6 ways to keep your team buzzed this summerby Jamie Concannon
Even if your office is the best workplace ever, chances are everybody's got their mind on a sunny beach somewhere.
Remember schools days when we had whole summer off and we couldn't wait to grow up and get a job. Yep, we didn't know how good we had it. This time of year, *everyone* is dreaming of holidays (any why not?), but that doesn't mean the office can't be a fun and motivated place right throughout these glorious sunny days.
There are big and small ways to keep your off buzzed right throughout the summer and it doesn't need to be complicated, time-consuming or expensive.
A little bit of effort can go a long way, and you can be sure that your team will appreciate it. Short of transforming everybody's desks into BBQs, there are plenty of ways you can try to keep everybody motivated through the summer.
Before sitting down to think of clever ways to motivate your staff, always make sure you talk to them about what makes them tick. Whether you're in a small enough team where it's practical to talk with everybody or you get some of the team heads together to brainstorm, it should always be your first port of call.
Not everybody is going to appreciate the same things, and the best source of inspiration is so often sitting at the desk right beside you. One twenty minute conversation with a team member can help inspire ideas that will be appreciated by all, and you'll have the added benefit of it being something that came from within the group of people you're looking to plan for.
Organise a summer party
This might be a pretty obvious solution, but you have to make sure you get it right. A well-planned summer party is the kind of thing that can bring a whole team together, but a crappy summer party is something that can bring the buzz right down.
First of all, it should be clear right from the off that it's a summer-themed party. From designing invitations with extra bright colours to planning the right summer playlist, these are the kind of details that people will appreciate in the long run.
This is also a fantastic way to bond with your team in a non-office environment, especially if it's possible for family members to come as well. There's nothing better than some hamburgers, custom Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses to strengthen office bonds and boost team morale!
Sustainability should be at the heart of such a big event, and you don't need to worry about that having any kind of effect on how much fun people have. If you want some advice on making this happen, check out our post on creating a sustainable office summer party.
Deck them out in swag
For a lot of people, summer don't start until they change over their wardrobe. Out go the knitted Christmas sweaters and thick socks, and in come the bucket hats and Hawaiian shirts.
With that in mind, why not give the people what they want? Some summer-themed swag is the perfect gift for this time of year, and such a thoughtful gesture is certain to keep them motivated through the summer.
You don't need to make it overly complicated, if anything keeping it simple is the smartest way to do it. A well made, sustainable Hawaiian shirt that's custom-made to your needs is the kind of gift that will keep a smile on your face right through to winter.
Reward their hard work
It's been a long couple of years, and people have been working pretty hard throughout it all. This summer offers a chance to blow off a little steam and enjoy ourselves a bit, so a manager willing to acknowledge that by rewarding their staff will be a popular one indeed.
Perhaps treat them all to an outdoor BBQ somewhere, or give them some gifts that will make their own cookouts that bit better this year. An activity day could be a hell of a lot of fun too, maybe making it like a school sports day where everyone comes together in the great outdoors for some healthy competition.
Just try to stop people from carbo loading on fettuccini alfredo...
Set fun targets
Setting targets in work doesn't have to always be about sales or lead generation, it's ok to make it a bit more fun sometimes. In fact, showing people that you don't think of your team as a group of specialised robots is a solid move to make.
There are a few different ways you could do this, depending on what you want to achieve. Maybe you could have a BBQ cook-off between a few team members, or create a leaderboard for people who are making efforts to be sustainable and have a prize for the overall winner.
We mentioned already about how special it was to have time off during the summer holidays, so bringing some of that magic to the workplace isn't a bad thing. We're not asking you to give all employees two months off (although, kudos to you if you are up for it), but making some adjustments to the summer calendar can make a huge difference.
This could work as maybe finishing up early on Fridays, or trying to work one or two extra days off into the schedule.
Companies like Unilever, Charity Bank and Rivelin Robotics have all been trialling four day weeks. There are different ways of introducing this but most models work around the concept of 100% pay for 80% time on the proviso 100% productivity is maintained.
Not only is this a great way to keep people motivated, but it also helps people feel like their work is appreciated.
As well as that, finishing work early is about as close to the magic of being off school as it is possible to get as an adult. If you are the one to bring that into someone's life, your place in their heart will be assured until the end of time.
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