These final heat-drenched weeks of summer make an especially good time for employers to find new, meaningful ways to motivate staff. Try out these cool -- and cooling -- ideas to refresh your workers.
Top 10 Ways to Give Employees End-of-Summer Motivation
- Give employees extra time to enjoy their summer days. Provide flexible work schedules for employees to work longer hours to take time off. Consider four 10-hour shifts or working an extra hour each day to take a day off.
- Bring a freezer of iced goodies to work. This is a great way to cool things down. Serve ice cream and popsicles and other cool treats -- and don't forget nondairy items like sherbet or flavored shaved ice for anyone who is lactose intolerant.
- Hold dry-ice-block sledding races. For a little bit of summer fun, create a competition across departments by setting up sledding teams. Find a small hill nearby and buy or make your own dry ice blocks to sled on and compete.
- Have a traditional summer picnic. Whether on company premises or at a nearby park, hold a companywide barbecue. If the company can sponsor the hamburgers and hot dogs, then employees could potluck the salads and desserts.
- Be mindful of it being warm inside. Not all offices can have blinds or accommodate cooling systems. Arrange for portable fans in strategic locations and bring by the occasional ice-cold carbonated drink or water to staff.
- Host a summer sports day for employees and families. Add this to a picnic by having traditional summer games and races. Think three-legged races, team tugs of war, egg-and-spoon races and ever-popular sack races.
- Think summer wellness and health. Use wellness apps and compete in small teams to see who wins. Teams prove they're eating healthily, drinking right amounts of water, exercising appropriately and doing mindfulness exercises.
- Sometimes it is cooler at home. Let telecommuting be an option to allow certain employees to work from a cooler home. Create agreement on days and hours permitted, work accessibility and goal expectations by their manager.
- Make your cafeteria summer friendly. Have the company sponsor a breakfast or lunch to enjoy summer fruits and vegetables in the office. Let local suppliers also sell their products for employees to purchase.
- Hold at least one staff meeting outside. If your office is near comfortable surroundings with shade, make it happen. Otherwise, meet at an agreed-upon location for an early morning meeting or brainstorming session.
Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is author of Giving the Real Recognition Way and chief learning officer of Rideau's Recognition Management Institute, a consulting and training company that helps leaders and managers get recognition right. He can be reached at [email protected] Also, check out the library of Real Recognition Radio shows.