Keeping your team engaged during the summertime is often easier said than done. Even you might start feeling antsy when the weather gets nicer. You want to be flexible with your staff, but you don’t want productivity to suffer, either.
What can you do to prevent summeritus? Try these tips to help keep your business on track:
- Get out. Because summer is often a trickier time to pin clients down for meetings, meet with your staff instead, but do it outside. Let your team brainstorm on ways to improve the business. Being outdoors boosts creativity so you can really do some out-of-the-box thinking.
- Keep employees involved. A big reason employees work for small businesses is because they want to be part of the action and feel a sense of ownership. Be sure you’re engaging employees by keeping them in the loop on how the business is doing.
- Anticipate vacations. Keep time-intensive projects to a minimum during the summer so employees can take much-needed time off for vacations. If you can’t do that, outsource the project to an independent contractor so you can accommodate employees and keep customers happy.
- Get help. Hire summer interns who want to learn about your business and have your employees bring them up to speed. You’ll get additional hands on deck and your staff will feel valued – and relieved.
- Set small weekly goals. These easily tackled tasks keep employees engaged. You can even hold contests and set challenges among departments to create a sense of fun and enthusiasm.
- Help out. Take advantage of the good weather and plethora of summer activities by volunteering in your community. Make it a company-wide volunteer project by closing the office early to pitch in at a charity event.
- Set summer hours. Change the office schedule to 10-hour four-day weeks so employees can enjoy long weekends. Or give employees every other Friday afternoon off. (You’ll also save on utility costs.)
- Celebrate. When employees accomplish a significant goal, make a big deal about it by treating the whole team to a meal or rent a food truck for a day.
- Make work fun. Especially in summertime, no one wants to walk into work and immediately feel stressed. Talk to your team; find out what’s going on in their lives. Summeritus is harder to overcome when the office is a drag.
- Give employees what they need to flourish. You can’t expect employees’ best work if you don’t give them the proper tools to succeed. Up-to-date computers and software, functioning printers and copiers, and modern phone systems are essential for every business today.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva's free TrendCast reports.