To many of us, summer time is fun time. The sun is out and there are tons of great experiences to be had outdoors. But summer fun-filled activities are not exclusive to the surfers and free spirits out there. These activities can refresh and engage your staff as well as bolster the company culture.
It is fair to say planning plays a huge role in having summer activities that produce the desired effect in your workforce, so it is important that you get on it early on, preferably before the start of the season.
Before you get right down to making arrangements for specific activities that just flew into your mind and sounded nice and fun, you have to make some key considerations. These considerations can help to ensure that you are making plans that fit into your core company objectives and human resources management goals.
Choosing activities with the most positive impact
To begin, you have to visualize the identity or characteristic reflection of your organization. You have to reflect on what your values are. Then you have to cross-link these to your objectives, and start planning on this backdrop. Accordingly, the summertime activities you choose to organize should reflect your identity, values, and company objectives.
Now, your company’s ideology may be an industry thought-changer. Still, it doesn’t imply that there aren’t a bunch of activities that would fit the values of your organization. Below, we discuss several interesting options within four broad categories.
You can’t go wrong with volunteering activities. Employees feel better about their job and themselves; and your business gets in the good book of the public scoring you some valuable PR points as a well-deserved bonus. Not convinced about employees feeling better about their job after volunteering? Well, let the 2013 survey organized by UnitedHealth Group convince you.
According to the survey, 75% of employees who engaged in volunteering activities courtesy of their employer felt better about their employer because they were part of the philanthropic gesture. This can very well lead to a spike in employee satisfaction rates and high rates of employee brand loyalty: both interesting indicators for increased business growth.
Philanthropic activities your employees can engage in include a charity run or fundraising walk to support a cause that reflects the values of your company. Alternatively, your employees could volunteer at a food bank or help clean the park.
Bonding in the office space
While getting outdoors can renew the energy of your staff, remaining on-site can evoke a reevaluation between employees that promotes teamwork and further acceptance of the organization’s culture.
Give your staff the opportunity to wind down with a cooking lesson taught by a chef right in the office or just organize a chili cook-off. Worried that this may not appeal to a considerable percentage of your workforce? You can go the recreational sports route by designing an indoor mini golf course or setting up a makeshift bowling alley. Also, music is the language of the soul, so an afternoon of karaoke will inevitably leave your staff with big smiles.
Let co-workers go on an adventure
Keep the positive energy flowing by taking the fun outdoors and let the sun do the magic. Picnics, barbeque, or a mix-up of both is an all-time favorite corporate getaway summer activity. But don’t hold up one second on activity, tag Frisbees along and organize a ball game while you are at it. Alternatively, you could organize a treasure hunt at the park or engage in pedal boats ride at a nearby lake. Be mindful of accessibility issues though, so that employees with disabilities are involved as well.
Activities that are outside the box
These activities take creativity to a new high. They sound and indeed turn out to be interesting and would make for a memorable day. Just to prime your mind for a nice brainstorming session of creative activities your employees can engage in, check out these below:
- Challenging your employees to an urban scavenger hunt
- Organizing a food cart tour
- Plan a trip to the local zoo, historical/heritage site, aquarium or museum. You could get sizeable discounts for large groups
How to ensure summer activities elicit the desired effect in employees
Worthy of note is the fact that not all employees will feel enthusiastic about a specific organized activity. This may be down to several reasons that are beyond your control. Accordingly, you should make it clear that the organized events are not mandatory but this might lead to shortfalls in the expected number of participants. A smart workaround for this issue is to plan events at different times (some during work hours, and some after work hours) and to have a variety of events (all events should be in tandem with your company’s values though).
Figuring what events to organize is usually the hard part. However, do not let your foot off the gas, as things can go awry if you do not plan the organization of these summer activities well. Above all, you should also ensure that the organization’s management team expresses enthusiasm towards your summer initiatives.