07 Jul Maximize Productivity During the Summer Months—and Beyond
These days, it seems like every other blog on the internet has a list of so-called “productivity hacks” that promise to make your team more effective. At Talent Suite, we don’t like that phrase—because we believe that productivity isn’t something you “hack” but rather something you can proactively teach leaders/managers to build, support and encourage in their teams.
Putting these strategies in place—especially during the summer months when productivity generally takes a nosedive—can have a major impact on your business, helping you soar while others slump.
Our team has gathered our top 3 favorite productivity tips that will serve you and your team well this summer—and beyond.
Meetings Are for Making Decisions—Not for Updates
It’s no secret that meetings can be notorious productivity killers, especially if they are dominated by routine updates. Saving your team from having to suffer through the dreaded “meeting that should have been an email” can have a positive impact on productivity—and morale.
Think about it this way: the work that they could’ve been doing while they were instead stuck in a pointless meeting is the work that they’ll have to take home with them and could prevent them from enjoying some fun in the sun with their families or friends. Make every meeting count!
So how do you actually make your meetings more effective?
To optimize your team’s time, make sure that meetings are focused on decision-making and problem-solving rather than simply sharing updates. Before each meeting, map out what needs to be decided or discussed to keep things moving forward while you’re out. Establish clear goals for what you’re trying to accomplish during your time together—and send out an agenda in advance of the meeting so that everyone can come prepared and ready to dive right in. By streamlining the decision-making process, you can make the most of everyone’s time—and your employees will certainly be grateful.
Plan Ahead to Prevent Roadblocks
During the summer months, when PTO abounds and communication regularly falters, it’s essential to plan ahead to ensure nothing slips through the vacation-laden cracks.
Short-but-frequent check-ins (rather than full-blown meetings) can be an effective way to keep projects moving forward. This approach allows for team members to provide quick updates, highlight any potential bottlenecks, and keep everyone informed about the progress of various tasks.
But wait, Talent Suite team—didn’t you just say meetings were for decision making, not updates?
You’re right! To avoid the aforementioned meeting fatigue, consider implementing weekly status updates via Slack or Teams in which everyone provides a quick update as to project status and reminds the rest of the team of upcoming time off so that everyone stays in the loop. This not only helps eliminate the potential for tangents and other communication wormholes but also provides helpful documentation of updates that can then be referenced moving forward.
Here’s the real kicker, though: without clear (and consistent) communication around goals and progress, it’s impossible to fully unplug—and being able to do so while on vacation is critical to your employees’ health and wellness. Remember that the easier and more effective you make your team’s communication, the easier it is for you and your team to peacefully take the time off you deserve.
With that in mind, it’s also important to embrace a bit of flexibility in your schedule to accommodate summer vacations and personal commitments. By planning ahead and coordinating with each other, you can set realistic goals, prevent roadblocks, and ensure that projects stay on track—even when team members are out of the office.
Celebrate Employees’ Time Off
If nothing else, please remember this core truth: Summer should be FUN. Who says kids are the only ones who get to enjoy it? We adults need to have some fun and relaxation during the warmer months, too.
Instead of seeing time off as a disruption to productivity, embrace it as an opportunity to celebrate wins and recharge. Encourage your team members to plan their vacations and take time off to relax and unwind—keeping in mind that a rested and rejuvenated workforce will contribute to increased productivity and overall job satisfaction in the long-run. Momentary “losses” in productivity are well worth the big-picture gains.
In addition to promoting time off, let’s bring the essence of vacation into the workplace! As we embark on our summer journeys, let’s not only encourage the enjoyment of personal time, but also embrace it within our office environment through a variety of means:
- Organize a monthly event where employees dress up like the destination or theme of their upcoming or recently enjoyed vacations
- Institute casual Fridays, where tropical shirts and beach attire are encouraged, or even offer “Summer Fridays” in which employees get every (or every other) Friday off.
- Host a team barbecue inviting employees to bring their families and fostering a chance for everyone to connect on a more personal level.
It might sound silly, but light-hearted celebrations and sources of fun like these boost morale—which has a positive correlation with productivity.
Productivity isn’t something you “hack”—it’s something you build with intentionality. And by implementing proactive strategies, you can ensure that productivity doesn’t take a hit during the summer months. When you put processes in place that ensure a productive and engaged workforce, you can fully embrace the summer season, promote a healthy work-life balance, and watch as your team thrives both personally and professionally. How’s that for fun in the sun?
If you want advice on how to revamp your organization’s talent strategy to maximize employee productivity, reach out to our Talent Suite team today.