Smash the summer slump – how to give your people purpose during the warmer months

With the sun finally shining again, lots of us are starting to think about all things summer. But while the weather outside might be heating up, in the office, motivation, morale and engagement often cool down at this time of year. And that can affect productivity. Don’t worry though – there are lots of things you can do to keep your people focused and energised during the summer months, without stopping them getting their extra vitamin D.  

Be Flexible

Summer is a great time to shake up the office routine and try some new ways of working. Think about letting people start and leave earlier during the summer months, for example, or do an extra hour of work in the week so they can head off early on Fridays. Or, if your employees are working full-time in the office, you could offer them some working-from-home options during the summer months. This can be great for morale. 

If you have a strict dress code, you might want to allow people to be a little more casual when it’s hot outside. It’s fine to still have guidelines in place, of course. But letting your employees dress down a little during the summer could make them feel more comfortable. And that means they’ll be less distracted and more engaged at work. 

Set clear goals and offer incentives

Having goals for teams and individuals to work towards in the summer will help keep them motivated. That’s because a clear purpose and direction makes daily tasks more meaningful, and helps people see the value they’re adding individually too. And focusing on results, rather than the hours staff put in to get there, means happier employees who meet targets without burning out.  

It never hurts to promote a little friendly competition either. You could bring in incentives like extra holiday days, gift cards or even tickets to local events to give your people the extra enthusiasm they need to get over the line. 

Offer professional development opportunities

Summer is a great time to ask your employees what they want from their careers, and how they might reach their goals more quickly. Then you can set up training to beef up those skills. Yes, lots of people will be away on holiday at this time of year. But that can actually make it easier to schedule in training for those that are at work, as they’re likely to have clearer diaries.  

The warmer months are also a great time to encourage passion projects. If your people have been dying to get started on something, but haven’t been able to take time away from their regular work, the summer slowdown could be the perfect time. Projects like this are a great way to get them feeling excited about coming into the office too. 

It doesn’t have to be all about work either. What about holding a painting or writing workshop, for example? Connecting the workplace with employees’ out-of-work interests can be a real boost to morale and camaraderie. If you’re not sure what they’re into, run some polls to find out, then set up a how-to workshop on the thing that comes up the most.  

Take your meetings outside

If you have regular weekly team meetings or one-to-ones, think about heading outside to a nearby green space. Getting people away from their screens and into some sunshine and nature can do wonders for their motivation and wellbeing at work. It also boosts creativity and makes people less stressed. 

Tap into your people's Vision

What about hosting a brainstorming session to talk about what you’ve achieved in the previous months, and come up with new strategies for the rest of the year (and beyond)? You could even start a ‘summer challenge’, when you encourage your people to share innovative thoughts and ideas that could improve your business.  

Doing this shows that you appreciate your staff and their ingenuity, and that you’re interested in what they have to say. And you could also uncover some strategic gems you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.  

Plan activities or outings

Summer is a perfect time to head out of the office for the day and do some team building. There are lots of local activities across our region that are a little bit different. Think escape rooms, obstacle courses, outside cinema… the list goes on. Budget too tight for an away day? Don’t worry, you don’t even need to leave the office if you don’t want to – you could host some summer-themed after-work drinks on site, a quiz or a board-game tournament, for example.

Whatever you choose, organising events like these will give your employees something to look forward to. It’ll also create a more positive work environment, and build bonds between colleagues. 

Summer is also a great time to encourage your people to do some volunteering for a good cause. Lots of businesses offer their staff a day or two a year of paid leave to do just that. And if you’re not doing that, you could be missing a trick – many younger job seekers actively seek out employers that can show they’re giving back to the communities they work in. At Pure, after someone’s been with us for two years, they can apply for paid time off for a charity challenge. We even start them off with a donation of up to £250.  

Embrace the summer

With the best will in the world, it’s inevitable that the bright mornings and long balmy evenings that summer brings mean work isn’t going to be anyone’s favourite place. And that’s going to have an effect on morale. So it’s vital that you make the best of this by taking time to reconnect with your employees, recognise the hard work they do the rest of the year, and let them take some time out to relax and recharge.  

Don’t forget about your own wellbeing either. Lead by example by making some time to relax and refresh yourself, and getting outside to enjoy the sunshine and the slower pace of life.  

Need some extra support over the summer?

If you need some extra people power for any reason, we have temps of all levels standing by. Get in touch to find out how we can help. 

 Aimee Pope profile picture

Written by

Aimee Pope

Since graduating with illustration in July 2022, Aimee now works in our head office as our Marketing Executive. She specialises in digital marketing, campaign delivery and content creation.

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