Recognizing Your Employees: Summer Fun and Creative Ideas
Summer is a time when work and play collide. The weather is warmer, people are happier, and employees feel a little more relaxed than they do during the rest of the year. It’s the perfect time to show appreciation for your team's hard work and dedication. Let’s explore some fun, light-hearted and creative ideas.
Get the Team Outdoors: Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the great outdoors. Organize an outdoor BBQ or picnic for your employees. They'll love the chance to relax in the sun and enjoy some good food with their colleagues. You could also organize an outdoor team-building exercise such as a sports day or a scavenger hunt.
Here are a couple of BBQ award ideas to add to the fun!
1. The “BBQ Master” Trophy: For the employee who can compete with the grill masters on "Chopped," consider a BBQ-themed trophy. You can purchase a 3-D subsurface award that features a BBQ grill inside, or make your own using a spatula and a hot dog skewer. Add a plate that reads “BBQ Master Award,” and watch your employees compete for the crown.
2. The "Summer Lovin'" Trophy: For the employee who's always spreading love and positivity in the office — you know that one team member that can even turn a Karen into Mother Theresa. Your team will love seeing their teammate receive a heart-shaped award or make your own with cardboard and glitter. Add a plate that reads "Summer Lovin' Award."
3. The "World Traveler" Trophy — Summer is all about travel, so why not award the employee who visited the most states or countries with a "World Traveler Award." A globe award is a fun way to recognize this feat, and you can add a plate that reads their name and "World Traveler Award."
Give Extra Time Off: Whether it’s a surprise day off during the week or early finishes on Fridays, extra time off in the summer is always appreciated! It can be a simple gesture like this that boosts morale and motivates a team to find new ways to be extra productive. It also communicates to your employees that you trust and value them.
Host a Summer Party: Leave work at work and enjoy time away from the office with your co-workers. If you lead a team, consider hosting a summer party. They’re a great opportunity for team building and letting your team connect with each other in a fun way. It doesn’t have to be extravagant: it can be a backyard BBQ or casual meet-up at a local restaurant. Or you can go all out and organize a venue, hire a DJ or band, and provide some food and drinks. Match the party to your team and company culture.
Offer Summer Snacks: Although it may seem like a small gesture, offering summer snacks such as ice cream or popsicles can really go a long way in showing your employees that you appreciate them. Don’t forget about those with dietary restrictions: There are plenty of options available, such as dairy-free ice cream! You could take it to the next level and have “Freaky Food Friday,” where everyone brings in a dish, fruit, or vegetable that is rare or usually not preferred. Then challenge your team to step outside their comfort zone and try these new foods. This could be done on a regular basis or as a surprise treat every once in a while.
Small gestures like the above will help create a connection and build a stronger team. Your employees will know they are important all year round, but during the summer months, you have the opportunity to do something a little different and let your creativity shine. Whether it's organizing an outdoor BBQ with awards they’ll never forget or giving your employees some extra time off, showing your appreciation during the summer months can really boost morale and create a positive company culture. So, get creative, have some fun, and show your employees just how much you value their hard work and dedication.