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The summer slowdown

The summer slowdown is still alive and well in the UK. Yet while the summer break is advantageous and can bring heightened motivation and morale for employees, the majority (87%) of finance leaders say it has a negative impact on their business, finds new research from leading recruitment specialist Robert half UK. Thirteen per cent of finance leaders said that the summer slowdown would not have any negative impact on their business.

The biggest impact is caused by annual leave (48%), with senior leaders attributing it to ?less managerial direction? for the team, with multiple senior leaders away from the office on holiday (35%) and lost productivity (13%). While a quarter (25%) say that commercial activity will slow down, a further 14% say that their workforce is less motivated during the summer months. 

Robert Half offers five recommendations for companies to ensure their teams can enjoy stress-free holidays:

?      Set up a team planning day: this means tasks can be divided between the team when employees are on holiday.  It enables every employee to know his or her responsibilities and schedule them in advance.

?      Be prepared: it is important to clarify expectations and deadlines. Clear agreements with respect to all tasks are needed to better manage the additional workload.

?      Provide support: by relying on temporary and interim workers during the summer months organisations can meet deadlines for the most urgent projects and daily tasks, but also ensure that permanent employees are not overloaded.

?      Allow some flexibility: employees who are given additional flexibility in the period just before their holiday will be more inclined to make additional efforts to complete their tasks on time.

?      Encourage employees to take all their entitled holidays: every team member has the right to a minimum number of holidays and it is important to encourage employees to take them.  Employees who take all of their holidays are generally more satisfied with their jobs and are more productive throughout the year.

*The study was based on more than 200 interviews with senior finance executives from companies across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location