The Summer Struggle is Real: Rewarding Ways Your Company Can Beat the Summer Slump
The New Orleans weather forecast is High 90s, feels like the 100s, with a 100% chance of me not wanting to get out of bed. Eventually, we have to leave the comfort of the cool side of the pillow and get to work, but don’t worry, you’re not alone. In 2017, the European Journal of Social Psychology studied the effects heat has on mood, productivity and social interactions, and the results are not surprising. With heat increasing fatigue, our inclination to socialize and maintain a positive demeanor decreases, making work less appealing.
Not only are employees in a negative mood and feeling sluggish, but business during the summer tends to slow down as well. To account for these sales and productivity reductions, several businesses have implemented practices or perks to try and lessen the blow.
Because of their strong belief that employee performance and business performance work and progress in tandem, The J. M. Smucker Company offers employees a “time to renew”. This Summer Hours program gives employees the opportunity to work a compact week and take Friday off to enjoy the weather, family, and get an extra day of rest and relaxation. Giving employees that extra day to unwind is Smucker’s way of utilizing a season of known productivity lapses as a rejuvenator, making those Sunday scaries a little less scary.
While Clif Bar’s 30-Minutes of Exercise perk is year-round, summer is typically the season most are focused on health and fitness (hello, beach trips). Tied to their company mission that “strives for a healthier, more sustainable world,” Clif Bar offers employees 30 minutes a day to stretch, take a run, or climb the 40-foot boulder wall at their headquarters. And those 30 minutes are paid. Why invest in this practice?
In 2016, the Journal of Sport and Health Science found that regular exercise caused significant improvements in work-related health issues like neck pain, increased muscle strength and balance and decreased body mass indexes. There was also a decrease in cardio-respiratory risk factors that predict cardio-metabolic disease. Exercise is also known to increase productivity and overall mood – exactly what the doctor ordered to combat the effects of the summer slump.
In 2015, Volkswagen Group of America instituted Get Involved Week, which grew to Get Involved Month in 2016, and is now dubbed Summer of Service, taking place from May to September. To mobilize their employees during the summer, the Volkswagen community builds houses, prepares meals and volunteers hours for non-profits and charities in their area. Researchers have found that generous acts have positive effects on mood and making generosity a habit can affect long-term happiness and well-being. By focusing on giving back during summer months, Volkswagen redirects initiative and maximizes it with mood and community enhancing activities. Giving back may be the focus during the summer, but year-round, they offer additional incentives like a paid day off for employees to volunteer and donation matching by the company.
Not all of us can have the luxury of a rock climbing wall in their lobby, but there are still opportunities to offer perks during this slow season, like team-building activities, volunteer efforts, or giving a little flexibility when it comes to scheduling.
Here at Netchex, we took 30 minutes of our day to taste and debate McDonald’s, Arby’s, Popeye’s, Rally’s, and Chick Fil A french fries and decided to keep it going by doing the same with fried chicken. It sparks interaction, engagement, and who doesn’t want fried food on a Friday afternoon? Give us a follow below to see how our Fried Chicken day turns out!
Netchex is a leading HCM partner – offering a complete suite of HR services backed by industry experts. Helping you manage your workforce and focus on making your company a success is our top priority. Our booth is a staple at HR conferences, and our team regularly visits local and national events. In addition to this presence, we hold our own Netconnect user conference annually to share tips and techniques for effective HCM.
Talk to us to find out how to put Netchex to work for your company. Take a look at our award-winning HCM technology including payroll, HR, compliance, benefits administration, and time & attendance that has more companies switching to Netchex.