Keeping Employees Motivated & Slick as Ice in the Summer

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    Working OutdoorAiming for high productivity during the summer can be difficult when everyone is making plans for vacation and time to visit with family and loved ones. Beyond maintaining productivity in the workplace, it’s hard to keep employees in the office in the summer.

    In many ways, it takes a team player who is also a leader to round up the office during the summer. Make sure employees stay on track, even when they have vacations on the brain:

    Plan Ahead

    Ask employees to give you their summer schedules as soon as possible so you can plan accordingly for times people in key roles are gone, and make summer vacation availability and procedures clear to employees when they’re hired. Alert them if certain times will be limited, or if employees are restricted to requesting off a certain number of days, and encourage them to make requests early. Once requests are in, project managers can use resource management software to effectively organize tasks and projects and allocate the appropriate resources to complete the job, as well as alert companies to when they should hire temporary employees to fill voids. Consider making the summer schedule transparent to everyone on your team, so team members are kept in the loop for project needs, as well. And make sure communication during the summer season is strong, writes Peg Cummings of Return Customer, so all team members are on the same page as to who will step into roles and take over tasks.

    Tie Up Loose Ends

    Tell employees to try not to leave any strings hanging before their vacations. Before they leave, make sure employees set up voicemail and email forwarding to other colleagues if they are unable to address the needs of clients. Encourage employees to finish whatever projects they are able to before they leave. Make sure employees communicate vacation plans to clients who might need to reach them. And have employees coordinate with each other on what tasks may be delegated in their absences.

    Give Employees Specific Goals

    Use productivity benchmarks from earlier months to set goals for employees to attain during summer months. If there are specific guidelines in place with expectations, employees will be able to work towards those goals instead of slacking off. If possible, offer incentives for employees to complete additional projects before they leave to help alleviate the work burden while they are gone.

    Use Positive Reinforcement

    If you sense employees are having a harder time staying focused this time of year, make examples out of the ones who go above and beyond by publicly reinforcing positive behavior. Consider implementing a rewards system for exemplary work. The more employees are praised for a job well done, the more likely they will repeat their great work, according to Monika Jansen of GROUPON Works.

    Bring the Vacation Inside

    Allow and encourage employees to bring summery touches into the work environment; they don’t need to leave the office to have fun. Allow employees to dress more casually than normal one day a week, conduct weekly team-building activities or allow more flexible schedules to accommodate for those employees who have visitors in town. Make the work environment more conducive to your employees, writes Spark Hire CEO Josh Tolan on, and they’ll be more likely to turn in great work for you.

    How has your business motivated employees to do great work during the summer season? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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    David is a devoted father from Boston with a penchant for writing about anything that strikes his interest. His main interest is writing about business management on business blogs.