The temperatures are rising but energy levels are waning during the summer months. Especially when it comes to productivity at work. It’s hard for job responsibilities to compete with barbeques and pool parties. That’s why it’s important to keep motivation up during the dog days of summer. Here are some ways for small business owners to put a little fun in the workplace and avoid a summer slump in productivity.
Flex the Schedule
Consider giving staff the option to vary their work hours during the summer. For example, some businesses allow staff to work extended hours during the week so they can leave early on Fridays. Another idea is to allow parents to split their schedule once a week in order to take the kids to summer activities.
The total number of work hours is the same. They are just apportioned differently. You can maintain service levels by alternating the schedules so customer needs are covered.
Seize the Day
If business activity slows down, seize the opportunity to do things you don’t have time for when you’re swamped. Attend a networking event with other small business owners. The Chamber of Commerce, merchant associations, or professional organizations often sponsor more social events during the summer. Use the opportunity for informal conversation.
You’ll likely discover two things—others are facing the same problems you are, others have found a solution that hasn’t occurred to you yet. Just getting out of your normal routine gives you the permission to listen and learn from others.
One of the most effective (and least expensive) motivators is to say, “Thank you.” It works just as well during slow times as it does during your busiest times of the year. Consider having an employee appreciation event for your staff. It can be as simple as an unexpected sundae bar in the break room or relaxed dress code for the day. These small acts can energize employees by reminding them that they are valued.
The same can be said for your customers, too. Reach out to them with an email or some summer tips. They will appreciate that you remembered them and it could jog their memory about your business. That can spur some sales activity.
It’s easy to let routine zap people’s energy level. So change things up a little by doing something different. For example, one business owner rented a massage chair for a week and put it in the break room. It provided a nice break for employees just because it was something different. They were able to go back to work with a little different perspective. That’s great for productivity and for customer service too.
Don’t let the summer heat trigger a productivity meltdown for you and your employees. These ideas can help you maintain the energy level in your small business this summer.