Keeping Employees Engaged During the Summer Months

Helping employees maintain a high degree of motivation is a year-long objective for virtually all businesses. But the summer months can sometimes prove to be an extra challenge, with the possibility of a potential slump in sales or a spurt of employees taking vacation days off. In these and similar circumstances, workers sometimes lag behind in productivity or otherwise feel less motivated at their jobs.

Here at Baillie Lumber, we believe it is important to do our part to help employees maintain their motivation throughout the year. Recognizing, however, that the dog days of summer can sometimes have a “de-motivating” effect, we strive to explore different strategies that help keep employees focused and productive throughout the long, lazy weeks of June, July and August.  DSC4253

Here are tips from experts on this important topic: 

Get outdoors! Assuming there’s good weather in your neck of woods, why not seize opportunities to have employees build relationships within their teams? Plan non-work-related activities—a picnic lunch, softball or some other group sporting event, etc.—that enable your hard-working team members to blow off some steam and, in the process, establish closer bonds with their co-workers. For us, this could even mean maybe making a trip to the sawmill to observe the Red Oak, White Oak, or Ash being sawn or even a visit with our forestry teams.

Offer training opportunities. Summer can be a great time to focus on expanding the skills and knowledge of your employees. Look into sponsoring in-house presentations by experts and consultants on topics of interest and relevance to your business. See if there are valuable workshops or conferences taking place elsewhere in your area and encourage employees to attend. As a result of these efforts, you can inject some fresh thinking in your company and get people brainstorming about new ways to meet your current challenges. 

Relax your dress code. Depending on how much employees interact with customers, summer is also a good time to relax your workplace dress code. Allowing some informality in apparel helps keep the atmosphere more casual. When informing employees of a change in policy, “be sure to let them know the time-frame for which the dress code has changed, and outline expectations in order to maintain a professional and respectful workplace,” advises Helios HR.  

Set new short-term goals. For some people, summer can equal “slump,” or the sense that little is being accomplished. To offset this feeling, give employees small but meaningful projects to complete. These should have short-term completion dates, so that employees (and their supervisors) can measure success in days or weeks. Achieving these objectives helps maintain motivation and productivity.  

It is important to keep in mind your employees are your most valuable resource, so it’s a good idea to ensure that they stay active and focused during the summer, and ready to meet new challenges when autumn rolls around.

What efforts are you making to better engage your employees? We’d love to hear from you!

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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