For workplace managers, the summer months often mean a drop in employee focus, enthusiasm, and productivity. If distractions such as kids out of school, shifted workload due to staff vacations, longer days and other distractions have your staff lacking productivity and motivation, now is your opportunity to implement seasonal activities to keep workers enthusiastic and strengthen the company culture. The annual company picnic is a classic, but there are other, more creative ways to bolster employee engagement and enhance workplace culture.
Whether the events and activities are decided by a social committee or by a management team, be sure they are well-planned, and that company leadership expresses support.
Here are seven ways to motivate your staff that can be scaled up or down according to company requirements.
Take a field trip
Be a tourist in your city! Plan a group visit to a famous landmark, a well-known tourist attraction or something off the beaten path. If the company budget allows, go all out and rent a tour bus and guide for the excursion.
Take me out to the ballgame!
Nothing symbolizes summer more than a baseball game. If possible, take employees to enjoy a weekday game. However, if emptying the building during the workday is not feasible, select an evening or weekend game for everyone to attend.
Photo Scavenger Hunt
Create a list of items that can be found in your workplace, the surrounding area or around town. Assign workers to teams and offer prizes for the most items found and photographed with the entire team – no splitting up! Compile the best photos in an online album that can be shared and viewed by employees.
Some organizations can’t realistically empty the workplace for extended periods of time. Don’t worry, there are plenty of creative ideas that can be implemented on-site:
We all scream for ice cream!
Set up an ice cream sundae bar at a set time weekly or monthly during the hot summer months. If your group includes lactose intolerant individuals or vegans, consider including sorbets and fruit slushies in the menu.
Hideous Hawaiian shirt contest
Everyone has heard of Ugly Christmas Sweater parties. What better way to celebrate the heat of the summer than a Hideous Hawaiian Shirt Contest? Offer prizes for the best of the worst.
Everyone’s name goes into a fishbowl, and each week, a name is drawn for a prize. Winners can receive anything from movie tickets to leaving one hour early on a Friday afternoon.
Christmas in July
Bring out the office Christmas tree and decorate it in a summer theme. Organize a white elephant gift exchange among employees that want to participate. Or, truly get into the Christmas spirit and organize a food or toy drive for a local charity.
Of course, not all employees will be excited about taking part in summertime company events and activities. Some workers don’t like the frivolity of these activities; others may feel uncomfortable with the pressure to socialize. Whatever the case, management should communicate whether the activities are optional or mandatory. Keep in mind that the primary purpose of implementing these ideas is to drive employee enthusiasm, productivity, and engagement. Offering a mix of events at a variety of times throughout the summer may ensure higher participation and help overcome the summertime slump!