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9 ways to keep employees motivated during the dog days of summer

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | June 30, 2015
Summertime, and the living is easy ... if you are on vacation. For those workers, however, who have to toil through the long, hot summer months, the season can be a drag. So do you keep productivity from dragging between July 4th and Labor Day? Here are some tips from HR experts on how to keep workers engaged and motivated over the summer.

"We offer incentives that allow people to leave early if they hit their sales quota," says Carr. "All we care about is the bottom line number. If an employee can turn on the after-burners and get more done in a day to earn an early departure, they feel more empowered and actually work harder in less time," he says. "If they produce the results and hit quotas, early releases are more profitable than forcing people to be somewhere they don't want to be. There is no loss because they only leave if they hit quota, which means they are still profitable."

8. Encourage workers to be creative. "With our 10 percent Projects,' our engineers are encouraged to spend company time on a regular basis developing prototypes in an effort to explore new technologies and new solutions for our clients," says Johnson. "The results and ROI have been tremendous, and we have a lot of fun with it. Summer is a great time to experiment and devote time to these projects given that it is an off-peak time for our clients. So we encourage our folks to get into our virtual laboratories and innovate."

9. Reward employees with bonuses, days off, prizes or frequent flyer miles. "Money is a driving factor for any job, and during the summer, [it can pay to provide employees with] extra bonus opportunities," says Kennard. Knowing you will get a bonus for meeting (or exceeding) goals, or taking on additional work, "keeps us focused on our tasks and continuing to do better."

Getting an extra day off is also a powerful motivator.

"To keep everyone motivated in the summer months, I offer an 'extra' vacation day for those who meet or surpass their goals," says Nellie Akalp, CEO, CorpNet, which helps entrepreneurs start or grow a business. "I find that adding in that extra vacation day really amps up my team to hit those phones and make those sales."

You can also offer workers prizes for meeting summertime goals.

"Whether employees are looking for premium noise-canceling headphones or the latest products in sports equipment, offering an incentive with a desirable and useful reward keeps them engaged," says Hailey Jester, marketing coordinator, Rymax Marketing Services.

You can also reward hard-working employees with free tickets or hotel stays.

"Travel incentives are the ultimate enticement for an adventure-seeking employee," says Jester. "Third-party loyalty providers give the option of redeeming points earned for frequent flyer miles. This helps employees plan and pay for their trip. It is a unique opportunity to retain and positively influence employees [with] wanderlust.


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