Its springtime in Northeast Ohio and that probably means that if your employees aren’t on spring break, they are probably fighting the inevitable spring fever that manifests itself in workplaces each year which may brighten our spirits, but is also a distraction from getting work accomplished. Here are a few ways HR professionals can help combat spring fever in the workplace:
Implement Flexible Schedules
Implement a flexible scheduling policy and encourage employees to use flexible scheduling options to spend more time outside enjoying the weather or with their families, children, and friends. Flexible scheduling will allow employees to balance their work/life more effectively. For example, compressed work weeks could give an employee an extra day off or flex time could offer them more time on the front or back end of their day. Telecommuting is a great option as well. Some employers of choice even set “summer hours” (reduced schedules) to allow for more time away from the office.
Make Work Enjoyable
Making work enjoyable will be crucial. Employees won’t wish they were somewhere else if they are enjoying the work they are doing and/or the people with whom they are working. Encourage your managers to delegate projects to employees that are more enjoyable and interesting for them or allow employees to explore or work on something in which they have a particular interest during these months when motivation may be lower than normal. In the office, open the windows, decorate the space with flowers, and do some spring cleaning. Freshness will help yield new perspectives and ideas.
Embrace the Positive
Moods tend to be more elated during the warmer months so capitalize on this positivity and use it to promote stronger collaboration and more cooperative coworker relationships. This is a great time to build better work relationships that will benefit your organization in terms of teamwork and better collaboration. Common practices used by organizations to enhance collaboration and cooperation among coworkers include creating spaces and opportunities for employees to relax and have fun with one another, going on external outings together (as a company or department), and holding lunchtime activities (sports, cookouts, etc.) to encourage employees to get to know each other and develop relationships.
Use Paid Time Off as a Reward
One of the greatest rewards during these summer months is additional paid time off. Everybody wants more time away from the office to be with their friends and families during this time of year. That extra vacation day or two may be a great motivator for employees versus the gift card that you usually provide in your rewards and recognition program. Or, simply give managers the discretion to let employees out early or give them a day off as a way to thank them for their efforts and contributions.
Encourage Challenge, Goal Setting, and Development
One of the best ways to keep employees engaged is to keep challenging them and encouraging them to either set new goals or meet existing ones. Schedule some training and development opportunities for employees this summer to help keep them engaged and developing new and useful skills.
Use a Summer Intern for Some Extra Workforce Support
Interns are inexpensive and ideal for supporting your workforce during the summer months. Plus, they are in high supply these days and eager to learn the basics of business and their field of interest. Free up some time for your employees by hiring an intern this summer.
When staying focused becomes more difficult for your employees as we approach the warm weather, keep these tactics in mind to keep an engaged, happy, and productive workforce.
- HR Help Desk: For more information or guidance on dealing with employee motivation, engagement, or productivity issues during the warmer months, or for sample policies and practices related to flexible scheduling, development, paid time off, and more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Surveys: If you’re interested in hiring a summer intern, be sure to participate in our survey on Internship Pay Rates & Practices, which is useful in helping your organization benchmark employment practices of interns: http://erc.intern.surveyconsole.com/.
- Professional Development: Capitalize on professional development opportunities to help engage your employees. For ERC training and development offerings, please visit: http://www.ercnet.org/training/index.asp
- Employee Engagement Surveys: How engaged are your employees? What areas of your workplace to do you need to enhance to improve engagement of your workforce? This is a popular time of the year to conduct a survey of your employees, so email email@example.com for more information on conducting an Employee Engagement Survey with ERC.