Keeping employees engaged in the lazy, hazy days of summer

shutterstock_150341975_jpgA study by the Gallup Management Journal found that, in the US, 70% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged. That means that up to seven out of 10 of your employees may not be inspired and committed to what they’re doing.

Engaged employees want to do their work, are dedicated to success, and enjoy what they are doing. They care about the company and where it is going. Engaged employees are more productive, innovative, and involved in the company. They are the go-getters that can help your business succeed.

Employees who are not engaged, however, have serious untapped potential. Inspiring your employees can unlock that potential and help fuel your business’s growth.

Here are a few tips to get your employees motivated and engaged this summer.

Throw a party
My dad used to organize a company day trip to Canada’s Wonderland every year. It was on a weekend, so it was a great opportunity for all the employees to spend a day with their families. We always met as a group for lunch so my dad could personally thank each employee for their great work. Everybody always looked forward to it, and team morale skyrocketed.

You don’t always have to do something so elaborate to get the same effect. Consider getting everybody together for an hour one day. Bring some Timbits and just chat and socialize. You can also volunteer at a charity event to encourage teamwork and promote your business at the same time.

Taking time to do something fun together does wonders for team culture. Getting to know each other on a more personal level can make coming to work a lot more fun.

Offer flex-time
One way to offer flexibility is to allow employees to choose their own hours. If not everyone really needs to be there during certain times, allow employees to come and leave the office whenever they’d like, as long as they’re around for the same number of hours and the work gets done. While some employees love the standard 9-5, others might want to work 8-4 to be able to spend more time with their families in the evenings.

Another way to do this is to offer half-day Fridays, on the condition that employees make up the extra hours by either coming in early, staying late, or working from home during the week. If your business needs to stay open in the afternoon on Fridays, consider having staff rotate for the whole day. Employees will appreciate the early start to the weekend—especially cottagers hoping to beat traffic.

Share some sparkling personality
How much employees care about the company is often a direct reflection of how much they like their boss. You don’t always have to give employees time off or feed them lunch—an easy way to keep employees happy and productive is to simply let them know they’re appreciated and valued. Make an effort to say hello in the morning, and goodbye (and thank you!) in the evening. Ask about their weekend. Get to know their interests.

When you show that you’re interested in a person beyond the work they do for your company, you’ll forge a better personal as well as professional relationship. Your employees will be more motivated to do a great job, and they’ll be more likely to come to you with concerns or new ideas. This is the easiest way to engage your employees—and it doesn’t cost you a dime.

Share with us on Twitter how you motivate your employees: @MyStartUpCA



Holly Soave is a Public Policy and Entrepreneurship Intern at CFIB. She has been involved with multiple small businesses, including two ventures of her own. When she isn’t studying for her HBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business or working on growing her businesses, she enjoys writing, hiking, and baking for friends and family. Connect with Holly on LinkedIn.

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