Summer vacations are an American tradition, and they are important to our mental health. Vacations allow us to reconnect with our families and alleviate stress, which in turn can have an energizing effect on the workplace.
But what about maintaining productivity when more people are taking vacations and parents have children out of school? Employee schedules must be balanced with the needs of your customers. Here are some thoughts about keeping morale and productivity high during the summer months.
- Let your staff know that you understand they might need to leave early or work from home occasionally, and that you want to accommodate their needs as long as the work gets done.
- Stagger employee requests to work from home or leave early if necessary. Create a fair schedule that allows some employees to leave early one Friday, and others to leave early the next. Offer everyone the same time-off benefits to avoid giving parents preference over those without children.
- Schedule breaks to help alleviate the stress that naturally builds up when some employees are covering for others who are out of the office. For example, provide ice cream sundaes on Friday afternoons or have lunch brought in on Wednesdays.
- If an employee can’t leave town due to financial or family considerations, encourage them to use their vacation or PTO time to simply take a break from the office. These employees are at greater risk of burnout.
- Adopt a casual summer dress code for employees who do not meet with customers. This does wonders for morale when it’s 100 degrees outside.
Customer expectations don’t change just because it’s summer, so managing your staff can be tricky at this time. The key is to remember that being flexible with your employees will reduce absenteeism, improve retention and ultimately boost productivity.
Written by: Andrew C. Jackson, President BravoTECH