Four Management Tips During the Dog Days of Summer

We know this time of year too well. Summer’s coming to a close fast and furiously and who would really notice if you sneak out of the office closer to 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. instead of 6, right? Or how about calling in sick to jet to the beach instead?

According to a piece on Fortune, just as it’s tempting for employees to mentally check out during down time, imagine how tempting it is for managers who need to set a good example!

As such, there are four ways for managers to keep their noses to the grindstone (or at least appear like they’re still focused).

1. Set the tone. Randy Harrington, CEO of consultants Extreme Arts & Sciences and co-author of a new book, Evolutionaries: Transformational Leadership, indicated in the piece cultural messages about work ethics and priorities begin at the top and trickle down.”If your senior leaders are wandering in late off the golf course and leaving early, that sends a cultural message that is hard to overcome. And believe me, people are watching.”

3. Identify special projects. Instead of wishing the time away as you search on Facebook for the umpteenth time during the day, why not use the down time to get organized or tackle some things that never get done during the regular work day? He added, “You can create ways for people to have some fun while producing something of substance.”

4. Don’t bother with “fake fun.” Here at MJD we particularly like this one, mainly because there are forced corporate outings that feel more like a waste of time instead of leaving a positive impact. Instead of trying to promote teamwork and beat the summer time blues, he stated, “I actually saw a memo at one company that said ‘Lunchtime Luau: Attendance Mandatory.’ Fun is key, but it has to be authentic. Find ways to make work more interesting, and ‘fun’ will take care of itself.”

4. Establish commitments for people to work on professional development. Lastly, keeping in mind developing talent is a year-round gig, the slower summer pace provides the opportunity to create goal setting meetings and map out a plan for professional development. In the piece Harrington explained, “This may mean setting expectations that people will take outside courses, pursue online training courses, participate in reading groups, or start doing formal mentoring. If you encourage people to do some big-picture thinking during the summer, they start looking forward to it in the spring.”