How Your Firm Can Beat The Summer Slump
Firms sometimes face declines in team productivity when summer hits. It’s a season full of holidays and employee vacations and this disruption may take a toll on your employees’ engagement.
On the other hand, if your employees love your firm’s culture and are excited to be working there, they are likely to perform regardless of the season. Whatever boat you find your firm is in, here are five proven ways to keep things going strong on long, summer days:
Yep. You read that right! And there’s research to back that up. For example, Ernst & Young found that for every 10 hours people were away from the office, their employee reviews bumped up 8% the following year to the success of the firm. Another study found employees who take less vacation are less likely to feel motivated to give their best when they return.
To encourage vacationing, ask employees about their plans. Maybe they want a “stay-cation” where they stay home to enjoy family and friends, catch some movies and pursue hobbies. Or maybe it’s their first cruise! Either way, show interest before they go and after they return.
Pre-plan the coverage they need.
The last thing you want are employees that feel overworked and put upon because colleagues are on vacation and proper coverage has gone unplanned. Think ahead to ensure seats are filled with folks that have the skills to perform while employees are vacationing.
Focus employees on projects they love.
When employees enjoy their work, they don’t watch the clock. Instead, time flies as they devote their time and attention to their tasks. Teams pull together and thrive when they are able to focus on their areas of interest and strengths.
This, of course, requires that you know your employees’ strengths and work passions. If you are unclear, get busy learning what they love most about their jobs. And when you find a gap, get busy fixing it.
Schedule fun time.
Find some employees that are great grillers and plan a picnic or barbecue. This way your teams know fun is coming and they are more willing to put in the work ahead of time.
Consider altering the summer work schedule. I know of firms that give their employees Friday afternoons off and balance it out with longer work days Monday through Thursday.
Stay focused on sales and profitability goals.
Make it clear to your teams that even in summer “the show must go on.” Sales and profitability quotas assigned for this period, through annual budgeting, must be met.
If you are seeing an ebb, brainstorm with your team on how the firm can demonstrate more value to get client sales back in line. Then, accompany employees to meet with those accounts. Clients always appreciate face time.
The American work ethic has made us the greatest country on the planet. That said, if our employees don’t take time off from work then stress, poor health and burnout surface and that’s bad for everyone involved.
Focus on the five proven strategies above and your employees will come back energized and recommitted to your firm. I promise.