Summer Time Blues!
After a short hiatus, I am back and excited to continue where we left off. With the arrival of Spring and knowing that my favourite season is just around the corner, today I would like to discuss how Summer can have an unexpected effect on your business.
Summer is a busy and exciting time for many companies and their employees. The problem is that the priorities listed under “busy and exciting” are not usually the same for these two groups. For the companies, there are employee holidays to cover, increased activity as customers come out of hibernation and projects that can only be completed during this time of year. For employees, there are summer holidays to enjoy and a continuous longing to just get out of the office and enjoy the weather. This difference in priorities can cause a significant stress in the workplace.
Many companies we talk with about summer coverage tell us “We are fine. Everyone here is cross trained”. Although cross training is great and necessary to cover for short term absences, multiplying that extra responsibility by several weeks can become incredibly stressful. In a time of year when people want to get outdoors and enjoy the city, parks and activities, these cross trained employees now have their co-worker’s responsibilities to complete as well as their own work. This ends up causing them to have to choose between their work and their quality of life. A burden they can be forced to carry for weeks at a time. It is important to realize that during this time, these employees feel a sense of obligation to help out their co-workers not their employers. Although the use of cross trained employees to cover summer holidays can work in the employers favour in the short term, it often ends up causing unwanted long term effects for your business.
Let’s fast forward to September! One of the busiest months for HireSuccess Staffing. We see close to 20 percent more resumes in September than any other month. When interviewing these job searchers, we ask them why they are looking to make a change in their career. Often we hear about the stress they had to deal with over the summer, too much work to do and not a good balance between work and life. Many of these job searchers have indicated that once their vacations were over, they felt ready to make a move.
Take care of your employees this summer! Hire a temporary employee or a student to assist with more of the junior tasks or projects. We all like to have our play time and the summer months are a great opportunity to do that. Your employees are the most valuable asset in the company. Make sure that they feel that way!
What are some strategies that your company has used to keep up with your summer staffing needs without burning out your team?