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Easy ways to keep employees motivated during summer

Unsurprisingly, the summer months see many employers report lower levels of productivity in the workplace. With holidays, kids off school and big sporting events, it might seem like an impossible task to keep staff focused. And for those who aren’t taking any time of work, being left behind in the office while others are away, can be a bit of a drag.

However, we have the answer. Here, we’ve rounded up our top tips to keep employees driven during the summer months.

employees motivated

Embrace the great outdoors

It’s widely known that Vitamin-D has a multitude of benefits when enjoyed in moderation and with sun protection. So we say… embrace the great outdoors! One easy activity to take outside is company meetings. Technology has never been more mobile meaning that any necessary laptops, tablets etc can be brought with you. Rather than sitting in a stuffy boardroom dreaming of the great outdoors, staff will be full of new ideas given the change of location, not to mention the sunshine.

Consider activities

The summer months are the perfect time to stage an activity. Whether it’s a charity event, team building exercise or sponsored tournament, a day away from the office will definitely boost morale and bring a team closer together, increasing productivity in the process.

employees motivated

An unexpected treat

Sometimes the smallest gestures can have the biggest impact. Whether it’s something as simple as nipping to the local park for a picnic or having an ice-cream truck stop by in the afternoon, the way to employees’ hearts is definitely through their stomachs. Their gratitude will be shown through their focus in the office.

Dress down Fridays

If your work environment allows it, dress down Fridays are the perfect way to keep staff focused during the week. We all remember those non-uniform days at school and how happy we were when the day rolled around. Having dress-down Fridays can have the same effect. With the summer months typically being warmer, not having to wear a full suit will ensure employees stay cool and comfortable.

employees motivated

Finish early Fridays

Speaking of the F-word, allowing staff to finish early on Fridays can also have the same impact. Getting out just as little as an hour early really does wonderful things for team spirit.

Consider working from home

From time-to-time, allowing employees to work from home can be immensely rewarding. Often, working from home has less distractions than a bustling office so you may discover that an employee is actually much more productive at home. Plus, with rapid advances in technology such as videoconferencing and remote desktop applications, staying connected has never been easier.

employees motivated

Offer incentives

Perhaps the biggest motivator of all, putting incentives in place for reaching targets is a sure way to get employees’ heads in the game. The reward could be anything such as finishing early, working from home or a monetary bonus.

Encourage creativity

Banish boredom from the workplace! If staff are allowed to work on projects that they actually want to spend time on, they are more likely to be productive. Ask them for their input to determine what they’d love to be doing. By allowing staff to be creative, they’ll throw themselves into it in the hope of impressing you, and therefore output remains high during summer.

employees motivated

Offer good feedback

Feeding back to employees on how they are doing, gives them value. Feedback should be provided on the standard of their work and on the role they play within the company. Feeling like you are part of something bigger is a fantastic incentive, especially if there is opportunity for growth.

Give a little control

Where possible, loosen the reigns and give staff some control. This creates a sense of responsibility and helps establish trust, which in turn keeps productivity high during the summer months.

Armed with these top tips, keeping staff morale and productivity levels high during summer will be a breeze! For help with your HR, get in touch by calling: 078 5808 9006 or emailing: Julie@consulthr.co.uk.

Top tips to reduce employee absenteeism in the workplace

We’ve just had a scorching May and early June and fingers crossed, the good weather is set to return. While the sunshine puts a spring in our step, it has brought with it some problems, with many employers reporting that they noticed a rise in absenteeism in the workplace.

In particular, employees are phoning in sick when employers suspected that they were basking in the sun in their gardens or soaking up the sun at the beach!

With the average UK worker being absent over six days annually, costing employers an average of £554 in sick pay per employee, no doubt you are keen to limit this cost within your business.

Effectively dealing with employee absence and differentiating between genuine absence and those taking advantage is a common challenge that many employers face.

So what exactly can you do to reduce employee absenteeism? Here, Julie Pollock from Consult HR provides her top tips on how you get a handle on it this summer.

employee absenteeism

Have a clear policy in place

The first and most important step is to ensure that your company has a practical, well-written policy in place, which is given to employees when they take up their post. The document should state the process which employees are expected to follow should absence from work arise. Having clear attendance and absence policies will keep employees versed on the standards expected of them, as well as assisting managers when dealing with proceedings. Furthermore, the policy should be readily available to staff, such as on the company’s intranet. This easy access and high visibility will enhance its importance. Finally, asking employees to read and confirm they have understood the procedures regarding absence helps improve compliance.

Conduct return to work interviews

The thought of having to sit down with a manager face-to-face to explain absence, after taking a ‘sneaky’ day off can be enough to make employees think twice about actually phoning in sick.

So having return to work interviews as standard practice can reduce your absence levels without you even noticing.

Ensure managers are approachable

If employees don’t have an understanding point of contact in the form of a manager, they may be less likely to discuss issues or requests which could avoid absence. For example, if an employee feels they can’t approach staff for a couple of hours off to attend a necessary appointment, the result of this may be calling in sick at the last minute, requiring a full day off work. Having an open, sympathetic ear will help put employees at ease and open the door for communication and ultimately reduce absence levels.

employee absenteeism

Monitor absence

If you aren’t already doing so, monitoring absence patterns and levels is an effective way of foreseeing potential problems. This will help you identify those employees you need to have a conversation with, distinguishing between those who genuinely need assistance with ongoing health problems and those who may be taking advantage of your company’s sick pay scheme.

Keeping a record will also help you to keep abreast of trends, ie those that have ‘Monday-itis’. Furthermore, this can help notify you of absence trends, which may reveal that the employee has some external issues, which are impacting on their ability to attend work and may be resolved in a short period of time with some support from you.

Communication Is Key

Where you identify some concerns with an employee’s attendance at work, address the matter early by having a conversation, advising the employee concerned what your concerns are. This in itself may be enough to correct the problem early without the matter getting out of hand.

Health and wellbeing programmes

Companies which offer health and wellness programmes, have been shown to have lower levels of absence than those which don’t. These programmes cover a range of conditions, such as offering on-site yoga classes at lunchtime, to helping employees quit smoking or lose weight. There should be no pressure for employees to participate but they should be made aware of such programmes should they wish to avail of them. As well as helping improve health and wellbeing, staff moral will be higher and good working relationships will be developed, not to mention improved attendance levels.

employee absenteeism

Instil flexible working hours

This is a big decision for a company to take, but one which can result in lower levels of employee absenteeism. Flexible working can take many forms such as working from home, job-sharing, part-time, term-time, job-shares and flexitime. Being able to fit working hours around the demands of a busy life, will again, ensure employees take fewer unexpected days off work. Furthermore, being accommodating instils a greater level of trust between the employer and employee.

Keep staff moral high

Keeping staff motivated is an effective way to ensure absence levels are kept to a minimum. Encourage good morale with incentives, recognition programmes, career advancement opportunities and arranging social events for teams. Undoubtedly, a combination of emotional and physical factors are responsible for preventing employee absenteeism. A positive work environment is a key factor in encouraging staff to come to work everyday.

If you are struggling with employee absenteeism in the workplace, help is at hand. At Consult HR, many companies have benefited from our outsourced HR services. For more information, get in touch here.