The dog days are over! That is, if you strategically saved a stash of your PTO for the summer months (AKA: When everybody wants to be outdoors enjoying the sun instead of looking at it from thier desk.) But, if you didn’t, and your employees are in the same boat, you’re in luck. I’ve come up with a handful of ideas to keep you and your team productive when the struggle is real and the drag between the 4th and Labor Day feels like an eternity. We all know the importance of employee engagement and employee motivation, so I’ll get right to it:
Get outdoors. It’s really a simple concept that we all forget is an option during the 8-5! Hold a meeting in the sun, have a picnic lunch at a nearby park, or hold your weekly status meetings during a short walk. Your body will thank you after the Vitamin D indulge and so will your team – you’ll be happier for the remainder of the day.
Make ordinary parts of the day extraordinary. An ice cream social during the lunch hour is perfect for those hot days, or a salad bar for a healthier alternative. Put together a weekly routine to intentionally enjoy a half hour of games or team-building activities. It not only gets everyone involved and energized, but it forces us out of our desks to socialize and do something different. Bonus points if you take it outdoors!
Plan department-wide outings. Whether that’s implementing a taco Tuesday at a local Mexican restaurant, or a round of golf every Thursday following work, or a cold beverage come 5pm every once in awhile… doing things together outside of the office helps keep things rockin’ inside of the office. Strengthening personal relationships with co-workers outside of work will strengthen the bond within the four walls, too.
Implement flexible summer hours. Now, I know this isn’t possible for everyone. But, here at Baudville we believe in working hard and playing harder. However you slice it, whether that’s working from home or giving away more PTO during the summer months, your employees will appreciate the perks of being able to spend more time outside and with their families. If you can’t implement this because of your structure, maybe aim for early leaves or more frequent break times!
Think of out-of-the-box bonuses. When employees are meeting their goals it shouldn’t go unnoticed. Think of relevant ticket-giveaways to local theme parks, hotel stays, or frequent flyer miles. This will push employees to work extra hard, even when they don’t always feel like it!
And, last but not least . . .
Recognize often. I don’t know an employee who doesn’t love positive reinforcement. And, sticking to the dog theme, Pavlov nailed it. When employees are rewarded for good work, and simply being awesome, they strive towards recognition time and time again. Positive reinforcement pays off.