Sometimes it’s tough for employees to stay focused on work when summer finally arrives. After months of cold temps, it’s natural for people to shift their focus from working indoors to enjoying outdoor activities. You might even notice a reduction in productivity or maybe employees start leaving earlier to get a head start on their after work activities. It can be challenging to keep people engaged when they are dreaming about vacations or relaxing under a tree in the park, but this is actually one of the best times for managers to reconnect, realign and reengage employees.
‘Tis The Season
Studies have shown that workplace productivity drops approximately 20% during summer months and projects take 13% longer to complete. This means that summer could be costly to your organization if engagement isn’t a priority. However, smart companies have learned to adjust to the psychological shift that takes place within their workforce during the season, keeping engagement high all year round.
How To Summerproof Your Culture
There are many things an organization can do, but the most effective and proactive approach is driven by social recognition. With the right social recognition technology you can easily create specific reward and recognition programs designed to motivate employees and keep productivity and momentum high.
Another great tool to combat a summer slump, is the use of activity streams and targeted messages. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:
- Scenario 1
When Bob sees Michelle leaving early every day, he starts to think that he, too, can head out early and starts to mimic Michelle’s behavior. This is a simple, common example of what happens in a workplace especially during the summer. However good behaviors, like bad behaviors, are also mimicked as in the next example.
- Scenario 2
Bob has been working after hours on a presentation for an upcoming conference. As a result his manager, Lisa, gave Bob an “Above and Beyond” award for work that exceeds expectations, which is announced publicly on the activity stream. She also sent him the following message via the company’s social recognition platform:“Bob, thank you for going above and beyond on the presentation for the upcoming conference. We could not have completed this project without your tireless efforts, and we appreciate you staying late over the past two weeks, especially given the beautiful weather! Your hard work made the difference.”
In this example, the manager thanks Bob for his work; makes specific and personal references, which gives the recognition context; and she references summer, which communicates her level of understanding and empathy. As a result, Bob feels appreciated and motivated to exceed, and Michelle and other employees a. see that their boss is observing their behaviors and b. are driven to change their behaviors in order to receive the same praise and consideration that Bob received.
We all know it can be difficult to stay focused on work during the summer; it happens to the best of us. You can, however, use social recognition to maintain and improve employee engagement so that your organization doesn’t suffer low productivity and disengagement during the season.