Summer is here and the time is right... for all of your employees and you to take personal time and vacations and to spend days out of the office. But what happens when everyone returns from their time out of the office? Employee morale may suffer and you and your team might take longer to get back into the business groove after a vacation.
Even though we are heading towards the end of summer, there are still plenty of chances to put some fun into your business and bond with your employees, customers, partners and advisers. Here are three examples that may help you get started.
If your time at work is tight, I suggest you think about putting together a one-day, out-of-the-office experience for your employees, partners, customers and advisers. Consider making it entirely social and getting input from your team as to what would make it fun.
You could host a movie night in the parking lot by renting a big screen and having everyone bring their own chairs, popcorn, etc. Or you could have a local scavenger hunt and divide everyone into teams. There are thousands of fun, easy ideas to bring everyone together.
Consider scheduling the program for during the week so you don't have to ask employees to give up their weekend for a work-related event. That alone may help make it a lot more fun and improve employee morale. Remember the class trips you took in grade school? Who didn't look forward to a day out of the classroom?
There are a number of good movies coming out this summer. You may want to have a movie night and take your employees to the latest releases to help boost employee morale.
Another idea: Picking a specific day during the week to do something different each week. For example, on Thursdays you could go to a baseball game, visit a museum, take a hike or do some volunteer work. Each event may be an excellent opportunity to bond with your team outside of the office. You may also want to consider bringing customers, vendors, partners and business advisers along as well. They can then see the human side of your company and your positive corporate culture.
In most businesses, September is the start of the big “end-of-the-year” push to make your numbers and finish on a strong note. Before you begin the run to the finish line, consider thanking your team for a good first half of the year (hoping that you had one).
Consider reminding them that you have four months to achieve the company objectives and that you are all in the final push together. It may give your employees a chance to recharge their batteries while preparing their minds for the work ahead.
At times, business owners can lose focus of the big picture in their companies. It can be hard to see what's happening ahead when all you do is put out fires every day. You may miss the signals of morale falling and employees feeling drained at the end of each day. Take time to say “thank you” by spending time with your team outside the office, laughing and enjoying the day. It's a smart investment.
For more tips to help you achieve a better work-life balance, watch the exclusive video series, made in partnership with MSNBC: Work-Life Balance: Tips from the Trenches.
Read more articles on company culture.