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Summer is the best! You gotta get to the pool, to the beach, to the lake, there’s no homework or school schedule to follow, just lots of unsupervised outdoor time—and an occasional Netflix marathon on those rainy days. Oh, except you’re not a kid anymore. You’re an adult and you manage a company.

How Can I Keep Employees Focused in the Summer?

Suddenly, summer has a whole new meaning when you are the boss. Now you’re the bad guy trying to make sure everyone stays focused and doesn’t duck out early to get to a patio happy hour. It’s a distracting time of year, for sure, full of vacations and get-togethers and bright, sunny weather that beckons your employees to escape the office. Here are three tips for keeping your employees focused during the summer months.

Be understanding

No matter what, your employees will be driven to book those summertime plans. So don’t be a Debbie downer. Be understanding and empathetic and encourage your employees to be open and honest with you about their needs. They might be looking to get out early for an evening dinner at the pool or take an extra day for a long beach weekend. Offer flextime and encourage employees to take vacations—it’s amazing what a little rest and relaxation can do for your employees’ ability to be productive.

Understand that winter is hard, but summer is a chance to unwind and live life. If you’re constantly throwing a wet towel on everyone’s summer excitement, they’ll eventually get frustrated, resentful and defiant. Keep everyone energetic by being flexible and accommodating.

Plan fun events

Embrace the fun that defines summer. Schedule a team-building retreat or a potluck picnic or an outing to a lake. Hold it during the workday so it doesn’t conflict with their weekend plans and encourage your team to invite family and friends if possible. Schedule a few throughout the summer to help break up the monotony of the office. If you have the means, provide some outdoor space that your employees can escape to. It might be a patio or garden where they can eat lunch or hold a meeting. Sometimes just the unfulfilled longing to get outside is more distracting than actually doing it.

Reward accomplishments

Summertime is a great time to keep everyone motivated with awards and celebrations. Maybe you schedule a formal awards ceremony to break up the summer. Or you could schedule something more frequently, like presenting one or two awards at each weekly team meeting. You might recognize individuals or the whole team for achieving a goal or completing a major project. If you can, make them tangible items like certificates, gift cards or cash bonuses. Or, even better, reward them with a day off!

Summer can be a tricky time to be a boss, but if you manage it right, you can give your employees the chance to recharge and celebrate the warm weather while still keeping morale and productivity high.

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