3 Ways to Reward Your Employees This Summer

employees enjoy summer at a company barbeque

Summer is finally here and taking advantage of the season is top of mind for employees. After a harsh winter, how can businesses allow their employees to enjoy the warm weather while still encouraging hard work? Here are three easy ways to reward your employees this summer.

Offer summer vacation days

Many employees today don’t take the vacation time allotted to them for various reasons including workload pressures, job obligations or performance anxiety. Depriving themselves of a vacation may seem advantageous to their work life, but bypassing vacation will not benefit an employee’s health or the company’s bottom line. Half-days provide a nice option to ensure your employees get a much-needed break without spurring the aforementioned vacation-related concerns. 

While offering half-day “Summer Fridays” – a common practice for many companies in the summer season – may not work for your business plan, consider offering two additional vacation days between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Employees can choose how and when to leverage their additional days off, whether it’s in one fell swoop or taking a couple half-days throughout the season.

Encourage employees to use time off

Taking time off from work is crucial to avoiding burnout. Additionally, many employees get their most innovative ideas when they aren’t worrying about addressing every crisis that pops up or managing tedious work assignments. The short-term disregard of vacation days can lead to mental “check-out” during the work day and long-term health problems, such as depression, increased stress and heart disease, none of which will benefit the company.

As a result, communicate the importance of taking vacation time with company supervisors early and often. Ensure that managers are promoting this value in your organization because in the end, prioritizing vacation will boost productivity and employee wellness across the board.

Treat your team to a cookout or happy hour

This method to reward your employees is definitely the easiest to execute, and only requires a small budget and planning, but it makes a big impact on team morale. Invite families to the team cookout and just relax, avoid “talking shop” and focus on team-building outside of office hours.

Alternatively, you can take your next planning meeting outside. Encourage your employees to get out of the office and unplug for a few hours while you brainstorm. Even moving a single meeting outdoors can boost morale. A change of scenery can also improve creativity and lead to new, fresh ideas.

It’s important to take steps to promote wellness and work-life balance in your organization. Reward your employees with simple incentives like the ones listed above and help your team avoid burnout and improve productivity.

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