Summer Ideas for Improving Employee Morale

The sun in shining, the birds are singing, and people are longing to be outside enjoying it all instead of being cooped up indoors. Being stuck inside an office can be bad for employee morale. Low morale causes higher turnover and lower productivity, which results in lower profits. In today’s blog, we share ten ways to improve your employee’s morale during the beautiful summer months.

  1. Bring the kids to work day.
    Kids are out of school, and many parents are worried about daycare, childcare costs, and missing this time with their kids. Not only does allowing them to bring their kids to work improve employee morale, but it also generates goodwill in the families and allows employees to bond. It could be a great time to introduce future employees to where they will be working.
  2. Similarly, allow employees to work from home.
    As long as employees can show they are just as productive as they are in the office, this can remain a viable option for employees who are sick or have kids at home. Preventing sickness from spreading in the office is always a good idea. You may be surprised to learn some people work better from home than they do in an office.
  3. Allow employees to work outside.
    Some people suffer from a lack of vitamin D, leading to depression and fatigue. Allowing employees to work outside, even for a few hours in the morning, can cause a burst of energy and happiness, resulting in higher productivity.
  4. Movie day.
    Summer is the time of blockbusters. Surprise employees with an offer to leave work early and see a movie that just came out. Let’s be honest; some employees call out of work if it means seeing the latest Avengers before the spoilers hit the internet, so offering to treat them to a movie will prevent that and encourage company loyalty.
  5. Have an inclement weather policy.
    While summer may mean beautiful skies and great weather, it also means hurricanes and thunderstorms. Be sure your employees know that not coming into work is acceptable under certain conditions.
  6. The quintessential barbeque.
    Whether you choose to go potluck or have the event catered, it’s always a good idea to have employees feel appreciated and give them time to blow off steam. They can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, and this can be something they look forward to every year. Companies have the option to allow family members to attend or it can be kept employee-only. Friendly competitions and prizes are usually a great crowd pleaser.
  7. Change the scenery.
    Have lunch in the park or bring some of the outside world to the inside of the office. Here is a great list of plants that are hard to kill but will improve your office in both looks and air quality.
  8. Yoga time.
    Bring in a yoga instructor and offer employees a chance to participate outside of the office. Some companies section off a part of the parking lot every morning. Some have it in the grass after work. Others offer employees the chance to do it during their lunch break.
  9. Get out and enjoy something.
    Take the employees mini-golfing or to see a baseball game. Participate in a local event, such as a concert series or touch-a-truck event. Rent a couple of cabins and take the employees camping.
  10. Volunteer day.
    Most companies focus on volunteering during the winter holidays, when charities find themselves overflowing with volunteers. According to a survey of employed adults, those who frequently participate in workplace volunteer activities are nearly twice as likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their career. These activities also create bonds between employees. There are plenty of ways to volunteer during the summer months, such as:
    1. Pick up trash along a beach, park, or highway
    2. Pass out water bottles to the homeless
    3. Walk dogs at the local animal shelter
    4. Arrange a food drive
    5. Help a food pantry sort donations and/or pack boxes
    6. Arrange a clothing drive
    7. Read and/or bring toys to children in the hospital
    8. Build houses with Habitat for Humanity
    9. Teach a class about your industry at your local library or community center
    10. Spend time with the elderly at a retirement home
    11. Organize a blood donation drive
    12. Organize a fun run, bubble run, color run, 5k, etc.

Try a poll to find the causes employees care about most, then put it into action. Volunteering can be done regularly, so employees can look forward to it and prepare. This is especially important if doing a fundraiser. A friendly competition can be an incentive, with prizes — like a day off of work — going to those who raise the most money.

Gauging employee morale can help prevent issues before they arise. It does not have to be costly or time-consuming, although anything spent is more than worth it and will result in great returns for the company. Even the smallest gesture can have a big impact.

Jordan Brady, Human Resources Coordinator