Whether it’s the long sunny days, the allure of the beach, or the distraction of having kids home from school, summer is a prime time for employees to start feeling a little checked-out. Countries like France embrace this challenge by closing shop so that everyone can take a full four to six weeks of vacation.
But if that approach is pas possible for your organization, try these six tips to keep employees engaged and motivated until Labor Day:
1. Take meetings outside.
If you’re not using a whiteboard or PowerPoint, give everyone a break from the stale office air and enjoy the fresh breeze and warm weather by gathering around a picnic table, or even just meeting in your building’s courtyard or atrium. Or, if your team is up for it, get your blood pumping with a walk-and-talk around the block. Studies have found that walking meetings are not just more creative, but also promote better communication.
2. Plan a company outing.
With reliably sunny weather, summer is a great time to organize an outdoor team building event at the beach or a park, whether it’s a day of games and group activities, or just a family-friendly barbecue for employees to connect in a relaxed atmosphere. If getting off-site isn’t an option, consider organizing a summer-themed pau hana at your place of work. Whatever you do, plan it in advance and let employees know it’s coming up, so they have something to look forward to.
3. Offer summer hours.
If it works for your business or organization, consider offering your employees “Summer Fridays,” where they can leave the worksite a few hours early on Friday afternoons between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Expand your remote work opportunities, so employees can extend travel plans without using up their PTO to do so. Or give employees more opportunities to work from home, so they can take advantage of a more relaxed environment and avoid sitting in hot summer traffic. But for workplaces that can't do summer hours, consider offering 1-2 floating holidays during the summer months to give families a little extra ohana time.
4. Add some extra incentives.
Now is a great time to show employees that you appreciate their hard work. Treat your team to “breakfast on the boss,” or hold a drawing for prizes like gift cards, tickets to sporting events or concerts, movie tickets, and more. And a simple “thank you” is always a good way to let employees know they’re valued and important.
5. Give back to the community.
Surveys show that employees, especially Millennials, are more engaged when they feel their place of work is making a difference in the community. Consider hosting a volunteer day, where employees can choose to spend the day doing a beach cleanup, feeding the homeless, or volunteering with a local organization, like Access Surf or Habitat for Humanity. Or take a slightly non-traditional approach to giving back and consider allowing working moms or dads to bring their kids to work on select days of the week during summer break.
6. Take time for wellness.
There’s plenty of evidence that workers are more productive and engaged when they’re fit and healthy. Encourage employees to head outside for a team run or walk on their lunch breaks, organize a company-wide fitness or step-counting challenge, or consider offering incentives to employees who walk or ride a bike to work. And don’t forget to offer healthy snacks like fruit or protein bars in the break room!
Keeping employees motivated is important year-round, and there’s no better time to step up your engagement game than in the dog days of summer.
Want more? Download our Employee Engagement Playbook to get even more tips on how to keep employees engaged at work this summer.