Top tips for the summer do
In the summertime, everyone seems to be in a more positive mood – winter coats are a thing of the past (fingers crossed!) and it’s approaching the holiday season. While it might be distracting for some employees who gaze out of the sunny window, it’s a great opportunity to bring some summer sizzle into the office with seasonal incentives, rewards and social events.
With summer comes the dreaded conflict over the office thermostat; a reported 80% of employees complain about their office temperature, while the same report found 50% of offices are considered too hot in the summer. What may seem trivial can actually have damaging effects, as 71% of staff have admitted they are less productive working in an office that’s too warm.
So, what can you do to beat the heat? Let’s look at how employers can keep the buzz going throughout summer to keep staff productivity and motivation high, and why you'll benefit as a business.
Better weather means the summer slump is approaching, where employees might be thinking more about beach days than board meetings. It’s pretty clear that if the weather is nicer, the more likely it is that staff will be distracted.
A survey from Grasshopper found that 68% of workers admit they daydream more in summer, while 63% also confess to leaving the office early. Both of these contribute to a lack of productivity, so how can businesses make sure that staff don’t get too distracted and engagement doesn’t suffer?
Summer incentives are a great way to give staff an extra spring in their steps, and the chance to actually go outdoors creates an opportunity for a lot of fun-filled activities for employees to take part in. You could organise a garden party for all staff, for teams that hit their targets, or offer it exclusively to top performers to breed a little healthy competition.
The chance to relax outside, unwind with their colleagues and feel rewarded for their hard efforts is enticing to even the most focussed, dedicated employees. It doesn’t have to just be a party either, small things like treating people to some free ice cream on a hot day or introducing a summer casual dress code for the warmer months could see a rise in staff motivation and engagement.
PepsiCo, the famous soft drinks company, offers its employees ‘summer hours’ when it reaches the season –if employees work an extra hour each day from Monday to Thursday, they can use the four hours earned to take off on Friday afternoon. If your line of work isn’t focused on constant customer demand, this could be an easy thing to introduce.
Flexible working as an incentive can motivate staff in the summer time, which would be beneficial for employees with children – school holidays start in July, giving parents a potential headache of how to look after their little ones over at least a six-week period. Introducing flexible working into the mix over summer can make a world of difference to employees as they can better organise their personal lives.
It’s not just staff who will appreciate it – your organisation will see the benefits of a flexible workforce. Vodafone surveyed 8,000 global employers and workers and found an amazing 83% reported that productivity was boosted by using flexible hours.
Another option with flexible working is to let employees work remotely and from their own home, which would also help parents massively over the summer holidays. There are still some doubts about letting staff work from home, work could be abandoned for watching back-to-back TV boxsets after all, but it’s actually quite the opposite.
Despite doubts, working from home is on the rise with 1.52 million employees now reported to be doing so – TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady also talked about the positives of letting people adopt this style of working in the same announcement. He said:
“Employers need to take a more enlightened approach to home working as it can benefit business, the workforce and the wider economy. It increases productivity, helps businesses hold on to talented staff, and allows people with caring responsibilities or a disability to access the labour market”.
Staff rewards, summer style
Garden parties might be fun but it’s not officially summer until the barbeque is cracked open, and what better opportunity to BBQ than a staff reward? Inviting employees’ families along too is a great chance to show off your caring nature as an employer, enhance your reputation, and positively show your company culture.
Everyone looks forward to the Christmas party, so just think how much more they’ll enjoy the chance to wear shorts or dresses and enjoy some delicious BBQ food on the house from their boss in the potential glorious sunshine. Staff remember events like this a lot longer than the little things, so go big and light up those coals!
Another reward idea that also involves food, but it is a little more low key, is to host a picnic for top performers in departments or for entire teams. Let workers take an extended lunch to enjoy the picnic proceedings and thank them for their hard work with sandwiches and more. Even better, you could make it bigger and organise games and events for all staff to take part in, but they have to pay for the privilege, with all proceeds going to a chosen charity.
When the weather’s good, a great way to take advantage and reward your staff is to organise a team sports day. Think of something inclusive of all ages and genders, as a five-a-side tournament can seem a good idea until someone injures a colleague with a late challenge.
Games such as rounders or an athletics day can be a good way to go, or better yet, why not organise a school-like sports day featuring the old classics like an egg and spoon race or the sack race. It might seem odd to talk about these in relation to employee motivation but sports can have a great impact on staff engagement.
In a survey by Hudson, 47% of women and 40% of men said sporting success makes them more productive in their jobs and lifts their mood. Sports are great fun, and everyone can get behind teams and cheer their colleagues on, but make sure to sound it out with your employees before going ahead, and do all the necessary risk assessments needed.
Why not have health challenge events too? Dixons Carphone had their very own ‘Average to Awesome’ sports challenge, where staff who took part got their own wearable device to track their training, and a personal trainer to help them raise money for charity.
The end goal was to do an epic 100km marathon, so setting a challenge can motivate staff outside the office with the hope of helping engagement in the workplace, as well as helping employee health and wellbeing.
There are plenty of good ideas out there, so talk to your teams and see what reward event they would like. It will make them feel more involved, and the prospect of an event happening can make sure it gets hype to draw people in. If you’re stuck for ideas, our team have plenty of suggestions to add some sparkle to your summer celebrations. Get in touch with us today to find out more.