As summer rolls around, it is natural for employees begin to think more about the beautiful weather outside or their next family vacation instead of their to-do list at work. Keeping employees productive during the summer months can be difficult, but there are some simple steps you can take now to ensure your employees stay focused when distractions are high.

Communicate time off expectations
Many employees will be taking time off during the summer. Make sure employees understand your vacation time policies, including how they can request time off and how time off requests are prioritized and granted. Do you have any times during the summer when time off is not allowed? When employees understand the vacation time policies and procedures they are happier and the whole process is easier for the company maintain.

Review individual and company goals
If you haven’t reviewed goal with your employees, both the company goals and their individual goals, now is a perfect time to do so. One quarter into the year, you can take a look at the progress you made so far and make any necessary adjustments. You can also set clear action items and deadlines for the next few months to make sure the progress continues. Discussing goals doesn’t only help productivity, but also employee engagement and job satisfaction.

Encourage breaks
It may seem counter intuitive, but encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the day actually makes them more productive. Research shows that taking a 15-20 minute break every 90 minutes helps employee stay on task. Encourage and even facilitate those breaks with some occasional fun activities. If you have employee that normally work from their desk, encourage them to get up and walk around. Hold walking meetings outside if the weather is nice.

Don’t forget about employee recognition
It is common for companies to hold holiday parties at the end of the year or perhaps offer year-end bonuses, making employees feel important to the organization. But this time of year there may not be bonuses or events on the agenda, so it is important to remember to keep employee recognition a priority. If you haven’t reached out and said “thank you” to your team lately, be sure to do that as soon as possible. Find some creative ways to make recognition a priority year-round with our free Employee Recognition Toolkit.

How do you keep your employees focused this time of year? Let us know your best tips by posting on our Facebook page.