July is the ideal time to throw an employee thank you party (and not just because it’s National Picnic Month). The key to making your company event genuinely fun so it generates both good times and goodwill is your authentic appreciation. By clearly communicating a message of employee appreciation and making employees feel valued, you’ll promote happiness and loyalty. Both keys to a successful workplace culture.
Why Summer Parties Rock
In a blog post on Special Events’ website about why Fortune 500 companies are opting to host summer parties, Nicole Lavin points out:
Companies are recognizing that their employees’ hard work should be celebrated all year-long–and they’re hosting exciting summer events to prove it…
With a “Christmas in July” mind-set, companies are planning off-site corporate events to get their employees out of the office during the hottest time of the year. By hosting corporate events in July and August, companies can enhance employees’ year-round satisfaction and, in turn, increase employee retention.
Three Reasons To Host an Employee Thank You Party this Summer
The Baltimore Post-Examiner lists three reasons why summer’s the right time to celebrate your employees.
- A Year is Too Long – having a party every 12 months is too infrequent, especially since stress levels tend to build throughout the year and convening as a team to have fun can be so important to employees.
- You Can Make it Tax Deductible – you don’t need to break the bank and the staff party can be tax deductible.
- The Summer is Less Hectic – so much is happening during the winter holidays like hosting relatives and traveling, not to mention gifts to buy and meals to prepare, so having employees carve out time then can be a bit stressful – summer offers more flexibility and a slower pace.
The article concludes with these wise words:
… there isn’t much of a reason for not having a summer employee party. You can deduct it from your taxes, and any productivity lost will be regained through added morale. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Summertime Fun + Gratitude = Happy Employees
Adding a healthy dose of employee recognition to your party will make it more meaningful. Make your employee gratitude public and universal so everyone feels the company love.
Thoughts to consider:
- Make it all family
Some companies host winter holiday parties that are only for employees, not their employees’ spouses or children. Opening up summer parties to include family members shows that you are aware of the importance of work-life balance. Being more inclusive with your guest list will be appreciated by your staff and their guests.If you do include kids, consider hiring people to help supervise activities for children. That way adults can mingle and not feel that they have to hover over their kids the entire time.
- Involve employees in the planning
Your employees may also appreciate being involved in the planning. Think about forming a committee to brainstorm about, and then plan the party. Or do a simple poll to identify the top activities or venues. Engaging employees on how they want to be appreciated helps build important bonds.
- Consider sharing a small gift or announcing a new workplace benefit
In an article on the merits of summer company parties, Undercover Recruiter suggests recognition gifts for consideration.Keep it affordable and handout different colored bandana’s for team games or a summer-inspired party favors. If you can swing a workplace investment or change in policy that benefits employees, announce it at the party. Everyone will love hearing about a new workplace fitness facility or the introduction of half-day Fridays for the summer.
- Make it fun!
Bigger budget? Fishing or boat outings, zoos, museums, botanical gardens, amusement parks are all popular for parties.Or perhaps if you do an event during the work week you might be able to get a good deal on a wedding barn rental.If you’re on a smaller budget, simply renting a park shelter and offering cornhole, badminton, water balloons and arts and crafts are all undeniably fun, simple and won’t break the bank.
Hard to get away from the work site? Arrange for a variety of food trucks to staff your informal workplace event. Or schedule a visit from the ice cream truck at the end of a long work week will boost spirits and show employees you appreciate their efforts.
(Be sure to have a have a Plan B for unpredictable summer weather that could potentially derail your party or picnic – a back-up rain date or a quick venue back-up to bowling, renting a movie theater, escape rooms, etc.)
- Make sure management hosts the party
Maybe it goes without saying, but if you want a memorable employee thank you party, management needs to be involved, welcome attendees and host the party. If it’s an HR party and Senior Management is missing in action or just as bad, attending and not mingling, it won’t send the message of “we’re glad you are part of our team” and despite all the efforts won’t improve employee satisfaction.
Need More Some Inspiration for a Theme?
There’s nothing wrong with the classic summer BBQ, but if you’re looking for something new, Tasty Catering a catering company based in Chicago, has lots of fun theme ideas for company picnics.
In addition to their list of creative themes for summer parties, Tasty Catering also provides a checklist so you can make sure you’re on a reasonable timeline and not forgetting any key components.
Or, show employees you care about their health by creating a picnic that offers healthier fare and activities. Total Wellness offers suggestions, recipes and even a handy online toolkit.
Make Employee Appreciation an Every Day Commitment
For more examples of how to put the appreciation into employee recognition, download gThankYou’s popular and free, “2018 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar”.
Our annual calendar is full of insights into the latest HR trends, how-to tutorials for engaging and thanking employees, case studies to inspire you, examples of holidays to celebrate each month, and research statistics to help you make the business case for appreciation.
Download yours FREE now! Engage, inspire, appreciate.
About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any grocery store in the U.S. Find out more: gThankYou Gift Certificates.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
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