With barely a headline in sight these days that doesn’t mention the words ‘soaring’ or ‘crisis’ **, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Summer was going to collapse all around us**. Be it inflation, tempers, temperatures or the planes and trains of our fair isle, there always seems to be something catastrophic happening ( and that’s before we’ve even reached the finals of Love Island…).
And whilst I’d personally love to take a time machine back to the Summer of 2012 in all it’s positive glory (in no particular order my highlights were the Olympics, Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France and Carly Rae Jepsom releasing ‘Call me Maybe’…) , keeping your team motivated through all this negativity may take a little more than popping up a Union Jack and crossing your fingers that the Lionnesses finally bring it ‘home’.
The good news is that being forewarned is forearmed, so knowing all that’s going around us, there’s plenty we can do to keep things on track and your team supported. So take a deep breath and a glass of (iced? G& ?) tea & let us guide you through the most likely ‘heat’ your team may be feeling this Summer and what you can to help:
Holidays (disruption) When people finally do get that overseas break they’ve been dreaming about for the last two years, there’s a strong chance at the moment that either flights might be cancelled (in the UK or abroad) or subject to severe delays. And whilst most delays/ cancellations don’t result in an epic stay in an airport, you might want to be a bit flexible on leave dates. In advance of holidays, chat to them and make sure all your team keep in contact & are aware that they can extend their leave in an emergency such as this. Leave for reasons relating to travel plans are not covered anywhere in our legals, so would be down to extending annual leave or (if you’re out of annual leave) unpaid leave.
Heatwave: Feeling hot yet? Yep, then join the 17,000 people who went out and bought a fan last week ( delighting some retailer who saw a 1,300% increase in sales!). Most people can’t get enough sunshine, but temperatures in the 30’s are highly uncomfortable and an office without air con in those temperatures is downright miserable. So we recommend that when it strikes again, that you are as flexible as possible with working from home if you can. After all, we have had two years practice in doing so ??
Juggling Childcare: Summer for working parents requires project management skills that rival any needed for a 5 year IT programme. But even with the best planning in the world, there are still going to be occasions timings don’t quite work. Parental leave is an option ( and a right) but as this is unpaid, encouraging people to either book annual leave or allow short term flexibility will be a gesture they are thankful for.
Costs: utilities + food bills + summer childcare = Pay rises are full of contention (and perhaps not an option) but salary sacrifice schemes such as the workplace nursery scheme can help save people hundreds of pounds and don’t cost your business any more than admin.
FOMO . Not a traditional one for an employer to be concerned of, it’s nevertheless a very real one. There may be many of your team who (due to all or some of the above) aren’t thinking of taking a long holiday this Summer and instead are just taking the odd day off. If the budget will stretch to it, why not organise your own event at the end of August to give people something to look forward to? Some of our clients have also experimented even with compressed ‘Summer’ hours to give people each Friday afternoon off across this period, giving people a chance to scoot off early for any plans they have. It’s not too late to try that for August if you want to give it a go?
Holidays (making sure they’re taken). We’re over half way through the year and therefore it’s a good point to remind people to plan in their time off to spread across the year. Using (extremely) unscientific data from my memory, there is always a proportion of your team who won’t have booked any and may need that extra nudge to give themselves a break – even reminding them that everyone needs a rest. Plus this also ensures you don’t have a holiday buildup headache come the end of the year.
We can’t get the transport system working seamlessly or influence your tax bill, but we can help implement an engagement plan to support your team and get them firing on all cylinders. To do so, drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org, give us a call on 0203 6277048 or pop in a diary time here.
**If, like me, you something get deflated by the relentless noise of the newspapers you see, take a break and have a look at The Happy Newspaper – it celebrates all that’s good in the world and really does lighten the soul when you read it!