When the sun is shining and the weather is beautiful, no one loves being cooped up in the office. Therefore, it makes sense that it can sometimes be difficult to maintain high levels of summer employee engagement.
It’s hard to work when you’d rather be outside or on vacation. But, work we must! So, why not do what you can to boost your team’s morale during the summer months? Here are 10 ways to help keep employees engaged even when they would rather be at the beach.
1. Create Summer Hours
What if you offered a half-day every Friday? Or every other Friday off? Summer hours are popular at many businesses, and worth considering, if possible.
Giving team members the option to work an extra 45 minutes Monday through Thursday and go home three hours early on Friday can help boost productivity and job satisfaction. Or, employees can work an extra hour each day and have every other Friday off. This can be a huge morale booster!
2. Host a Company Party
Did your company throw its big annual party in December? Well, maybe it’s time to switch things up and throw it during the summer instead. Not only will you have more outdoor options, but a party helps keep your employees engaged. It’s a reminder that the company cares.
3. Offer Telecommuting Abilities
If you don’t already have a work-at-home policy, summer is a great time to start one. Make it clear to your employees that the office can be anywhere they are.
This way, employees can take their families on a long weekend. They still have to work, but they’ll be in a nice setting—and when they’re done for the day, they’re already at their destination.
4. Create Friendly Competition
You want your employees to work together as a united team. But some friendly competition can help keep summer employee engagement up. It can be something related to wellness, such as a step-counting contest. Or it can be something related to the business; perhaps the department with the fewest complaints gets a pizza party.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s fun and light. You don’t want people sabotaging each other for a few pieces of pizza or a new fitness tracker.
5. Make Wellness Part of the Workday
Coordinating a morning walk, offering Friday salads or adding flavored waters to the office kitchen can make everyone’s day a bit better (and healthier). Remember, the goal is engagement—not shaming. Don’t force people to eat the salads or require someone to come on the walk. Simply make it available and fun.
6. Offer Management Training
While this isn’t specific to summertime, nothing helps employee engagement more than great management. Give your managers the training they need and everyone benefits. It might be easier to find the time for this during the slower summer months.
7. Make Sure Everyone Gets Vacation Time
While some people prefer to travel in the off-season, most want to take some time off during summer. Make sure you approve every request that’s even remotely possible. Remember, vacation time is part of employees’ compensation package. They are entitled to it.
8. Focus on Team Building
While the best way to build a team is to work well together, sometimes a fun activity can help people get to know each other better. A scavenger hunt, softball game, video game tournament or something that fits your office’s unique personality and style is the way to go. Try to do something that includes as many people as possible.
9. Provide an Extra Holiday
If July Fourth falls on a Monday, consider giving everyone that Tuesday off as well. Or, perhaps another summer holiday you don’t currently offer.
Not having people at work might not seem to help employee engagement, but remember—happy employees are engaged employees. Let them enjoy the fireworks without having to worry about getting up early for work!
10. Ask What Employees Want
Each office is different, and each employee has different needs. Ask your team members about what they think would make their workdays better. Then, do your best to meet these needs. Pick a few of these things (or all of them) and work hard to increase your summer employee engagement this year. And if it works, continue some of these initiatives into the fall.