As the sun begins to go down earlier and temperatures cool off, many employees have a hard time getting back into the swing of work. After all, summer brings the connotation of fun and relaxation even in the workforce. So it’s only natural that your company experiences a loss of staffing motivation as summer ends and the pace returns to normal.
A lack of motivation can negatively impact your employees’ productivity and efficiency. So how can you motivate your employees as summer comes to a close? Let’s take a look at some tips that you can implement. But first, let’s examine how the end of summer affects your employees’ lives.
How the End of Summer Affects Employee Motivation
Seasonal impacts on employee motivation and satisfaction can not be underestimated. Many external factors affect employees during the end of summer.
1. The End of Vacation Season
Many employees enjoy extended vacations, summer holidays, and long weekends during the summer. This period of relaxation can naturally make it difficult to return to the weekly grind, and many employees may feel less motivated to work.
2. The Start of the School Year
Employees with children may be preoccupied with the start of the new school year. They’ll be focused on getting supplies, getting their children enrolled in courses and after-school activities, and setting up transportation and childcare.
3. End-of-the-Year Activity
The end of summer also brings about the stretch of non-stop holiday activity that runs from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Many employees will be preparing for the financial and social burdens of the holiday season, which can affect their focus on work.
4 Ways to Boost Staff Motivation as Summer Ends
With all the external factors mentioned above, it’s no wonder your employees may experience a slump in August and September. Thankfully, there are four simple steps you can take to proactively reignite employee enthusiasm.
1. Create a Positive, Encouraging Company Culture
Healthcare company culture is the biggest influencer of employee motivation and satisfaction. In fact, over 50% of employees are more likely to care about work culture over salary. So how can you create a company culture that will prevent the post-summer slump?
It’s important that your employees don’t feel invisible or taken for granted. So find ways to make them feel more supported by your company and engaged with their work.
Pay attention to their performance and provide tailored, thoughtful feedback and praise where applicable. If you notice some employees are performing particularly well, see if you can assign them more meaningful work.
Don’t just give them more work — reward them according to their performance. Give them opportunities for recognition and achievement, such as:
- Employee of the week or month designations
- Prizes for achieving team objectives
- Small bonuses
You can also show appreciation by investing in their development through additional training with an increase in pay or even a promotion to a higher position.
Taking these steps will help your employees realize your company understands their value, appreciates their effort, and will reward them for their work. These are invaluable ways to provide tangible benefits to employees. This will increase employee motivation and productivity, especially at the end of summer.
2. Offer Special Seasonal Perks
Incentives are a great way to motivate staff and increase post-summer productivity.
There’s nothing like a special period of added pay to motivate employees during the turn of the season. If overtime pay is unavailable for the rest of the year, consider offering it during the late summer period to motivate your employees to work more.
You can also consider adjusting your company’s schedule to provide four-day work weeks or staggered schedules. If you’ve already provided these during the summer months, consider extending them into August and September to help your employees ease into the fourth-quarter rush.
3. Create New Fourth-Quarter Goals
Decreased motivation can often be caused by a lack of purpose and inspiration. The end of the summer precedes the final quarter of the year, making it the perfect time to reestablish focus and establish new goals as a team.
Hold team meetings with your employees to see what you need to accomplish by the year’s end. You can then decide your goals for the last quarter and form concrete plans of action to reach them. Write the goals and plans down, then place them in a conspicuous area so all employees can remember those goals and share in completing them.
When a step is completed or a goal is reached, make sure you have small celebrations. You can buy a gift for all employees or treat them to a team lunch. You’ll give your employees a renewed sense of purpose.
4. Plan for Company Events
Many times, employees are still caught up in the excitement of summer, which can affect their desire to return to work — especially if all they have to look forward to is more work.
The end of summer is the perfect time to remind employees of any future company events. It’s even better if you can include them in the planning so they’ll have something exciting to look forward to.
For example, you may plan an awards party in the upcoming months to recognize employees with outstanding performances. Or you may start planning office Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas parties. Let them know that coming back from their summer activities doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to look forward to for the rest of the year.
You Can Keep Your Employees Motivated as Summer Ends
It’s easy to see why the end of summer can negatively impact employee motivation and productivity. Employees are recovering from the relaxed summer atmosphere and are affected by several external seasonal factors, such as the start of the school and holiday seasons.
Despite these factors, you don’t have to feel like you can’t beat the post-summer slump. You can implement several new processes, such as offering incentives or planning future events, to improve employee motivation. When you make a concerted effort to boost your employees’ excitement in the workplace, their happiness and productivity will increase — and so will your employee retention rates.
Managing employees and establishing new company processes can be a daunting task. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution that will streamline and automate aspects of the process so you can focus on the most important part of your company — the people. Empeon provides comprehensive payroll and HRM software to help you manage every step of the employee journey. Contact us to see how you can easily improve your company processes today!