Starting around Memorial Day Weekend, employees shift into that antsy, need-a-vacation state. And, quite honestly, they probably do need a vacation. As SHRM says, “the summer slump is real.”
The buzz of new projects and goals has waned. Kids are on vacation. For working parents, summers are exhausting, juggling childcare, day camps, and “I’m bored!”. Time off work is spent trying to crunch in fun summer activities. Days are longer, nights shorter, and deadlines continue to loom.
Summertime is challenging. So how can an organization balance its needs with those of its employees? Embrace summer and get your employees out the door.
1. Work smarter, not longer. Try shorter days. Have employees take a shorter lunch. Or try shutting the office earlier on Friday afternoons. Everything depends on the organization’s needs. A little creativity with scheduling can go a long way.
2. Dress down. Relax the formal dress code (ties, jackets, nylons etc.) over the summer. Being stifling hot and uncomfortable does nothing for productivity.
3. What do your employees need (and want)? This should be done early in the year, but it’s better late than never. Find out their specific needs – whether it be childcare or access to sporting equipment for weekend outings. Tapping into your employees’ specific needs will help you make a better summertime strategy. Ideas include partnering with a YMCA kids camp to get discounts, working with a local sporting goods store to get discounts on rental equipment, setting up a weekend hiking club, restaurant club, cinema club and more. Work with human resources to create strategic occupational health programs that engage employees.
4. Respect non-office hours. Do not contact employees when they’re out-of-office, unless absolutely necessary. Draw those work-life boundaries, so your employees see that you value their time.
5. Change gears. All employees need to improve on something. Make summertime a time for professional development and feed the culture of continuous improvement. Changing things up and providing real opportunities to learn and grow is a great way to harness those summertime blues.
6. Make summer a company event. Outdoor lunch meetings, walking clubs, afternoon picnics can bring some life into the board room. Summer is inevitable. So why not make summer at the office something to look forward to?
You’ve got another 8 weeks of summertime, so make summer smart strategies to keep employees tapped into what they have to do without losing them to daydreams of beaches and barbecues.