Summer is a busy time of year. School is out for kids, and the warm weather makes it much more inviting to get out of the house. For this and many other reasons, companies call the summer months the busiest time of the year, with a few exceptions around Christmas.
Entrepreneurs and managers have a lot to prepare as the calendar’s midpoint approaches. More products have to be prepared, marketing campaigns have to be stopped and store opening hours may have to be postponed. The more preparation that can be done, the more likely the summer season will be a success.
Your team is an integral part of your business and directly related to how your business performs. This article provides some ideas for getting your team ready for the summer and ways your team can help with the final preparations:
Monitor your operations for efficiency
Your system may be running at full capacity right now, but summer is very different. If you expect your business to be much busier in the coming months, your operations could use a revamp just to be on the safe side.
Create a checklist that covers every aspect of your day-to-day business. Take a look at payroll, shift changes, supply chain, and anything else that could potentially pose a problem. Work out any kinks you find now before they really start causing problems.
Once you improve your efficiency, the summer season will be a lot easier to deal with. Better yet, you have an improved system that will be useful all year round. You should always be looking for ways to do that improve your efficiency.
Start your onboarding early
Some companies are looking at hiring new employees or temporary help to cope with the summer craziness. This should not happen in mid-July. Start your onboarding too late in the season and you’ll have to juggle the chaos of an increased influx of customers while simultaneously trying to provide quality training.
Give new hires at least a few weeks to acclimate before throwing them into the mix. Unsupervised, let them familiarize themselves with company policies, product locations, on-site technical equipment, or anything else they are expected to know. This way they can actually come in handy during the busy summer instead of another variable to monitor.
In addition to your onboarding, existing employees can also use some extra training. Make sure they are all aware of any changes you want to make or difficulties you expect to encounter. The better you equip your team, the more successful your summer will be.
Clean and organize now
Another thing to do before summer arrives is to take care of your household. Take advantage of all the time you have now to complete that pile of menial tasks you’ve been putting off for a while. While they may not seem big now, they will be incredibly annoying to deal with during the height of the busy summer season.
Let’s say your filing system hasn’t been organized for a while. You might be getting along right now, but what about when you’re trying to sign up dozens of new customers who are out the door for a summer deal? You kick yourself for not doing this before.
This pursuit includes some old-fashioned ones Spring cleaning. During the summer rush, it will be much more difficult to find the time to sweep the floors and tidy up the waiting room. A good deep cleaning ensures that those cleanings don’t have to be as frequent, so these spaces can last until you can catch your breath.
Plan well in advance
While summer is a busy time for businesses, it is also a busy time for families for several reasons. Many people plan their vacations, family gatherings, and other activities for this time of year. You will have employees asking for leave because of this, which can cause some commotion. In most cases, you’re better off planning things like employee time off as far in advance as possible.
Most major trips and events are not scheduled at the last minute. Your team should have a general idea of what data they need to take off. Talk to them all individually so that the work schedule can be established as early as possible. This way you don’t have to worry about staff shortages on critical days of the season or feel like you have to refuse to make certain requests
There are other things you can plan in advance. If you plan to hold meetings, set the dates as soon as possible. Fitting in a last-minute meeting can be a major headache with everything else you have to do in the summer.
Find a way to compromise
You will handle many employee requests, not just for time off. You could spend all your time discussing the details with them, or you could step back and listen to their plight. Being able to compromise is an important skill for a leader, and it can get you through many otherwise difficult situations.
Let’s talk a little bit about remote working. You may not have considered this option for your business before. Maybe one of your employees suggests working from home during the summer so they can get their work done while taking a long summer vacation. Who responds to such a request or a variation that you have never encountered before?
Instead of immediately rejecting the idea, consider the benefits of such a move. This employee may be working from a desk and can easily take their work with them on the go. Do a test run with them and you might see the same amount of productivity and production from them even when they’re away from the office.
Add some incentives
Honestly, it’s hard to stay motivated during the busy season. Working hours feel longer and more tiring and lost motivation leads to a serious drop in productivity. During this period you will probably need to give your team a morale boost.
Attempt setting up some incentives for your team members. These could be sales targets, incentives to clock in on time, or even a raffle weighted by hours worked per week. This gives your team something to work towards when there is no light at the end of the tunnel. They will be more willing to take that extra call, fulfill that extra order, or take that off duty.
Make sure you involve everyone in your organization. Group incentives are useful for keeping everyone engaged, not just a select few. The promise of a future corporate event full of food and prizes is enough to boost any team. Don’t be afraid to be extra generous too, after all their hard work.
Summer won’t be easy, but it can be a productive and useful time of year for your business. Start preparing now with your team to take the busy season head on so you can learn and grow instead of sitting back.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Markus Spiske; Pexels; Thank you!