Summer can drain workplace productivity. Employees generally feel more sapped of work energy and motivation during the summer. In fact, studies have found that organizations can experience a lull in productivity during the summer, with one 2011 study finding that one-in-four employers think employees are less productive in the summer.
What are some easy ways that your organization can help ensure that productivity doesn't suffer this summer? Here are a couple strategies.
1. Encourage employees to set goals or take on a stretch project/assignment.
Give employees a new goal or encourage them to take on an engaging stretch project/assignment over the summer. New goals, challenges, and opportunities are some of the best ways to keep productivity high during the summer. Employees will be encouraged to stretch themselves to a new height.
2. Provide additional flexibility.
Employees who have more autonomy and control over how, where, and when they work can better manage their work and personal life. Similarly, research shows a positive relationship between productivity and flexibility.
Providing a few flexible work options - such as compressed workweeks, shorter work hours, or a more lenient attendance policy (at least in the summer, but preferably all year long) can help employees better manage their hours and find work/life balance. Such flexible options tend to motivate employees to get their work done in less time so that they have more time outside of work.
3. Praise and recognize productivity.
Praise and recognize your most productive employees. Create a recognition or rewards initiative (perhaps a special contest or challenge) aimed at recognizing productivity, superior accomplishments, or going above and beyond. These types of incentives tend to help motivate employees to be productive and successful, and increase or improve upon their output.
4. Engage with your employees.
Whether it's a mid-year meeting/check-in or a team meeting/retreat, meeting with your employees at least once during the summer helps generate renewed energy for their work and progress, and reduces the risk that they will grow disengaged or unproductive during the summer months.
5. Hire an intern or recent grad.
Summer interns and recent grads bring freshness, enthusiasm, and creativity into the workplace. Not only can they provide your employees with some extra workforce support on projects, but they can help re-energize your staff with their fresh new ideas, youthful energy, and willingness to contribute and learn. They can sometimes rekindle the fire within your workforce.
Productivity doesn't have to suffer over the summer, and these are easy ways that you can help ensure that employees stay productive.
Training & Development
ERC not only offers training on a variety of workplace/soft skills, but also on topics to help your managers boost engagement, including motivating employees, as well as topics to help your staff improve their productivity such as time and priority management.
This survey reports trends in intern and recent grad employment and compensation practices among 122 Northeast Ohio employers. In addition, check out our guide to managing and paying interns.