Your employees may need a boost to keep motivated as the busy summer is winding down.

It’s hard to believe that summer is starting to wind down. We wait all year for these warm, busy months and then they seem to fly by. This is the busiest and probably the toughest time of year for your business.

Being busy is the best part of summer. I love it when, on top of renewing old jobs, new work comes in too. Nothing makes me happier than driving around town and seeing my toilets in new locations.

But summer heat can be a true killer in our business. Your trucks are overheating, the toilets are hot and you are constantly combatting smells. And most of your staff has been working long hours, on the edge of being burnt out.

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Out of all of these problems, the staff burnout is always my biggest concern. We still have months left in our season and I need them to keep working, sometimes seven days a week. When the tempers and the temperatures are high, these are my go-to ways to keep employees happy:

  • Everyone loves a hot dog. A barbecue is a great and relatively inexpensive way to bring your team back together. We pull a grill into the parking lot and grill hot dogs and burgers for hours. The office staff gets an opportunity to relax and eat together, and the extended grill time means that the drivers can still grab something to eat when they come back from their route work.
  • Ice cream makes even the most tired driver smile. On a really hot day, I will grab a couple boxes of popsicles and pass them out to everyone in the building and yard. A cold treat can revive everyone’s spirits.
  • Specialized gifts show your appreciation. When a certain employee has worked really hard, I buy them something special that I know they will love. I never spend a lot of money, but it is geared toward their interests. For example, I will give a driver a gift card to his favorite lunch stop. Or I will give our summer interns all of their school supplies for the coming school year.

As you can see from this list, none of these things cost a lot of money. But all of them show your employees that you recognize their hard work and you appreciate them. Little things like popsicles and their favorite blend of coffee in the kitchen can go a long way. 

The summer months are long and the work is hard. I recognize that in most instances, I need them more than they need me. So it is important to keep everyone happy and on track, so work is completed and customers are happy.

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About the Author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.

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