Summer employee appreciation can be tricky. It’s prime vacation season, plus, not all employees work through the summer — like school bus drivers and teachers, for example!
What engagement strategies do you use to stay connected with employees and build community throughout the summer?
Keep in Touch
Although employees are relaxing with family and friends, you should still stay connected with them throughout the summer. Encourage employees to think about their own strategies for the coming season and help them stay excited about your business and their co-worker connections. Staying in touch helps keep those good feelings of connectedness and teamwork flowing. Whether it’s via email, newsletters, Skype, personal phone calls from management or occasional team get-togethers, choose what works for your workforce and organization needs.
ease their transitions
Employees’ fall transitions and business organization will fall into place more easily if you stay in touch, communicate expectations and share your appreciation for employees.
Diane Hodges, educator, speaker, blogger—“Looking Forward to Monday Morning,” at Education World—and author of several books, including Season It With Fun, sums it up this way:
“You are going to want to have fun, motivating, invigorating activities that help the staff members make the transition from summer to the school year.”
Show them you care!
The National Association of Elementary School Principals offers “6 Tips to Engage your Staff During Summer.” Here are a few of our favorites!
- Send encouraging emails to staff and remind them to relax! Include a link to Edutopia’s “Summer Rejuvenation Guide” for teachers. Share information about new fall hires, welcome messages, and planned organizational changes.
- Hold a social event for new and existing staff where they can enjoy snacks and get to know one another. Pair up experienced employees and new ones and suggest they stay in touch during summer to share ideas.
- Have an offsite planning session where you can brainstorm and set goals for fall. Hodge suggests sending a survey before the meeting, with questions such as: What are you most excited about this year? and What can we improve to work better as a team?
If it’s right for your workplace, summer break is a great time to offer opportunities for professional development. Make opportunities optional so employees don’t feel pressured if not interested.
Show your appreciation. Make it a priority to let employees know you value their contributions. Surprise and delight workers by sending a small summertime gift and a personal thank you note.
Don’t Overdo It. Employees such as teachers need their summers off to recharge their spirits for fall, so you don’t want to plan too many activities. But a message here and there and a team-building occasion or two will show them you’re thinking of them and keep them feeling like a team!
Have fun! Summertime engagement can be fun for you and your staff. Enjoy your summers, everyone, from our office to yours!
For more great tips and insights into building a vibrant culture of engagement and recognition, be sure to download our free e-book, “The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving”.
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