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We’re in the middle of summertime, the temperatures are reaching 100 degrees, and many people are daydreaming about their pools and upcoming vacations.

It is not a secret that summertime months can lead to sluggish productivity, and even you, the manager, may be counting down the days until your vacation. That is understandable, everyone should be encouraged to take time off – it helps prevent burnout.

But when people are not on vacations, summertime also provides an opportunity to help people become better workers. Here’s a handy check list to keep in mind for the rest of summer.

Maintain your energy

Sure, summertime provides a more laid-back attitude, but you still need to set the standard of remaining enthusiastic and displaying a high energy and drive to your direct reports.

For example, if you start coming in late and leaving early every day of the week, your coworkers may also start slacking off. Why? Well, because you’re sending mixed signals about the importance of your organization’s mission and direction. Just because summer provides opportunities for vacation, doesn’t mean you or the team needs to take the entire season off.

Don’t miss out on the chance to inspire, energize, and motivate your team – especially during the summer.

Provide new challenges

The slower summer pace can give employees a chance to grow. You should challenge your team members to find ways of improving business and the work processes. Use various forms (e.g. team meetings, private conversations, performance plans) to stimulate and reinforce the need to make continuous improvements. Think about giving team members an opportunity to lead a project that is outside of their normal responsibilities.

Be sure to set aside a specific time during the week with team members when you are available to discuss new ideas, along with problems and concerns with group members.

Team-building activities

Okay, I know the word ‘team-building’ causes many to roll their eyes in annoyance. That is because many team-building exercises are the opposite of fun. But there are plenty of relatively inexpensive exercises that your team could partake in that can get everyone out of the office and get people engaged.

You could set up a company picnic at a local park or take the whole team out to play laser tag. Whatever you decide, use the day to get to know one another better and celebrate team’s success.

Extra time off

One way to motivate your staff is to allow them to leave early on Fridays. For businesses that can’t really afford for all employees to leave early on Fridays, offer it on a rotating basis. This can increase motivation for employees, and also shows that you as a manager are supportive and appreciative of all their hard work.

Now it’s your turn. How do you maintain your team’s focus during the summertime?