. Show Your Team Spirit

Few things reduce employee motivation more than feeling like management isn't doing its part. Show your workers that you are a part of the team by working alongside your workforce regularly. Make sure that your own productivity stays strong and avoid regularly coming to work late or leaving the office early when everyone else is on the clock. Most importantly, be sure to acknowledge great work, and support workers with issues both in person and through regular email or text contact.

When the weather starts to warm and days get longer, it is natural for minds to wander with thoughts of outdoor time and vacation. Help your team stay engaged by setting goals, offering perks and improving policies to help your workforce with a better summertime work-life balance. Avoid being an absentee manager to improve employee motivation and create a fun work environment where everyone does their fair share.

Photo courtesy of hdi vaibhav at Flickr.com


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