Our Five Best HR Tips for All Things Summer
A couple of weeks ago, we blogged the detrimental effects of Summer Slacker Syndrome on the workplace. Today, we are sharing our best HR tips on how to keep summertime productive.
1. Give working parents some support.
When school is out for summer, working parents can feel the heat. Whether their kids are going to be at home, attend camp or take part in summer daycare programs, the schedule change-up can be challenge. Flexible work schedules and work-from-home hours, if possible, can help your employees tremendously during the summer months, while it shows that your company values them too.
2. Weathering the weather responsibly
Heat advisories, sun exposure and summer storms warnings may seem trivial to talk about, but giving your workforce valuable information about the health risks and dangers of extreme weather conditions is one way to express how much your company cares about its employees. It can even reduce sick days taken on account of typical summer weather-related health issues. Supplying water and/or small samples of sunscreen in the breakroom or cafeteria with some information about heat-related health problems is a simple gesture that is easy to implement.
3. Make sure your internships are compliant
When it comes to setting up unpaid internships, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has outlined what it expects. The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination:
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
Keep in mind that any housing or food stipends, or other forms of “pay”, should be clearly designated as unrelated to wages. Or, if it they are wages, that they meet at least the minimum wage requirements under the FLSA and applicable state laws.
“Paying interns minimum wage and overtime, if they work over 40 hours a week, can help you avoid running into a lot of the disputable compliance issues later on,” says Tina Hamilton, PHR, president of myHR Partner, Inc. “Plus, this will allow your interns to focus better on your company because they won’t be scrambling to work a ‘second job’ around the time they are with you in order to cover their expenses. And think of the better pool of students you will have to choose from if you offer compensation along with the chance to gain valuable work experience.”
4. Consider “Abbreviated Fridays”
If work is notoriously slow heading into the weekends in July and/or August, consider giving your employees an shorter workday on Fridays during those months. It can be a nice gesture of good will. “Let them make up the time Mondays through Thursdays so that they can take off a little earlier on Fridays to enjoy a jumpstart to their weekends. Remind them, gently of course, to be sure to keep focused on their jobs while at work,” says Hamilton. “Usually, this encourages people to get more done on a Friday in anticipation of the shortened day, and it keeps the office from becoming too social place while people count down to the weekend on a slow day. Besides, what a cool boss you’ll be for letting them go early.”
5. Directly address the summer dress code.
Your idea of acceptable summer work attire should be public knowledge. A short written list of guidelines is ideal. Be specific enough to up front to avoid any awkward conversations later. And keep it as gender-neutral as possible. For example, instead of saying “Please wear professional footwear,” say “No flip-flops, sneakers or athletic sandals.” Instead of saying “No spaghetti strap tank tops,” simply say “No tank tops.” Encourage people who are in doubt of what is acceptable to ask. “They may not actually ask you, but the idea that they need to rethink their wardrobe choices may be enough to get them to err on the side of caution,” says Hamilton.
HR issues got you stumped?
Company dress codes and summer work schedules. Benefits and compliance. Performance and retention. Hiring and training. Human resources encompasses so much of what makes your business run smoothly, successfully and profitably. Contact today to discuss how myHR Partner’s HR Partnering Services can help your bottom line.