HR Challenges During The Summer (And What To Do About Them)

As an organization and as HR professionals, how do we deal with the summertime and the HR challenges that come with the season? It brings back great memories and it is a great time to celebrate. However, from an HR perspective, as well as an organizational perspective, it can be quite challenging to face.

Here are some of the things that you can do as an organization to tackle these common HR challenges:

Implement flexible work schedules

Some things that you should think about, a flexible work schedule. For example, if you work 8-5 typically, maybe you allow your employees to choose when they come in. Maybe during the summertime they prefer to come in at 10 and work until 7, versus 8-5. Think about leave early Fridays. Every Friday all of your employees would leave by 2 o’clock for example in the summertime versus 5 o’clock allowing them to start their weekends early with their family members.

Host company wide events

Think about what are some other things, in terms of maybe events. Fun in the sun, that’s what we think about. Such as, barbeques, picnics, beach trips. Maybe you take a trip to Adventure Island or Disney Springs, go to a local park, take advantage of the springs and lakes that are there and go kayaking.

Create an alternative dress code policy

Maybe consider some alternative dress code policies in terms of the summertime and what that can mean. Coming to work with maybe a boat shoe, or a summer dress that you wouldn’t typically do throughout the year. These are all great things to think about during the summertime so your employees have some flexibility and still enjoy that time of the season while still being at work.

Provide fun food choices

Think about, what about food trucks or dessert trucks such as frozen lemonade. Everybody enjoys that. Or, hammock zones if you have a great site with some trees and a shaded area where you can have your employees go out during they day and maybe take their laptop so they are still being productive and utilize it maybe as a break area or to read a book and have lunch. These will offer great opportunities to also allow your employees to get in the sun.

Review your PTO policy

As well as, how do we as professionals think about what we can do with such a high volume of PTO requests for example. This is a very high volume time. People want to take time off to be with their kids and families. You need to think about as an HR professional or as an organization, how you’re going to manage that most appropriately.

Do you review your policy annually, do you review it prior to the summertime beginning? If you don’t, that’s something you might want to think about because you might want to tweak it. Do you stick with adhering to compliance in terms of that policy? What’s the submission time frame for requesting? Is there a certain time frame they need to submit prior to and is it first come first serve? Whatever it is, you need to make sure you’re adhering to it so you’re being consistent with that policy and applying it fairly.

Manage PTO requests fairly

Things to think about are, what about an alternative? If you did have to deny someone a date, or a date range of having to take time off during this year because maybe there was someone else, or several people who already selected those dates. And, from a staffing perspective, you still have to think about that. Is there an alternative you can offer to that employee that you had to deny. Such as an extra day off or something that helps soften you having to deny them that time. So, please think about how you are going to manage that time and how you are going to manage it fairly.

Document your fun summertime activities

Additionally, how do we utilize all of these great benefits that you’re talking about? Great events and bringing people together. You want to record these events, you want to talk to your team members, you want to take pictures, you want to take videos. If you share this information via social media, whether your home pages or your website, what are some ways that you can let candidates know, here’s what’s going on in your organization. Snapshot interviews, little type blogs like we’re doing right now, have the employees share their stories.

The greatest strength you have is, how can I send the message of, “this is a great place to work and here’s why”. Tell it through your employees, have them share, here’s our fun, here’s our laughter. Yes, we’re highly productive, we’re very goal oriented, but at the same time, one of the requirements is that you do have to have fun here.

Promote your summertime activities to help attract candidates

Sharing their stories will allow everyone, all of the candidates and maybe even candidates who aren’t looking at the time, maybe look later to say, here’s why I should work here. I feel really strongly about my coworkers, my employer as a whole and how they feel about family, and how they feel about fun. And while we’re still getting things done, they still care about me as a person. To have an employee share their story, their laughter, their smiles, the candidates will see it, it will come through their eyes.

So you want to make sure that you have that information out there, because your greatest recruitment tool at the end of the day is your current employees.

We encourage you to connect with Lynnette on LinkedIn.