How to keep employees motivated during the summer

How to keep employees motivated during the summer

The arrival of summer has a great deal of meaning for small business owners and their employees. Unfortunately, the two groups rarely share the same objectives during the season as the former wants to increase productivity and the latter wants to relax.

Indeed, many staff members view the summer as the perfect opportunity take a break and disengage from their jobs for a few weeks. After all, workers are conditioned by their time at school to believe they only have to work from September to June while July and August are dedicated to enjoyable pursuits like vacations.

This line of thinking can be problematic for small business owners as relaxed employees can hurt operations and irreparably damage the bottom line. As a result, entrepreneurs have to find unique ways to keep staff members motivated throughout the summer.

To help keep workers engaged this summer, try these strategies.

Give gifts
In many cases, the best way to motivate employees is to offer incentives for continued dedication and effort. When staff members know that their hard work will be rewarded, they'll avoid slacking off and do their best to earn prizes.

Small business owners should give personalized business gifts to workers who maintain steady productivity levels throughout the summer. Custom presents like coffee mugs, tablet covers, smartphone cases and briefcases are effective because they're unique rewards that have everyday functionality in the office. Employees will understand that they earned the incentives because of work and will likely put forth even greater efforts to earn additional prizes.

That being said, entrepreneurs shouldn't give gifts to every single employee. Instead, prizes should be distributed based on merit. Small business owners can hand out presents to workers who just completed difficult projects, closed new deals or reached specific objectives. This approach will ensure that staff members won't become complacent because they need to contribute to the company in order to earn gifts.

Have fun
Summer is the season for having fun and enjoying outdoor activities. Many employees may spend their shifts dreaming of swimming at the beach or going on a lengthy hike in the mountains. After all, work is very rarely, if ever, as enjoyable as all the entertainment options that are available during the summer.

To combat this problem, small business owners should allow staff members to have fun at work. An occasional celebration or activity can go a long way toward ensuring employees aren't burnt out by their responsibilities or checked out mentally. Roxanne Peplow, who runs her own business and is a professional development instructor at Computer Systems Institute, told Inc. Magazine that this is a great strategy for two reasons.

"It shows that you care about them and their well-being. It shows you appreciate the work that they do and not because you're trying to do some company-focused event," said Peplow.

Small business owners should capitalize on popular summertime activities for company events. A barbecue, picnic or beach trip can be effective for allowing employees to have fun while enjoying all that the season has to offer.

Honor vacation time
Many employees want to take for vacations during the summer. In some cases, workers may have annual trips that they go on with their family members and will likely be frustrated if they aren't allowed to attend because of professional obligations.

Small business owners should allow their staff members to take time off this summer to combat disengagement. Employees will appreciate being able to spend time away from the office and will returned ready to get back to work. 

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