Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

Management / HR: Avoid Typical Summertime Hazards



Are you ready for the summer’s emblematic malaise in human resources? That would be the lazy, hazy days of employee attitudes and employment-law risks.

Summertime usually ushers in different employee attitudes and behavior. So it would be in your best interest to get ready.

For example:

Business analysis-paralysis appears as temperatures rise, sunshine is more plentiful and the staff thinks more and more about being outside.

The employee handbook policies are ignored.

Your customer service becomes an oxymoron. Dress codes suffer and employees daydream about their summertime lifestyles instead of the needs of your customers.

Strategic analysis, decision-making and actions sometimes come to a standstill. Professionalism seems to go out the window.

To avoid any summertime hazards, here’s what to consider:

1. Analyze your management approach

You must foresee summertime hazards such as risks to your sales, pricing, operations, technology and in time management.

Review your requirements of your managers and supervisors. Make any necessary improvements in your management approach.

Empower your management team to be on the lookout to minimize risks. That includes optimizing talent management with a coaching culture.

Remind your managers they have the responsibility to enforce the employee handbook, and they have the ability to make certain autonomous decisions.

Determine why critical decision-making is stalled. Make certain that all stakeholders are timely in providing their input.

If you decide you need more time to analyze a challenge or issue, give yourself permission to make an executive decision to back off for 24 to 48 hours.

2. Focus on your non-exempt employees

While you don’t want or need your employees to be plugged in 24/7, you do need to make sure they remain professional and are providing strong performances.

So take a special summertime interest in boosting your work environment by taking steps to enhance mutual respect and trust.

For strong performance, non-financial incentives motivate most employees.

Typically, employees become unhappy and want to fire their bosses because they feel under-appreciated and they don’t have a nourishing work-life balance.

No matter how current your company is in using technology, your productivity depends largely on the effectiveness of your employees who use your technology.

Make certain employees have the right morale-incentives, work/life balance, tools and workspaces so they can be responsible.

3. Adhere to policy on vacation requests

Depending on the size of your staff, managing around your employees’ vacation schedules can be a thorny issue. That’s especially true for a small operation.

With just a few employees, it can be difficult to keep everyone happy and to cover the workload.

You must smoothly manage your employee vacation schedules. You’ll avoid short-staffing and morale issues by adequate planning for employee vacation requests.

Your policy should state requirements for vacation requests. Requests must be approved by you and you have the right to deny requests.

4. Jog the memory of your employees about policies

Human capital is the No. 1 reason why CEOs lose sleep.

For instance, depending on your sector and business, your dress code might be more casual than others. But make certain the lines are clearly drawn.

Often skirts and shorts get shorter and employees start wearing flip-flops.

While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to revisit anti-harassment policy. As attire gets more casual, so do attitudes. So be pro-active.

At least 50 percent of a company’s profits are contingent on employee problems. If you have challenges in one department, odds are you have HR issues in other departments.

The solution is to turn your HR department into a profit center.

5. Hiring seasonal workers necessitates precautions

Temporary and seasonal employees might get the wrong impression. Lessen liability by making sure such employees know they’re taking only a temporary job with you.

By all means, do not guarantee them a specified length of employment.

Make sure you get maximum benefit from your part-time employees.

6. Update you and your management on child labor laws

Remember teenage workers are minors, and there are child-labor laws.

In particular, children under the age of 18 are protected by limits on the type of work and length of work hours.

7. Anticipate absenteeism

Ever notice how your workforce gets the “summer flu?” What a migraine for you. Make sure your policy is up-to-date.

When appropriate, emphasize your requirement for a doctor’s note. Be consistent in enforcement of policy.

Hopefully, you’ve already implemented steps to solve employee absenteeism.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Slow Summer Sales? 13 Ideas to Heat up Your Marketing — Summertime barbecues, baseball, boating and outdoor parties all make it hard to get consumers’ attention to make retail sales. So your marketing must be equal to the task. Heat up your marketing to match the hot temperatures.

In a Slump? 11 Tips to Succeed in the Dog Days of Summer — Some businesspeople struggle to succeed in summer months. It’s as though they’re in a slump. It’s the hottest and most humid time of the year in many regions. Business seems to stagnate as the weather becomes hotter and sultrier. Here’s what you can do about it.

5 Tips If Your Web Site’s Traffic Slows in Summer Months — Traffic on the Internet slows in the summertime, according to Website Magazine. Here are five strategies to maintain your growth.

6 Tips to Prevent Vehicle Breakdowns – or Deal with Them — Freezing winter temperatures and scorching summer heat wear out car batteries, belts, hoses and tires which can lead to breakdowns. Here’s what to do.

“It will not always be summer; build barns.”

-Hesiod


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.