How to beat the summer productivity slump
The summer hours can be bad for business. A leading American digital media company (Captivate Network) assessed the productivity of more than 600 business professionals in summer time. The results found that workers productivity decreased 20%, attendance dropped 19%, project turn around times increase by 13%, and 45% report that they are more distracted in work. Francesca Gino (associate professor at Harvard Business School) conducted a set of experiments and found compelling evidence that participants were indeed less productive in good weather and more productive in bad weather.
SUGGESTIONS FOR BUSINESS MANAGERS?
Due to the summer slowdown in both business and productivity, the following are a number of suggestions of how to make the most of your summer downtime.
1) Assign work based on weather
As the fine weather can distract workers and lead to increased errors, businesses should avoid working on high priority tasks when there is a greater likelihood that this fine weather may distract workers. Managers should assign more clerical work on bad weather days to maximise the benefit of bad weather on productivity, while saving tasks requiring creative or flexible thinking, for the fine weather days (Professor Gino/Harvard Business School).
2) Updating social media
Summer downtime is ideal for updating your company’s social media. Every manager should ensure that their business is on Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare. Businesses should also make sure to avail of a FREE GooglePlus business page. This will provide your business with a social page in the Google network (Cheryl Conner/Forbes magazine).
3) Ask for referrals
Businesses can use summer downtime to generate new leads by contacting clients to ask about their levels of satisfaction and during the conversation, asking about other potential friends or contacts who may be interested in availing of the service that your business provides (Ken Therson/MD of Acumen Management Group Ltd).
4) Target busy customers
While summer may cause business to slow down for the majority, there will always be a certain number of customers who will be too busy to take long holidays. These are the customers that should be targeted by focusing marketing efforts on those who plan to be around for the summer months. This can be done by taking the initiative and letting clients know you are available for these months (Grant Cardone/New York Times best seller)
5) Decide to not slow down
Suggestion number 5 is the most important one of all. This is that you need to decide that you are not going to slow down. Managers need to do this by making it clear to employees that summer time is no excuse for sub-standard performances. Workers can be re-focused by holding daily meetings to decide what can be done to help your business to prosper in summer, and making sure to set goals and listing the actions that can be done to achieve them. Deadlines need to be made within a no excuses and no negativity environment (Grant Cardone/New York Times best seller).
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