All fields required.


All fields required.
Brad Callahan
Vice President, Business Solutions Group

Engagement Strategies Get Employees into the Swim of Things This Summer

When the temperatures finally begin to warm, we’ve all got one thing in mind: summer break. Even if it’s been decades since you were last in school, warm weather seems to send a signal that it’s time to slow down and enjoy this time with family and friends. However, for those of us in the workforce, this summer daze can lead to distraction and lower productivity.

Instead of ignoring this warm weather trend, companies are better off celebrating summer as a chance to give employees exactly what they are looking for—the opportunity to reset and recharge. Now is the time to embrace everything that makes summer such an enjoyable time of the year and provide your team with the chance to enjoy it too. Here’s how summertime engagement and reward strategies help to get your team “into the swim” of things:

Wellness programs deliver value.When executed properly, wellness programs are the workhorse in companies’ employee engagement strategies. Employees who exercise regularly and maintain healthy lifestyles on average are more productive and happier at work. There’s no better time than summer to revitalize or kick-start a wellness program that employees can embrace.

We’ve spoken before about the positive impact a workforce wellness program can have on employee retention and an organization’s bottom line. According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, investing in an employee wellness program can return around $4 in savings for every $1 invested by increasing productivity, reducing sick days, and lowering overall health costs.

A focus on well-being takes engagement to the next level.A program that focuses on employee wellbeing can also help keep company and employee relationships healthy. Forty-five percent of employees responding to a Virgin Pulse 2015 survey said they were more likely to stay at a company with an employer-sponsored wellbeing program.

Businesses that encourage a holistic employee wellbeing program let employees know that their overall wellness is a priority. The timing of this message with summer is ideal. It’s a season when people are especially ripe for something new to break the monotony. However, between balancing jobs, summertime family commitments, and travel, it can be hard to dedicate the time to developing a new habit. Wellness programs provide an opportunity for employees to incorporate that focus into their workday.

Summertime is the right time.Beautiful weather makes us want to get outside and enjoy it. Your team is anxious to de-stress from the damp and dreary days of winter and spring, so encourage them to unplug during lunch and spend time outside. Suggest they log a few steps for the first half of lunch, and then grab lunch at an outdoor space before heading back into the office. Getting up and moving during the day can help increase blood flow and drive productivity, and your team will enjoy the midday break.

You could make a point of emphasizing stress reduction in your workplace and the advantages of embracing summer’s simpler lifestyle. One-quarter of employees view their job as the number one stressor in their lives. Physical problems such as headaches, upset stomachs, muscle tension, and even psychological problems such as depression and anxiety can negatively affect your organization.

Summer months are all about reunions, block parties, family outings and a number of other activities meant to draw family and friends, and the community a little closer. Why not incorporate these summertime vibes into the workplace by adding peer-to-peer social recognition or social events into your engagement program? Pulling people together in fun and exciting ways provides fertile ground for engagement to thrive and flourish.

Summertime rewards prevent summertime slump.Recognition doesn’t have to be limited to year-end performance reviews or service dates. Think about some of those outlying employee traits that might not be a part of your standard recognition, but deserve to be showcased. Incorporating employee recognition touchpoints, during a period when it seems everyone else is on vacation, make employees feel valued.

Promotional Rewards. Those same awards that celebrate years of service can be great recognition tools when employees achieve important summertime measures. Whether learning a new skill, leading a corporate initiative, or helping at the company’s charitable event, employees who receive these visible tokens of appreciation feel more valued and will be more engaged.

Personal Rewards. Tailor rewards to the preferences of individual employees. Rewards like on-demand gift cards or e-gift cards have grown in popularity because of the versatility they offer at redemption. With so many merchants to choose from, you’re sure to have given a reward of real value that keeps engagement and productivity levels high during summer, a time when managers can typically expect as much as a 20% drop in productivity, according to a Captive Network study.

If you’re ready to avoid the summer slump in productivity, contact a Marketing Innovators Solutions Strategists to get started with your summer engagement program today.

Outside Building Employee Engagement in Summer Months, by Zeynep Ilgaz, May 22, 6 Tips for Keeping Employees Engaged in Wellness Programs, November 2013.Quantum 10 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement With Corporate Wellness Programs, by Natalie Hackbarth, January 27, Summer Shape Up: Trends to Energize Employee Wellness, accessed July 2016.