Busy season isn’t just for accountants. In fact, late summer and early fall is peak season for businesses in a wide variety of industries. Those working in health care (open enrollment is around the corner), manufacturing, technology, education (school is back in session), government, real estate and construction sectors (need to get those projects done before the cold winter months), to name a few, are facing extremely high workloads and pressing deadlines.
And despite these heavy workloads, it’s important for employers and managers to work hard to keep morale high during summer busy seasons. Because like those accountants, other professionals work long hours, well into the night, and on the weekend. It can be a grind and morale and motivation can sag.
In the article How To Develop Relationships With Your Employees (And Improve Morale) the professionals at Adecco reminded employers of the importance of keeping teams motivated.
“Research shows that a motivated, engaged and responsive workforce is substantially more productive than an unmotivated, apathetic group of employees. When workers feel engaged, they are more likely to work harder for the good of the company, because they can see first-hand what their contributions mean to its success.”
Trying new things during summer busy season can help employees stay motivated and engaged.
Tel Ganesan, president and CEO of Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Kyyba, Inc., a global IT, engineering and professional staff augmentation company, recommends these six tips to help keep your team morale high during summer busy season:
- Conduct meeting outdoors: A break from the office can be a nice change of pace, and what’s better than getting outdoors?
- Change in dress code: Allow a casual dress code – but encourage employees to keep a set of professional options in their workspace just in case.
- Allow for a more flexible schedule. For instance, close the office a few hours early occasionally, if possible. Allow some workers to leave at Noon on Friday, or come in later if needed. Surprise someone with a day off if it works into the schedule. Little changes can help provide a break that re-energizes and refocuses staff who are working long hours.
- Company-sponsored lunches: The less your staff has to worry about, the better. Bringing in lunch can help lessen the need to leave the office (although getting out is always encouraged, it’s just not always possible) and that leftover pot roast just doesn’t cut it sometimes. Give employees something to look forward to. And employees always look forward to free food. Get enough for leftovers too for those working well into the night.
- Surprise with a prize: Give away prizes such as gift certificates or event tickets. Read this article on how perks can motivate and don’t have to be expensive.
- Focus on fitness: Encourage staff to get exercise and enough sleep. To ease the tension, hire a masseuse or yoga instructor to come to the office.
Keep this in mind though: Summer busy season is the time to see when key performers rise to the top. Take note of those who go above and beyond. This is where you can find that hidden rock star or future leader. Invest in those people. Because, the bottom line is, business needs to get done. See who rises to the top
“There are always distractions regardless of the season,” says Doug Kisgen, a serial entrepreneur, organizational consultant, and author of Rethink Happy. “Ultimately, if you have the right people in the right seats in your company, there should be little need for extra motivation. These A players look forward to coming to work every day and thus stay motivated year-round.”