How to Engage Employees
During the Summer Months
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and your employees are… well, stuck inside.
Even if your employees generally enjoy their work, the glorious days of summer have a way of making those hours they spend cooped up and cranking their way through their to-do lists feel like a rare form of torture.
So, what can you do to give their engagement a boost at work—even when they’d rather be grilling burgers or soaking in the sunshine? Here are five strategies to make life in the office a little more bearable during the summer.
Just because it’s the workday doesn’t mean that you all need to stay chained to your desks in that stuffy corner of the office. That afternoon brainstorming session? Take it outside to that picnic table behind your building. The one-on-one you have scheduled with a direct report? Ask if he’d like to skip the conference room and have that conversation while taking a walk.
Your team will appreciate that break to stretch their legs and get some fresh air—even if they’re still working while doing so. And, as an added bonus? Even a short break out in nature can restore their mental energy and boost their focus.
Off-site outings and after-work events are a great way to encourage bonding on your team. In the winter, that probably involves a lot of happy hours in a dark bar. But, in the summer months? Go ahead and get a little creative!
Have your employees bring their families to a night out at a local baseball game. Encourage some friendly competition with a round of mini golf. Host a barbecue or picnic where everyone can dig into some delicious food and enjoy the weather. Your employees work hard all day in the office—and summer is the perfect time to encourage them to play hard when that clock strikes five.
Most employees crave flexibility year round. However, this desire becomes even stronger in the summer—when vacations, family activities, and weekend trips to the cottage are abundant.
Fortunately, audio conferencing can help you offer your team some increased wiggle room to fit in work around their lives—as opposed to the other way around. Rather than demanding that everybody sit in on that Friday meeting in-person, for example, provide the option for people to work and conference into that meeting from wherever they are.
Whether they’re on the beach or on their own back patio, your employees will appreciate that added flexibility to make the most of the summer season while it lasts.
Speaking of flexibility, giving employees the option to work where they want is awesome—but, offering them some freedom to decide when they work is another great way to boost their engagement and appreciation.
One relatively simple way to do that? By offering “summer Fridays” that allow employees to leave early in the afternoons on Fridays during the summer. A recent study indicated that 42% of companies now offer this perk in the summer months. So, it’s well worth considering for your own company if you’re looking for a way to offer your employees some added flexibility to enjoy the weather!
Even if not much changes at work during the summer months, it’s often the stark contrast that makes employees the most stir crazy. In the winter, spending eight hours a day cooped up in an office doesn’t sound nearly as miserable as doing so when the weather is glorious. For that reason, find some ways to incorporate some more fun into your average workday by instituting a few new traditions.
Maybe that’s a team potluck or lunchtime grill-out on the last Friday of each month. Perhaps it’s a guacamole contest. Or, maybe it’s a company-wide Olympics where everybody gets to spend the day enjoying some friendly competition in various ridiculous events. Do what you can to inject a little more enthusiasm into employees’ work lives, and you’ll transform their weeks from drab to delightful.
Engaging employees is always a challenge—but especially in the summer when it feels like they’d literally rather be anywhere but in the office.
Here’s the good news: There are things you can do to not only make office life a little more tolerable, but actually enjoyable. Put these five tips into play, and you’re sure to notice a difference in your team’s morale.