For business owners and managers, the more casual days of summer come with their own challenges: a spate of employee vacations that make coordinating with vendors and colleagues essential. This is the season when many workers recharge with a well-earned vacation, especially those who must coordinate family vacations around school vacations.
To keep your operations humming in the warmer months and make the most of summer opportunities, you’ll need to plan ahead, closely coordinate employee schedules, and consider unique ways to boost interest and engagement in the workplace.
Here are some tips to get your plans in gear.
Communicate and Coordinate
If you run a small or medium-sized business, you know how difficult it can be to coordinate summer vacations and the long weekends that employees take this time of year.
You also know that if one employee leaves for vacation without communicating with colleagues, important projects can come to a halt, and valuable time can be wasted.
Establish a transparent process for employees to request and coordinate vacations, and for everyone on your staff to know when their team members will be away. If you do not use an intranet to post vacation schedules, track time and enable quick cross-company communications, consider implementing one now.
By carefully setting schedules so that you are always well-staffed, and by encouraging employees to communicate with one another, you can minimize interruptions in workflow.
Try Something New
While better coordination can help keep your business running smoothly, there will be inevitable slowdowns as clients, customers, vendors and suppliers experience their own change of pace in the summer months.
That makes summertime the right time to consider launching new professional development programs, new operational strategies and renewed or even new sales strategies to grow your business. Since employees may have more down time, some well-planned experimentation may be in order.
Bring in Summer Recruits
One way to boost productivity and bring fresh perspectives to the workplace is to implement a summer intern program. Paid or unpaid internships at your business can provide support when employees are away, while offering young students and professionals a chance to learn and grow.
Interns are often eager to learn, so by giving them “real” assignments, not only will your business benefit from their creative ideas, but you will provide interns with valuable new experiences and skills for them to add to their resumes and portfolios.
Plan a Summer Activity
Employee engagement and appreciation are key to business success, but the distractions of summer are a natural drag on the workplace dynamic. To keep employees motivated and enthused, consider planning a fun activity away from the office, such as an afternoon barbecue. Are there vendors who would like to provide the venue for you?
It’s a great way for your people to get to know some of your key suppliers in a more personal, relaxed way. You can survey your employees to determine exactly what type of activity they would most appreciate.
Make the Most of Your Time
Summer is the perfect time to arrange a large-scale office cleaning, and to encourage employees to organize and de-clutter their workspaces – and their email inboxes.
Recharge Your Batteries
While you manage and coordinate the vacation schedules of your employees, remember to take time for yourself. Time away from the office can help you step back and gain insight on your organization, while finding inspiration in something new.
What is your company doing differently this summer? Let us know on Twitter @DHLUS.