The rays of the summer sun warming our skin elicit feelings of happiness, relaxation, and quality time with the family. The change in season also brings up a number of Human Resources related functions to consider for your small business.

Here are five pieces of HR advice to keep in mind during the summer season:

1. As temperatures rise, motivation dips.

We’ve all been there. It’s a picture perfect day but you’re stuck inside because, well, there’s work that needs to be done. Focus starts to drop as the temperatures rise. If you find your employees suffering from a lack of motivation in the summertime, there are a few ways to handle it. And actually, you might find that embracing the season could work to your advantage.

  • Encourage vacation time – Yes. Studies show that taking a vacation can actually increase productivity. Sixty-four percent of workers say they feel refreshed and excited to get back to their job after a short break.
  • Be flexible – If possible, hold meetings outside, let your employees work outside for a few hours, or even consider letting them leave early on Fridays. When you allow them experience that picture perfect day, they’ll spend less time wishing they could.
  • Revisit goals - Oftentimes, goal setting is reserved for the beginning of a new year. In typical ‘set it and forget it’ fashion, these goals catapult you into the year but can fall flat if not closely monitored. Summer can be the perfect time to set new challenges for your employees and revamp those goals.  

2. Take a look at your dress code policy.

When the heat is on, you may find that your employees tend to dress for the occasion. While your small business might have a more lenient dress code, it’s still worth documenting in your employee handbook so you don’t run into any awkward issues.   

An article from the Society for Human Resource Management includes a suggestion that a summer dress code policy should be a balance between: comfort, health, safety, and business needs.

Want more in depth guidance on dress code? PrimePay’s HR Advisory breaks down what to include in a policy as well as an entire employee handbook builder.

3. Internships – To pay or not to pay?

For those small businesses that experience an increase in business during the summer months, hiring an intern can be a great option for additional help. But before bringing that student onto your staff, be mindful of the latest Department of Labor (DOL) guidance that explains payment procedures.

The new guidance reverses the DOL’s previous six-part test that determines whether interns and students are actually employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It now uses the “primary beneficiary” test that federal appellate courts are using.

You can learn all about internship regulations by clicking here.

4. Reduce risk for heat-related illness.

Warehouse workers, landscapers, manufacturers – if your employees are exposed to high temperatures during the summertime, be mindful of the risks of heat-related illness.

While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have specific standards that cover working in hot environments, the act itself states that employers have a duty to protect workers from recognized serious hazards in the workplace.

In this guide for using the heat index, OSHA explains everything from who is most susceptible to heat-related illness, sources, numbers to be aware of, and tips for avoiding and responding to illnesses.

5. Summer scheduling tips.

Swim meets. Vacation. Summer camps. No matter how busy the summer season is for your small business, it’s certainly a busy time for weird schedules. You want to be able to give your employees the flexibility they need, while also continuing to run your business as smooth as possible.

An easy way to keep up with extra time-off requests and shift changes is implementing an automated time and attendance system. Using a system can eliminate things like buddy punching, and human error when calculating hours worked. Many systems can integrate with payroll as well, making payday seamless.  

If you truly want to take more time to sit back and unwind this summer, let us help you with these HR considerations. PrimePay’s HR Advisory solution is your new go-to. PrimePay client? The basic model is free. Learn more here or fill out the form below.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your own legal advisor regarding specific application of the information to your own plan.