Jump start engagement with a late-summer employee cookout!

Boost engagement in August with an employee cookout or picnic. (Photo via Cellular One IL, Flickr)

The dog days of summer are here, and your staff could use a little extra engagement. Now’s the time to bring the team back together from their summer distractions with a late-summer employee cookout.
Why now?
Workplace productivity drops 20 percent during the summer months, team projects take 13 percent longer to complete and workers are 45 percent more distracted, according to Entrepreneur.
Push back against those disengagement tendencies by embracing summer fun in a way that reinforces and builds team dynamics.
“Summer barbecues are a must,” Entrepreneur’s Zeynep Ilgaz writes.
An employee cookout is affordable and straightforward to plan, and a low-investment, high-yield activity when done right.
Employees enjoy the break from routine and the chance to bond with coworkers and management in a social setting — then return to work rejuvenated and refocused. Everyone wins!

3 Strategies for a Successful Employee Cookout

Planning a successful employee cookout takes more than ordering catering, reserving a site and renting a grill. Here are three tips for making it a memorable party that actually engages employees:
1. Make It Optional
There is no such thing as compulsory fun, so don’t try it! Employees should be at the party because they want to, not because they feel required to “make an appearance” for job security or to please a boss.
Keep the party casual and low-pressure, whether it’s a team cookout over a workday lunch hour or a big interdepartmental family picnic on the weekend. If you’re including families, provide activities and outdoor games kids and adults alike will enjoy: life-size jenga, kickball, potato sack races, face-painting, bubbles, etc.
2. Focus on Employee Appreciation
Your employee cookout is a celebration of company success directly tied to employee efforts. Let employees know about the positive impact their recent work is having — and be specific and explicit. There’s nothing quite as motivating as getting recognized for a job well done!
Make gratitude the theme of the cookout with “Thank You” banners and balloons. Ask your CEO or another member of the leadership team to say a few words of appreciation to everyone, too. (Tip: share our ebooks “Transform Your Workplace with Gratitude” and “How to Write the Perfect Employee Thank You Letter” to help leadership articulate their message of thanks.)
5. Hand Out Party Favors
Make your employee appreciation tangible: share small gifts everyone can take home with them. And since everyone is already enjoying a cookout, gThankYou! Turkey or Ham Gift Certificates make the perfect gift for employees to use for their home barbecue.
The trend in employee rewards and recognition is for non-cash gifts that provide an enjoyable experience. A gThankYou Gift Certificate is a meaningful, non-cash gift that’s also affordable and convenient. Plus, employees will love a food gift they can share with friends and families.
Don’t forget gifts for those who couldn’t make it to the employee cookout, especially remote workers. Be inclusive with your appreciation for a stronger, more engaged workforce!

FREE Resources for Building Workplace Belonging

We all need inspiration to create a sense of belonging in the workplace. Here at gThankYou we love helping companies connect, engage with and celebrate employees.
Here are two free eBooks that will inspire and provide actionable tools to help you build a culture of appreciation and connectedness. Download them and start making a difference today!
Free Employee Celebration Calendar1.  “2017 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar” provides the tools and inspiration to build a culture of appreciation every day of the year. It includes mini-case studies, key stats and focus features on engagement trends, plus a calendar of celebrations and holidays for engaging with employees. Plan your 4th quarter employee engagement and appreciation activities now!
Be inspired! Download yours today, absolutely free.
“In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day — or to celebrate each special day.” -Rasheed Ogunlaru, coach and author

2.  “Transform Your Workplace with Gratitude” unlocks the secrets to recruiting and retaining a superior workforce, increasing profits and having more fun at work.
Learn more about the science of workplace gratitude, why gratitude is so powerful in the workplace and simple techniques to improve any organization — starting now!

 Unlocking the secrets to building employee gratitude

Here’s to a happier workplace!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou are America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any brand (Turkey, Ham, or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any grocery store in the U.S.
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.

To learn more about gThankYou, watch our “About Us” Video and visit gThankYou today!

Learn More About gThankYou – Watch Our “About Us” Video:

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-609-2234.
Follow the Company Blog — “Celebrating Work”
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video — “Learn More About Us”
“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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Gift Certificates

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How gThankYou Certificates Work

Step 1

Order Certificates

Choose the gThankYou Certificates you want and order them online or by telephone.

Step 2

Ship directly to your business

Your order is delivered by UPS. Nearly all orders ship the day received. Overnight shipping is available.

Step 3

Distribute to your employees

Personalize your gThankYou Certificates with Giver name or logo (both optional) and give them to employees.

Step 4

Redeem at any grocery store

Recipients redeem Certificates at major U.S. grocery stores and select the items they want.