Engage employees with an unexpected celebration!

Engage employees with a celebration — nothing beats the summer doldrums in the workplace! (Photo via Shaun Fisher, Flickr)

Don’t let summer distractions get the best of your workforce — engage employees with a celebration! Nothing beats the summer doldrums in the workplace like a celebration.
Summer is always full of potential distractions from work, from vacations and camping trips to kids on vacation and outdoor league sports.
And, there is always something fun and interesting to add to the mix –  from the Summer Olympics, an special eclipse or a cultural phenomenon such as Pokemon Go. Did you know when it was launched, 69 percent of Pokemon Go players reported that they’re playing the game on the clock? Yikes, there are distractions everywhere!
Read on to find out why exactly celebrations work so well to engage employees, what type of workplace celebration to avoid, and how to plan fun (and engaging) celebrations for the month of August.

The Workplace Celebration: Your Key to Engage Employees

There’s nothing harmless about distracted employees. They waste time, frustrate customers, irritate coworkers and cost companies money — to the tune of $650 billion annually, by one estimate.
So why reward distracted employees with a celebration? Because it’s like hitting “reset.” You’re re-engaging employees in the company culture and providing them with a structured time to be social and let loose — then sending everyone back to work, rejuvenated and refocused.
Distracted employees may have forgotten the value of their work or lost confidence in it. Workplace celebrations engage employees to think about why the work they do matters. In particular, celebrating incremental improvements builds confidence and refocuses employees on the work at hand.
Always incorporate gratitude and recognition into your workplace celebration. Find a recent achievement, however small, or reward hard-work toward an-ongoing goal and celebrate it. Did your team recently meet a sales goal, improve customer satisfaction ratings, or think up a creative idea that impressed the client? Praise the members of your team for what they did right, and let them know exactly how valuable it is to management and the company!
A celebration without explicit appreciation or recognition is exactly the type of celebration to avoid. You’ve probably attended this kind of workplace party at some point: there was free food, and maybe people even had fun, but nobody from management bothered to show up and nobody thanked employees or recognized their hard work. Celebrations without recognition won’t have lasting impact and won’t do much to actively engage distracted employees.
Celebrate with gratitude in mind, and you can’t go wrong!

 Workplace Celebration Ideas for August

Engaging, gratitude-centered celebrations don’t need to be expensive, fancy affairs. In fact, it’s better to plan on a few low-key celebrations this month than one big, budget-draining blowout.
However you choose to celebrate and beat the late-summer workplace blahs this August, make sure employee performance, recognition and a strong sense of company culture are the main focus.
Here are four ideas to inspire your celebration-planning brainstorming session:
1. Celebrate an Offbeat, Unofficial Holiday
August is short on official, government-sanctioned holidays, but there’s still plenty to celebrate! Check this list of unofficial August holidays and confirm this year’s date for light-hearted favorites such as: National Watermelon Day, National S’Mores Day, Joke Day, Bad Poetry Day, Be an Angel Day, National Dog Day and more! Share small themed gifts and plan a related game or activity that nudges people to socialize and connect more. Get creative with it and have fun! Having fun at work creates all-around better employees.
2. Throw an Olympic-Themed Party
The Summer Olympics happen only every four years but don’t let that stop you from hosting an Olympic-themed event. If it happens to be 2020 or a year with the actual games, even better! Host your own creative Olympic individual and team games, and celebrate with fun prizes and a picnic party afterward. It’s a team-building opportunity. Get more Olympics party-planning ideas from Buzzfeed and Party411.
3. Host a Scavenger Hunt
Indoors or outdoors, a scavenger hunt will engage employees in problem-solving, strengthen workplace relationships and give everyone an active break from routine. Be sure to involve employees from several departments together, and have small gifts on hand to give out as prizes at the end of the scavenger hunt.
4. Indulge in (a Little!) Pokemon Go Camaraderie
Pokemon Go is a major workplace distraction right now, but the game does “bring people together in a fun, competitive way.” In fact, the popularity of the game at workplaces “may signal a need among workers for connecting with one another” and points to a “pent-up demand for a more social and motivated workforce,” according to SHRM. As your company defines its policy and ground rules for handling the game at work, consider indulging in a little company-endorsed Pokemon Go socializing (if employees are into it). GetHppy has great suggestions for navigating the fine line between Pokemon Go camaraderie and workplace productivity.

Make Every Day a Workplace Celebration

Don’t wait for August to build in workplace fun. Building a great workplace culture is a commitment to everyday attention to engaging, appreciating and enjoying employees.
Download gThankYou’s FREE Day-to-Day Celebration Calendar for expert tips to engaging and appreciating workers every day of the year.
This one-of-a-kind eBook will help you build lasting workplace spirit with month-by-month guides, case studies, research highlights, how-to recognition advice and celebration ideas for specific holidays and anytime. Why wait? Start building the culture you want, today.

2019 Employee Celebration Calendar - Free Download from gThankYou Employee Gifts

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