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April 2017 Newsletter
In This Issue
  • Thanks for Joining Us!
  • Expectations and Productivity During Summer Months
  • Managing Vacation Schedules
  • Quick Reference: Summertime Productivity Blues
  • "Summer Productivity Perks" by jobchannelnetwork
  • Quick Reference: Hiring and Retaining Seasonal Employees
April 2017
Volume 4, Number 4

Thanks for Joining Us!

April is here and after this past winter, employees are already longing for summer. Even though it seems quite early, smart leaders already have the summer season on their radar. There are many elements to ensuring smooth workflow and productivity that requires thoughtful planning; the key to managing summer in the workplace is to acknowledge employees’ work/life needs, balance work with fun, and continue to engage.

This month we have included ideas and advice for setting expectations, managing vacations, and retaining seasonal workers. Keep reading to learn more.

Expectations and Productivity During Summer Months

It’s important to prepare for managing your organization during the summer months. Everyone looks forward to those warm, lazy days however leaders still have to take responsibility for setting and managing expectations. Here are some tips for getting a head start on summer:

* Spell out specifics in your dress code policy. Warm weather usually means more casual wardrobes, but this doesn’t always work in a professional environment. Outline acceptable and unacceptable types of clothing and shoes (and provide examples), and be sure that you apply the dress code policy uniformly and consistently.

* Provide flexible scheduling. Consistently coming into work early or late or calling in sick tend to become more of a problem during the summer months. Seasonal perks like flex-time, shorter hours on Fridays, compressed work weeks, and revised work schedules are all offered by some employers during the summer to help employees achieve better balance.

* Hire an intern or new graduate. Consider providing relief and support to your employees during the summer months by hiring an intern or new graduate. Interns offer a variety of workforce support and assistance with special projects at an affordable cost. They also bring fresh ideas and perspectives, technical knowledge, and a desire to learn.

* Offer time off from work. Time off is a common request during the summer with three major Canadian holidays (Canada Day, Heritage Day, and Labour Day). Be sure to communicate the paid time off your organization intends to provide for these holidays. And be sure to implement a well-organized vacation management process (see below).

* Start (or re-energize) your wellness program. There’s no better time to start or re-energize a wellness program than at the beginning of summer. Summer is an ideal time for employees to get into shape and improve their well-being and the workplace can help them do that.

* Plan a company outing or event. The summer is a great time to plan a company outing or event and many businesses take advantage of the nice weather to spend time informally socializing with their employees. The Calgary Stampede is always a fun afternoon or evening and a great local way to reward employees.

* Continue to train and guide performance. Engagement often becomes stale in the summer months; that’s why performance management, training, and development shouldn’t wane during the summer months. It’s important to keep investing in these practices so employees stay engaged and productive. Summer actually can be an ideal time for training and development – especially if business is slower than normal during this season.

* Prepare for budgeting. The summer passes quickly and budgeting will be just around the corner. Benchmark your employees’ compensation so that you are prepared to make good decisions about market adjustments and compensation increases when budgeting time approaches. Keep a compensation project on your agenda this summer, as well as other HR projects that you haven’t been able to deal with.

Summer should be stress free for everyone.
Contact Wendy Ellen Inc. to develop your strategy!

Managing Vacation Schedules

Scheduling and coordinating summer vacations requires an efficient and fair process to ensure that employees are able to take time off when desired, but also that the business is able to meet its demands. Here are some common ways organizations effectively coordinate vacations and paid time off:

* Use a vacation planner or vacation planning system.

* Create a method for employees to request or “bid” on preferred dates of vacation – such as a vacation request form. Build in supervisory approval.

* Require employees to schedule time off in advance, but be reasonable about how far in advance they need to schedule.

* Have employees coordinate vacation time with their coworkers and/or self-manage vacation time. This helps ensure that “back-ups” exist.

* Develop policies that specify what criteria will be used to approve vacations (first come/first served, seniority, rotation, etc.).
* Specify the limits of taking vacation (i.e. people with the same skill set can’t be out at the same time, maximum number of days, etc.).

* Apply all policies consistently and fairly.

* Monitor and take into account other leaves (maternity/paternity, sick, disability).

Remind employees that the business’ needs need to come first when scheduling vacations. As an employer, you do have the right to require an employee to postpone a vacation or require advanced notice.

Ensuring vacation schedules mesh with your organizational needs requires finesse.

Contact Wendy Ellen Inc. for assistance today!

Quick Reference: Summertime Productivity Blues

A Captivate Network study of 600 white collar North American workers in 14 major metro areas revealed:

* Workplace productivity drops 20 percent during the summer months.

* Attendance decreases by 19 percent.

* Projects take 13 percent more time to complete.

* Workers are 45 percent more distracted.

* An alarming 53 percent of workers who leave early on Friday reported a dip in productivity.

* Nearly two-thirds of the workers who reported a decrease in productivity socialized with co-workers more during the summer.

* More than half reported taking extended lunch breaks.

* 49 percent left earlier a few days a week when the weather got warmer.

As a leader, take the opportunity to outline and monitor summer productivity in your organization and set the guidelines early.
Summer Perks for Productivity, jobchannelnetwork
Quick Reference: Hiring and Retaining Seasonal Employees

A particularly efficient way to employ talented people for a season is to retain your employees from the previous season. Keeping your best staff members year after year allows you to save on recruitment and training costs, and ensures you have a qualified, experienced and committed staff.

* At the end of the summer season, ask employees whether they would like to return the following year.

* Keep in touch with employees you would like to re-hire. Offer extra incentives to returning employees.

* Be an employer of choice by providing a fun, flexible, and positive workplace.

*If your top seasonal employees are not returning for reasons unrelated to the job, ask if they have family members or friends who would be interested in coming on board.

* Expand your focus from the typical student-on-summer-break to other labour markets such as retired persons, persons with disabilities, new Canadians, and Aboriginal individuals.

About Wendy Ellen Inc.

Wendy Ellen Inc. specializes in providing human resource and benefits management skills to small to mid-sized companies on an as-needed basis. From recruitment, Human Resource policy development and legislative compliance, employee retention and engagement, individual advisor/coaching, succession planning to employee development and performance, Wendy Ellen Inc. will help you protect your most valuable resource, your people.

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