How to keep your employees satisfied in summer

Workplace and wellbeing

1 August 2016

The 'summer slump' is very real and will be felt by businesses up and down the country. With big sporting events, music festivals and the occasional ray of sunshine, it's easy to see why staff absences tend to surge when the sun comes out.

Studies have found that productivity drops too, at a rate of 20%. Projects take 13% longer to complete and workers are 45% more distracted. Happy employees are less likely to want time off.

But your business doesn’t have to suffer in the sunshine. We've got a few ideas that will help your staff enjoy the summer while also boosting their morale.

Introduce early Friday finishes

Half-day Fridays mean nabbing the best seats in the beer garden, unwinding with colleagues and generally getting the weekend off to an excellent start. Introduce half-days for the entirety of the summer – as long as your employees are willing to make up the workload elsewhere.

Throw a summer party

A summer party gives people something to look forward to and lets them blow off a bit of steam with co-workers. The traditional evening party is fine, but why not make the most of the weather? A sports day in the local park is an inexpensive option that's great for team bonding.

Ramp up staff incentives

Give people a good reason to work hard. Hold incentives throughout the summer based on sales and productivity. The winner could land themselves a day off, an early finish, or (if you're feeling extra generous) some holiday vouchers.

Bring in some summer treats

Help your staff stay cool by stocking the office freezer with ice cream and lollies for hot days. You could also check your closest park's barbecue regulations and, if it's allowed, pop a stack of disposable barbecues in the kitchen. Tell employees to help themselves if they want to host a barbecue during their lunch hour – although they'll need to provide the food themselves.

Be open to flexible work hours

We've touched upon this with our point about Friday finishes, but the standard 9am-5pm doesn't work for everyone during the summer. Employees with children may find it particularly difficult. Let your workers know that you're willing to discuss reshuffling their hours. Everyone will have different needs, so let them each come to you individually and together you can work out a plan of action.

So what’s your summer time staff tips? Whether it’s treating staff to a picnic in the park or letting them cool down with ice cream in the office, share your tips in the comments below.