Keeping Employee Spirits High as Temperatures Rise

Boosting Engagement with Summer Fun

School is out and summer has officially arrived! It’s a terrific season to spend time with family and enjoy the outdoors. But outside of a few professions, the majority of us still need to work.

One study actually found that “workplace productivity drops 20 percent during the summer months. Projects take 13 percent longer to complete and workers are 45 percent more distracted” ( So what can you do to help boost productivity and keep employees engaged? Below are just a few ideas to boost the fun quotient at your office:

Schedule Team Events that Include Employees’ Families Prioritizing family time becomes front and center during the summer months. Schedule a “Family Day” at a local amusement park and cover the cost of entry and lunch for your team and their families. Or, host a company picnic and provide activities for all ages – like a scavenger hunt, crafts, a photo booth or a frisbee golf challenge.

Host a Contest Companies promote a wide range of inter-company contests like weight loss challenges to encourage employees to get active (it is beautiful outside after all) and lose weight. Offer a cash prize, an extra day of paid vacation, gift certificates or airline vouchers to get more employees involved. Even better? You’ll give employees a fun excuse to get in shape for swimsuit season. Weight loss not right for your organization? Try a photo contest or chili cook-off instead!

Give Back Summer is the perfect time to use your resources to recognize and show appreciation for your team. Even if you don’t have a big budget, there are many ways to bring more fun to your employees this summer. Just a few of the many options are listed below.

  • Host an employee lunch during working hours. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Jusst cook up some brats and serve with beans, chips and fruit. Who doesn’t love a free meal cooked by his or her manager?
  • Hire an ice cream truck to deliver free frozen treats to your employees on a hot summer afternoon.
  • Schedule a fitness instructor to come in and teach a team class – whatever is most popular among your team.
  • Plan a potluck where every employee has the opportunity to pitch in and show off their signature summer dishes.

In addition to events, contests and gifts – be mindful of employees’ desire to be home with their families and the inevitable “summer office blues.”

Maintain an open door policy and listen to your employees. Empathize with team members who are experiencing challenges and, whenever possible, work with team members who need to ‘flex’ time in order to attend an important summer event with their family such as a dance recital, music concert, summer camp performance, etc.

No matter which of the options above works best for you and your organization, remember that it is the little things that can sometimes mean the most to your team. So grab a sweet tea and allow yourself to have a little office fun this summer!

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