With the World Cup in full swing and the season of summertime vacations and trips starting up with a fervor, you may experience the occasional wayward employee. Some industries have a rougher time at this than others (e.g., retail or food service), but when it comes to employee attendance, particularly in peak time off season, it is vital to be proactive in preventing issues with excessive absences and tardies before it becomes a problem.
In our last post, we discussed some ways to help keep your employees motivated and engaged, particularly with summertime distractions such as sporting events and upcoming vacations. While this is incredibly important, it is equally essential to communicate expectations, provide flexibility, and keep employees engaged by implementing summertime activities.
When it comes to communication, remind all employees of what is expected of them with regards to attendance. Provide them with a copy of your attendance policy (via email or in person) so there they are fully aware of what your expectations are and what the consequences may be should they violate this policy.
Try to work with your employees when it comes to workloads and providing flexibility to ensure a balance in the job getting done and your employees staying sane (because we all need a break from time to time!). If the position and business needs warrant it, consider allowing telecommuting during slower times or when the days are incredibly warm and uncomfortable.
Rather than fighting the potential chaos that summer can create (think 5 employees wanting the same week off, but you can only approve 2 of those vacation requests), embrace it and try to implement some fun summer activities to keep your employees happy and motivated. Company picnics, mixers, team sporting events, or simply giving out ice cream bars on the hot summer days encourages camaraderie and boosts spirits.
It is natural to want to be outside when the weather is nice versus cooped up in an office, working away in front of a computer screen (for managers and employees alike). Working with your employees to come up with mutually beneficial solutions will help ensure that production needs are met and that the morale of your employees stays high.
Today marks the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, soccer’s biggest event which occurs only once every four years. The most popular sport in the world, there will likely be a few football (soccer) fans throughout your office that may be somewhat distracted over the next month. Especially with matches occurring in the wee hours of the morning in the States, employees may be sleep deprived coming to work, or sneaking in a match or two on their computer.
We are all human and all have days that are more productive than others, but a great employee knows how to balance those days where your nose is to the grindstone with those that are a bit more low key and relaxing and may be riddled with distractions. Whether the distraction be a large sporting event, a vacation or leave of absence, or family drama, we will all experience disturbances to our normal routine from time to time. Employees who once produced exceptional work and were motivated and engaged may go through a spell of being a “skater,” doing the bare minimum to make it to the next payday unnoticed.
June also marks the start of summer, a season that is notorious for a rise in call ins and absences, and nonchalant employees have mentally checked out. Whether it is World Cup frenzy that has your employees itching to be in a pub with a beer in hand, or an individual whose mind is already swinging in a hammock at the beach, making sure that your employees stay on track is vital.
When you know there will be factors that may contribute to the attention and engagement of your employees, prepare accordingly by communicating expectations and implementing means for flexibility. Communicating expectations is a crucial component in any successful relationship, and informing your employees of what you need from them on a regular basis is key in ensuring production standards are met, and levels of employee morale and motivation remain high.
Work with your employees on effective time management techniques to ensure deadlines don’t land on the day before an employee is scheduled to be gone for a week. Encourage them to schedule tasks appropriately so when they return, they aren’t overwhelmed with a long list of time-sensitive tasks when bouncing back from vacation can be a challenge.
Follow along in our next post when we delve further into a primary cause for distracted employees, summer fever, and how managers can effectively prevent this common occurrence before it becomes an issue that affects production and morale.