Summer. As the mercury rises, productivity often dips. Everyone’s attention seems to be somewhere else from Memorial Day to Labor Day, whether they’re thinking about the awesome barbecue they attended last weekend or covertly planning their summer vacation. Frustrated managers may think the only solution to the productivity problem is to keep closer tabs on everyone—but there’s a better way. These ideas for employee engagement can make the summer months more enjoyable and productive when the only thing anyone is really interested in “working on” is their tan!
Summer is a busy time for many people, especially those with small children on school vacation. Flexible scheduling can help. According to Forbes, 75 percent of employees rate flexibility as their most important job benefit. Consider allowing people to come in an hour early each day, Monday through Thursday, and work a half-day on Friday. The same amount of work is getting done, but employees have more freedom with their weekend plans. Alternatively, you may wish to switch to four 10-hour shifts, or allow people to work remotely on occasion. Whichever of these workplace engagement ideas you choose, allowing people some wiggle room in their schedule will turbo charge your productivity once the weather gets hot.
If you’re short on ideas for employee engagement during the summer months, lean into everyone’s favorite topic: vacation. Vacations are planned well in advance, so do your part and plan your workload in advance, too. When your employees can see what’s due and when, they’re better able to schedule their time off. And they’re less likely to choose times that will have a huge impact on workload, too. If six people plan to take vacation in the same week, it’s going to kill your productivity—so keep the vacation calendar visible to everyone. Visibility allows them to plan their projects and work-related deadlines accordingly so no one gets buried in work.
When many weekends are spent poolside, people are often concerned about how they look in their swimsuits. Help them get their beach bodies by designing health and wellness challenges. Need friendly competition ideas to improve employee engagement? No problem. See which of your colleagues can make the tastiest healthy lunch, or who can log the most steps each day. Who had the biggest health transformation from Memorial Day to Labor Day? You can incentivize your employees to get healthy by offering small prizes along the way, but the real rewards are healthier, happier workers!
One of the best ideas for workplace engagement is a good, old-fashioned company picnic. This time-tested strategy gets people out of the office and bonding as a team. Whether you go potluck or have it catered, make sure there’s food—and a lot of it! (Feel free to suspend your health and wellness challenge for the day.) And don’t forget the music or games. Even the most dedicated executives deserve a break now and then. Use this time for everyone to let their hair down and bond as a team!
When the temperature hits 95 degrees and your iced coffee gets hot before you make it back from the coffee shop, no one is excited about donning a suit and tie. Consider relaxing your dress code (within reason). No, this doesn’t mean cut-off shorts and tank tops are suddenly appropriate office attire, but there’s no reason to make your employees sweat it out, either. Can’t swing a lax dress code? Keep the break room stocked with cold beverages, frozen treats, and a selection of fresh fruits and veggies. Coming up with creative ideas for employee engagement makes your workforce feel valued, and a valued workforce will give you their best—no matter how warm and sunny it is outside.
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