Summer time is perhaps the hardest time of year to motivate your employees to do anything. Increased waking hours combined with the opportunities warmer temperatures bring and memories of childhood vacations lead your employees to stare longingly into their day dreams rather than into their to-do lists. Although you can't blame them for their distraction, because you likely have it too, you can help them to continue to be motivated to work throughout the summer with a few carefully planned moves.
Be Seen and an Example
Can you honestly expect your employees to work hard if you're walking in on odd days between vacations yourself? Is it fair to hold your employees to a higher standard than you are willing to keep? People will resent you or follow your example and simply not show up mentally or physically every day. Counteract this by being seen working the way you expect them to work, hours and everything. Be an example of what you expect and only expect as much as you're willing to give.
Give Your Employees Something to Look Forward To
Incentivize your employees with something to look forward to every week (if possible). Working the same job for years on end gets monotonous. It's hard to see any hope for the future when you're shrouded in the dark mists of 8-5, Monday through Friday forever, no exceptions.
Cut through the mist a few days ahead with company events, announcements of activities around the community, or sponsored "leave early on Friday" policies to give your employees something to look forward to. The more they can see a reason to make it through every week, the better and longer they'll actually work for you.
Wherever possible, invite employees to join in activities you'll be participating in outside of work and make special mention that you'll be there. If you can build the respect of your peers then many will want to mingle with you outside of work as well. Building a personal relationship of respect with your employees will motivate them, even when they would rather be outside.
Everyone needs a vacation. Take one yourself. Encourage others to do the same and make it obvious that it helps. They may need to just get away into the sun for a week to come back fired up and ready to go.
These four tips are based in the needs of employees. When you act on each one, you encourage them to be happier and more motivated to work. When you neglect them, your employees will often feel trapped and depressed, seeking every opportunity to escape their perceived prison.