For many employees, summer means taking all the vacations you could ever want — or does it? Some may choose to take time off for trips while others would rather save the time for the holiday season. In either case, you’re bound to see a little less of your coworkers than usual this time of year which can make it difficult for employers to keep teams motivated to work hard as everyone rotates in and out with their time off.
Rather than bulldoze ahead with business as usual, use this time to show everyone, vacationing or not, how much you appreciate all that they do (and continue to do) with these simple morale boosters in the office.
1. Bring on Casual Fridays!
If you work at a startup with a laidback company culture, you might have already adopted this practice. However, if you are in a more corporate environment that requires dressing up for work consider letting the dress code slide for one day a week. Create clear guidelines in advance as to what constitutes as work appropriate attire to avoid any confusion and implement a business casual manner of dress for everyone during the summer season.
2. Explore flex scheduling options.
Do you notice your employees struggling to focus during the summer months or concerned about how their kids are doing at home since school’s out? If so, you might want to allow for summer hour work schedules. You could have employees work a few extra hours Monday through Thursday to work half-days on Friday or have the day off entirely. Or, you might have employees switch off every other Friday to earn a three day weekend. Defining “summer hours” is ultimately dependent on the type of business you own, so talk it over with your team and consider their needs, as well as the needs of your customer base, well in advance before implementing anything.
3. Bring in special treats.
If flexible scheduling isn’t an option for your office, consider supplying some sweet treats to motivate your team. You can structure this a few different ways: encouraging employees in various departments to come together for a weekly potluck and having a designated day where you buy lunch for everyone in the office. There’s no wrong way to implement this kind of initiative, as long as you keep it fun for the team and switch up the options so there’s something for everyone.
4. Time for team bonding.
You might not have the budget for catered lunches all the time, but you can afford to splurge on employee outings. Take your team out bowling, host a picnic with food trucks, go on a post-work movie night, or do an escape room together. You might even want to make these options family-friendly and encourage everyone to bring their families along!
5. Hold a fun contest.
Use the summer slowdown to recharge certain initiatives that your business might not have the time to focus on otherwise. Hold a contest for your team, like initiatives to increase your social media engagement, with fun prizes for those that participate the most.
6. Give out thank you notes.
This gift doesn’t have to break the bank, but even a handwritten thank you note card letting your employees know how much you appreciate them is a simple gesture that goes a long way. You can also give each employee a $5 gift certificate to one of their favorite coffee shops or stores. Any little gift will be appreciated and is a good reminder to your team members that you value their contributions to the workplace.