5 Employee Engagement Ideas for Summer
The days are getting longer, and the sun holds on further into the day. It is warm outside and many of your co-workers and staff are scheduling their summer vacations or taking sporadic days off between June and August. Summer has officially arrived!
This is the best time of the year, but it can be difficult to maintain strong employee engagement.
Those employees not on vacation are most likely stuck indoors at work and longingly looking out the window wishing they too were on vacation. A recent study found that productivity drops 20% during the summer months (source), this means many employees are checked out wishing they could do anything but work. This is where strong company culture is crucial to buffering this kind of detrimental thinking.
In order to foster strong employee engagement when the sun shines brightest during those long Summer days, try the 5 tips below to motivate your staff before negative thoughts creep in.
- Empathize with employees. The desire to play more in the summer months isn’t the only reason productivity declines. People are ready for a break after the winter. The warm weather and long days enable people to be outdoors, get their minds off work, and replenish themselves. Kids are also out of school. Parents want to use that time to connect as a family. Managers should empathize with this desire so that employees will be more motivated at work. Listen to your employees’ needs. How do they feel? Are they stressed or overworked? Find out their summer plans? Ask employees for ways the company can create opportunities and plan family events.
- Encourage vacations. When employees feel overworked and underappreciated, their work suffers. It’s important for leaders to encourage workers to take vacations. Employees need to clear their minds, relieve stress, and regain energy. Team members who know they’re taken care of will take care of you and your business in return. Besides, vacations are great for overall productivity. “Researcher Mark Rosekind of Alertness Solutions found that the respite effect of a vacation can increase performance by 80%.” (Source) Additionally, consider implementing casual or half-day Fridays. Work contests or raffles that offer a vacation day or family trip that’s paid for can also greatly motivate your team.
- Schedule team events. Bring the fun of summer into the workplace so people can enjoy it even when they’re not on vacation. Summer barbecues are a must. Get employees and their families together to enjoy the beautiful weather for a company picnic. Include activities for kids and adults and provide food and games if possible. Have a photo contest at the end of the summer: Ask employees to share photos or posts of summer activities. The contest winner could receive a special prize, such as a paid vacation day. Produce a summer photo album for team members to showcase their experiences.
- Use your resources. If the company has a tight budget, don’t worry. There are several affordable ways to have fun with the team. Potlucks are a great way to come together without spending a dime. Employees provide the food, and the meeting place can be the office. Schedule a yoga class and turn any extra space into a team yoga office for the summer. Summer is a great time to get the team together for a warehouse decorating party, with every wall decorated by a different team. Use the newly decorated space to host the next family event or office party.
- Talk with members of the team. Communication is key. If an employee event happens on a weekday and a manager is concerned that staff will be less focused that day, share that concern. That’s the backbone of building a team: trusting one another.
Sadly, you can’t close the office down from June to September. What you can do, though, is make a few strategic changes to the workday during the Summer to encourage your employees to keep performing at their best, no matter how inviting the cloudless sky may seem.
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