Planning Employee Summer Events

Recognition is a key element to employee retention programs.  Employees who are appreciated and recognized show increased productivity, engagement, and loyalty to their company.  Although most companies throw holiday parties, why not organize an employee appreciation event for the summer?  Your employees deserve to be recognized for their hard work all year round! 

Reasons to have a summer event for employees:

  • Boost Employee Morale: Appreciation events show employees that they are valued, fostering company loyalty and engagement. Engaged employees then share their enthusiasm with their team members which further improves company culture and values.
  • Improve/Encourage Work-Life Balance:  Inviting and including significant others and children into the event shows that the company acknowledges the importance of a work-life balance. It also provides an opportunity for employees’ families to be introduced to the company, as well as other team members and their families.
  • Foster Team-Building: It’s important for team members to socialize, connect and have fun together outside of the office. Not only does an employee event strengthen existing bonds, it encourages better working relationships between employees and teams that might not typically connect during their day-to-day routines.  After the event, employees will be excited to grow their new relationships back in the office.
  • Encourage Knowledge Sharing:  If employees have a shared interest, participating in that activity outside of work can spark a new connection and break the ice for more in-depth conversations. Also, by leaving the confines of the office and entering a new environment, you’ll stimulate innovation and creative thinking. Team members will feel more comfortable sharing ideas with one another once they’re back at work.

Tips for Planning:

To begin, focus your summer event on activities that matter most to your staff.  Even your best efforts may fall flat if they’re not directly related to employees’ interests and personalities.  This would ideally mean polling workers ahead of summer about the activities that they would enjoy the most.  Although you may not be able to please everyone, polling employees will provide a good idea of what event will work best for your company culture.  If you are including children, make sure the event will be family friendly for all ages.  Below are some ideas:

  • Sporting Event: Baseball season is in full swing and most pro and minor leagues have great packages for corporate events.  If you are not located near a major city, consider a minor league game or even a company game between departments.
  • Fair/Festival: With the weather warming up, many towns host small fairs or festivals.  These types of small events would be a great fit for a local business looking to support the community.
  • Bowling/Arcade:  If the weather is just too hot, think about having your employee event indoors.  Bowling alleys and arcades are a great place to cool off from the heat and provide an opportunity for some friendly competition as well as fun for kids of any age.
  • Charity Event:  Why not take the opportunity to give back while also getting your employees together? Perhaps plant a community garden or volunteer at a local charity for a day.  Before or after the service portion, you could treat employees to a shared meal.
  • Theme Park:   Although this activity may make it tough to keep everyone in a group, it is sure to be a hit with kids and thrill seekers.
  • BBQ/Picnic: What says summer more than an All-American BBQ?  Good food, cold refreshments, and yard games are a simple and casual way to bring everyone together.

How will you celebrate your employees this summer? We would love to hear your thoughts!