April 9, 2019 | By Mason Roberts
We are fast approaching the summer season with nicer weather every day. Now, as this is happening, you may be noticing some changes in the attitudes of your employees. Now, this is not to say that these are deal-breaker changes necessarily, but perhaps just a slight lack of interest in their work compared to the chillier months of the year. During the summers, many establishments experience what they call “summer slumps”. And it's very easy to understand why. As the weather becomes better and better, your staff may have a sourer attitude about coming into work when they could be experiencing a fun summer day! This is especially true of students who work for you.
How Can Your Small Business Beat the Summer Slump?
If this is what your business is going through, the simple fact is that you need to raise the business productivity of your trusty employees, especially during the summer. As the business owner in charge, it's your responsibility and yours alone to make sure your staff is on the right track and moving in the right direction. Too many times, business owners will immediately turn to firing some of their staff, even the most hardworking and attentive ones. Rather than trying to figure out a solid solution, they'll let go of their best employees and the success they bring to the table. Instead of doing this, try to figure out what to alter in your day-to-day business duties.
Here are some tips on how to keep you motivated.
1. Make a Game Plan
Many times, small business owners lose track of who is away during the summer holiday, as well as who is picking up the slack for those who are on vacation. This can lead to an unbalanced and tense work environment. Chances are that no employee will want to clock in and do double the work because others are missing, at least without being compensated for it. This will then lead to poor outlooks on the way your business is run from employees, as well as resentment towards the upper management.
As the one in charge, it's up to you to be a step ahead. Make sure you are aware of who is working harder than the rest, who is present, and who is not. Make sure your employees feel appreciated and are well compensated for their extra work. If these staff members have not taken off for a fun, carefree vacation, at least try and make sure that their days in your business are great ones!
2. Talk To Your Staff
Your employees need to know that they are more than welcome to speak up when they feel necessary in your business. This can really help your business grow and evolve. If they have an issue with being cooped up inside day after day, it likely will affect their work performance negatively, sooner rather than later. So, make sure the employee in question is comfortable talking to you about this issue, and try to help them figure out a solution so their work performance, and mental health, are both going strong. Whatever the issue may be, open communication with your dependable staff is the key to success.
3. Go Out in the Sun
Unless you are in a vacation spot, many small businesses become significantly less busy in the summer. This is another thing that will make your employees feel like they are in a slump. If they are to come to work and sit inside all day with next to no business, this is something that can make them feel bored and unattached to the outside world. A solution to this is to simply go outside. If you have a meeting with a client, meet them at a location elsewhere, somewhere all of you will enjoy in the summer sun. If you have a daily or weekly meeting with your staff, move it outside. Anything that can be done outside, do it! Don't get cooped up in your slow, quiet office. This can significantly improve the performance in your small business, as well as the atmosphere.
4. Set Realistic Expectations
It may be a good idea to set expectations that exceed your employees' expertise or pay grade. This will only set you up for more and more changes you want your employees to mold to. The possibility that they are not able to without the right direction is very real. While you are entitled to fire employees who don't reach your expectations, it's not a good idea to fire a potentially great staff member you have at the drop of a hat. Instead of jumping to terminating your staff immediately, consider why they may not be reaching your goals: for example, a case of the “summer slumps”. Help your employees become better before looking for replacements that could potentially be less effective than the staff members you presently have.
5. Flexible Hours Will Help
An important aspect of keeping your summer employees happy is to offer them good, flexible work hours. If you have the business where this is possible, such as a restaurant or clothing store, offer them. When the owner is helping them choose good hours, your employees will feel valued, and this could be an excellent incentive for them to work that much harder when they are present. There will be employees who are open to coming in for the early morning shift and people willing to work nights to make the most of their summer days. Consider your options when it comes to hours, and try to help your staff enjoy the summer! They're sure to thank you for it.
How Will You Increase the Productivity of Your Small Business?
There are small business owners who won't care for any of the tips given, however. They will read through, and think, “They work for me, so they have to follow my rules, no matter what season it is”. Or they might simply feel like these tips don't really apply to them. It is true that every small business is different and will have different needs. But if you want to have happy and attentive employees, as well as a successful, pleasant work environment, these are definitely good things to consider.
The reality is, your business would not be where it is without your hardworking staff. Your staff accomplishes the daily tasks that make your business successful, free up your time to manage the success of your business, and (most importantly) who your loyal customers go to for help. They are the foundation of your establishment. The simple fact is, you should want to keep your staff happy just as much as you want to keep your customer happy! Show them how appreciative you are of them for being the reason you're so successful in your small business, and you'll build a team that wants to come along for the whole ride.