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Summer in the Workplace: How to Keep Engagement from Going Out the Window.

Here comes summer, there goes everyone's concentration! It's a fact that most organizations struggle to keep employee engagement high when everyone's minds are on everything except work. We've talked before about how to increase morale in the summer months, but what about keeping people not just happy, but also interested and tuned in?
Offer a flexible schedule.
Does this sound too rogue for your company? If so, it might be time to start rethinking your rules. What many of the best places to work have in common is some form of
Picnicflexibility in work schedules; whether that means options to work from home or compress the work week, or simply to shift earlier or later than the standard 8:00-5:00. If your business requires a body in a seat during your full hours of operation, you might consider a job share program. What successful companies know is that the easier they make it for their employees to be present and focused at work, the more they are—plain and simple.

Take on a chellenging project.
No business runs perfectly—not ours, not yours, not the one across the street. What's one problem or efficiency that you are looking to solve in your department, but just never seem to get around to?Take time this summer to put your team on a task force to investigate the issue and present their findings and recommendations. You'll keep your employees highly engaged, you'll strengthen teamwork, and, by the end of the summer, you'll likely have a solution or at least some well-researched answers!

Embrace the distraction.
With summer comes activities, vacations, and all kinds of diversions that, well, divert your team members' attention from the work at hand. Everyone's buzzing about weekend plans, their child's baseball game, or what to do with all that fresh fruit they bought at the farmers' market. Why not create a forum for sharing that builds some structure around the frenzy? You could do it the old-fashioned way by designating some space on a bulletin board for your team members to post recipes, photos, and ideas, or you could invite participation in your company's Pinterest or Facebook page. You could even have employees be guest writers on your blog. Everyone gets the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way, and you'll enjoy a little more order to your days.
Quick Tips:
• Flexible, not free for all. If you're thinking about loosening up your rigid work schedule, consider offering this perk first to those who have proven themselves. Treat it like the benefit it is and you'll provide an incentive for others to demonstrate that they can be responsible and accountable, too.
• Results, rewarded. A challenge can be its own reward, but that doesn't mean it should be the only one. If your team achieves its goal this summer, make sure to celebrate and appreciate the ingenuity and extra effort that went into it.
Chaos, managed. You likely have a moderator or a person who manages your pages if your company has a social media presence. Make sure you filter any items your employees are going to share through that person, so you can ensure all posts are consistent with the company persona you want the public to see.

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