With Major League Baseball's All-Star Game and Home Run Derby officially in the books for this year, we have reached what baseball enthusiasts call the "dog days of summer." It is the mid-summer stretch where teams have reached the midpoint of their season, with some franchises still vying for a playoff berth while others are quickly counting down the days until next season.
Regardless of a team's situation, MLB managers are tasked with the duty of keeping their players focused, motivated and having fun at the ballpark during these long days of summer. Here are four ways you can motivate your own team:
1. Switch up the routine.
For most employees, there comes a time when they feel less motivated, unproductive and, perhaps, unable to handle their current workload. Varying your employees' daily routine -- no matter how big or small -- can re-energize them to produce results at higher levels.
For example, during the summer months, the National Football League cuts its employees loose at 2 p.m. on Fridays to lessen its employees' time spent at the office. If you have down times in your business, use them as an opportunity to give your staff an extra break to recharge their batteries.
Related: Lessons in Business Leadership From the NBA Finals
2. Get your team out of the office.
Take a breather away from the office and enjoy the summer months. You could enjoy a minor league baseball game with your staff or organize a company softball tournament. Plan a company picnic focused on team-building and engage in sports activities such as frisbee, flag football and street hockey.
This simple motivational tip can keep your employees productive and excited to work for an employer that understands that everyone needs a break once in a while from the confines of their cubicle when the sun is shining.
3. Incentivize your employees.
Incentivizing your employees with rewards can boost the morale and competitiveness of your workforce.
Offering paid-company lunches, extra personal days or free massages can promote better productivity and also display an appreciation for your staff. By providing incentives, your team can be more inclined to make that additional sales call or write that last minute business proposal to help the company meet its goals.
4. Relax, but stay focused.
While it's important to recharge during the summer months, it can be easy to lose focus, get distracted and sometimes stop working altogether. It's imperative to remember that whether you are on top of your industry or chasing the leader, your competition does not stop working in the summer months.
How do you keep your team motivated during the dog days of summer? Let us know in the comments below.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.