5 Cool Ways to Make Team Motivation Soar in the Dog Days of Summer

Jessica Howell
Posted: June 27, 2018

Are you feeling the heat this summer? When the dog days are far from over and talent shortages are soaring (like those warmer temps), the business world keeps on sizzlin’… and you might be left wondering — how can I keep my team focused and motivated? Not to mention — how do I juggle the overwhelming increase in OOO requests?

Like a blast of ice-cold AC, we’re sharing five refreshing ways to keep your cool this season and motivate your team during the dog days of summer!

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#1 Prioritize Please

While the days may be longer this time of year, actual working hours tend to be shorter due to increased requested time off. It’s important for you and your team that you prioritize upcoming projects based on what will have the most meaningful results. Motivation is directly tied to a shared purpose. Similar to Stephen Covey’s tried and true time-management matrix, sort your projects into three categories:

  • Must
  • Should
  • Want

This will help you prioritize your tasks by importance rather than urgency, allowing you and your team to focus on maximizing your productivity with less time and effort.

#2 Inspire Intrapreneurs

“Every employee has the potential to become an intrapreneur, but not all managers encourage or allow this spirit to flourish.”

Our CEO’s best-selling book, A Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur, discusses the correlation between autonomy and motivation. Debbie goes on to say…

“Intrapreneurs have the freedom and autonomy for professional growth while provided with the support needed to continue innovating, experimenting with, and seeking new products, policies, technologies, and applications that will help increase a company’s productivity.”

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Here are a few simple yet effective ways you can inspire intrapreneurs today:

  • Give your team the opportunity to explore a new tool or technique: See an example of how we encouraged our team to explore during our Back to School Challenge.
  • Switch up your summer hours: In the summer months, Hanes employees are encouraged to take Fridays off. If an extra day off is out of the question, try giving your team the opportunity to work from home once a week or be more flexible with their working hours. For example, try switching from typical 9 to 5 working hours to perhaps 6 to 3, which would allow your team to have afternoons free to hit the beach with their families while still getting the same amount of work in.
  • Encourage a culture of innovation: 3M’s 15% culture encourages 3Mers to spend 15 percent of their time exploring their own innovative ideas and solutions. You can learn more about this concept and similar case studies in A Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur!

#3 Stay Focused

It can be easy to drift off during the work day into a beachy day dream. Keep your team focused and alert by implementing these refreshing tactics that promote a sunny state of mind!

  • Get outside: Don’t be afraid to take a little field trip outside for your next meeting. Find a cozy spot outdoors where your team can soak up some much needed Vitamin D, which is proven to support brain fogand improve mental focus.
  • Be brief: Do yourself and your team a favor by keeping meetings brief. You can do so by coming prepared with an agenda to stay on schedule and only invite essential team members who can effectively contribute to the discussion. These tips should be applied beyond the summer season, but especially during warmer months when attention spans are especially short.
  • Take breaks: Allow yourself and your team to take frequent breaks throughout the work day to stay sharp. Implement The Pomodoro Technique, which encourages you to time block certain activities followed by scheduled breaks to increase productivity.

#4 Bring Summer Inside

When you can’t beat the heat, embrace it! Inspire your team by bringing summertime inside. These easy breezy ideas are sure to inspire team-wide inspiration:

  • Open up the windows: If you can’t get outside, this is an easy breezy way to welcome in the refreshing scents of summer (sans the sunburn).
  • Turn off artificial lights: If your space allows for loads of natural light, take advantage of it! Dim or turn off any artificial lights and welcome in the sun’s natural bounty. Your team will appreciate the new look and you’ll save on energy — win, win!
  • Introduce casual Fridays: While beach attire might not be welcome in the office, you can certainly encourage your team to dress down (appropriately, of course) into relaxed clothing that keeps them cool and comfortable during hotter months of the year.
  • Bring a sweet treat: Surprise your team once in a while with a sweet treat to break up their typical workday routine. Need some inspiration? How about a build-your-own sundae bar, baseball-themed snacks, fair food, or a summertime classic — DIY s’mores!

#5 Get Help

When you need more than just motivation to keep your learning organization moving forward this summer — we’ve got you covered (like a strong SPF) with our sizzling services to speed up your content development:

  • Custom Learning Solutions: When you need someone to step in to create custom learning solutions, we’re here to take on the details so you can focus on the big picture. From concept to creation, our project outsourcing is perfect for medium to large-scale training initiatives.
  • Innovators on Demand™: Your financial learning team needs extra hands now! When your demand grows beyond capacity, we offer agile, specialized, and onboard-ready Innovators to manage tight deadlines and ensure your culture is represented authentically.

Related: How to “Make It Work” with Staff Augmentation

If you’re ready to “cool off” this summer with one of our Innovators on Demand™ — contact Debbie today to try out our staffing solutions on us!


About the Author

Jessica is a full-time marketer, life-long storyteller, and constant learner with a passion for marrying strategy with aesthetics. Throughout her career, Jessica has coached hundreds of small businesses on building purpose-driven brands online. She has spoken on stages across the country including Social Media Marketing World, Yellow Co., and San Diego Ad Club – just to name a few, where she has shared her powerhouse marketing mindset and techniques. She joined the ttcInnovations family full-time in 2017 where she now combines her expertise in digital marketing, her impressive background in teaching, and her knowledge as well as a passion for adult learning. Fueled by coffee, she lives in San Diego with her husband and their two pint-sized golden retrievers.