As an employer, it is becoming increasingly more important to focus on employee engagement. This goes for established Millenials as well as the newest age group in the workforce, Generation Z. Work-Life balance is at the top of the list for many modern employees and in the summer the desire to balance life only gets stronger.
If you want to keep your employees engaged, consider some extra rewards during these warmer months. A little effort on the part of the employer can make a big difference to your employees. And studies show that well-rested employees bring better work back to their companies. So… what are you waiting for?
This is a big one. Days are longer, the weather is nicer, and school is out for the summer. With all that, your employees want to make the most of these scarce months and spend all the time they can with their families. Consider these options as extra rewards for your hardworking employees.
- Summer Hours: This can be a really effective way to let your employees look forward to the end of the week. Consider allowing an extra hour of work Monday – Thursday so everyone can work a half-day only on Fridays. The same number of hours gets put in each week, but the long weekend helps for planning fun, summer getaways.
- Impromptu Time Off: Who doesn’t like getting a call on Friday from their boss telling them to enjoy the weekend a few hours early or plan to come in late Monday morning? Unscheduled extra time off just because the weather is nice or everyone worked hard on a special project is the perfect way to say “Thanks.”
- Optional Telecommuting: The truth is, with modern technology, you can do many kinds of work from just about anywhere. Why not let your employees put in their hours from a hotel on vacation or just at home so they can spend time with their kids without using valuable PTO. This doesn’t cost anyone extra time but can boost morale tremendously.
- Company Trip: Each summer, Priority Staffing Group takes a company trip somewhere fun. This is all-expenses-paid for employees, so no one has to worry about money for hotel stays, food, drinks, etc. Each employee can also bring a spouse along. This not only lets everyone have a fun weekend, but it stimulates employee relationships and carries over to time on the clock later. Company trips do not have to be at exotic (i.e. expensive) destinations. Lake days are a huge hit and cost is minimal (but keep in mind the risks associated with vacationing to certain locations).
- Meals with the Boss: This seems too simple, but it’s actually a great way to reward your employees for a job well done. Invite everyone out to lunch mid-week to get to know them better. Find out more about their families and personal lives and then share more about yourself in return. Build trust and get better work in return.
- Volunteer as a team: A lot of entrepreneurs are surprised by the number of employees who are willing to come out and do a volunteer project. Especially in the summer, when there are extra daylight hours, this can be a good opportunity to get everyone out of the office to do something together. If you can’t get enough people together on a weekend, consider closing up early one day to volunteer somewhere as a group. Habitat for Humanity is an excellent organization to plan an activity with. Consider a group build. It requires very little construction knowledge; just willingness to work as a team to accomplish something great!
- Bonuses: If you’re very busy and truly don’t have the time to spend out with your employees, a little extra on their paycheck is a nice way to say thanks for working hard during the year. This time of year can have lots of added expenses at home, so consider a bonus for the month of July or August.
- Free Vacation: If you really want to go above and beyond expectations, consider paying the way for an employee plus one on a vacation. All-inclusive trips, like cruises, can be a special way to reward your employees while they take time off this summer.
As an employer, you have the power to reward your employees however you see fit. These ideas are just a jumping-off point. At the end of the day, you know your employees and what they want. Some employees will appreciate a hand-written thank you note. Just remember to do something to keep them happy this summer and the reward for you will be loyal, hard-working employees!