SummeritisA disease that is rapidly spread among students the last few weeks of school before summer break. Symptoms include extreme laziness, backsassing teachers, sudden lack of effort and concern about grades, and falling asleep in classes. Yes, it’s a real illness, at least according to the Urban Dictionary. But for those of us who now have to work for a living, just swap out the word ‘student’ with ‘employee’ and we think you know what we’re talking about. So here we are, with Memorial Day in our rear view mirror, with summer just a few more exits ahead. And of course, with summer comes vacation and people wishing they were on vacation. Summer-itis takes over and you find yourself struggling with disengaged employees who would rather be anywhere but at work. In fact, a Captivate Network study found that workplace productivity drops 20 percent during the summer months. Projects take 13 percent longer to complete and workers are 45 percent more distracted. Well, have no fear. We have a few great suggestions that will help keep your team engaged and avoid the dreaded ‘summer-itis.’
- Encourage vacations. We mean it. Suggest it, encourage it, dictate it. Trust us when we say that when employees feel overworked and underappreciated, their work suffers. But lead by example. A CEO who’s 24/7 and hasn’t had a vacation since 1997, needs to walk the walk, and walk right out the door.
Besides, vacations are great for overall productivity. More than 50 percent of employees feel more “rested, rejuvenated and reconnected to their personal life,” and nearly 40 percent of workers “feel more productive and better about their job” after returning from vacation.
- Think outside the box. We mean literally. Think outside. Ditch the fluorescent lights and work outside. Offer team lunches in the park and grab ice cream on Friday afternoons. Some companies, such as BigAss Fans (yep, that’s a real name) build in some extra perks to keep employees motivated. They organize an annual canoe/kayak trip down the Kentucky River and focus on fitness with internal fitness challenges and weekend events, including hikes.
- Foster Year-Round Engagement: Forget the weather, employees who feel as though they work in a culture where they’re trusted, respected and where their unique contributions are valued will be much more invested and much more likely to deliver results. There’s no ON/OFF switch for engaging your teams, so your engagement strategy should still continue over the summer months. Just tweak the scope, adjust your objectives, but carry on. Leveraging PoPin’s mobile app is exactly the right leadership tool to keep engagement on track.