When the mercury rises, employees’ minds often drift to non-work activities. Let’s face it, kids are out of school, the weather is gorgeous, and the last thing most people want to do is be cooped up in the workplace all day.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve employee morale and make summertime work days less of a chore before visions of lazy days lounging by the pool supersede the duties at hand.
- Casual Dress – Summertime dress codes can be tricky, as skimpy clothing can pose a problem, both in terms of safety and distraction. When possible, however, loosening the dress code can help employees feel more comfortable at work during the warmer months. If you haven’t already instituted a Casual Friday policy, this may be the time to do it. You can even tie it to a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative by having employees donate a dollar for the privilege of dressing down. Be careful when drafting your policy, however, as flip flops, tank tops, mini-skirts, and other such options should not be allowed. Also, make sure employees know they cannot dress down on days when client visits or Board of Directors meetings are scheduled.
- Summer Outings – Nothing says “team work” more than an outing to watch a top-notch team in action. So gather up the troops for a fun day at the ballpark. Include families in the invitation and while you’re at it, throw in some hot dogs and sodas. It’s probably a good idea to steer clear of the alcohol, however, as bringing beer into the equation might result in some inappropriate actions on the part of the workforce.
- Outdoor Meetings – What’s to say all meetings have to be held indoors. If the weather is hospitable and any requisite technology can be moved, relocate your meeting to the great outdoors. Employees will appreciate the opportunity to feel the warmth of the sun and the fresh air will help clear their heads for a more productive meeting and a more productive rest-of-the-day.
- Walking Club – Summer is a great time to focus on fitness, so sponsor a summertime walking club to get employees moving. Whether the walk takes place during the lunch hour or you grant workers a special break time to lace up their tennies and hit the pavement, a brisk walk will lower their blood pressure, shrink their waistlines, and boost their productivity.
- BBQ Lunches – Celebrate the end of the work week with a cook-out! Treat employees to a company-sponsored BBQ, complete with burgers, hot dogs, chips, and cold (non-alcoholic) beverages. Set up picnic tables outside and create a light, fun atmosphere.
Whatever approach you decide to take, be sure to remind your employees that they are integral to the success of your company all year round.