People management

9 creative employee benefits for the summer

Boost employee engagement with 9 creative summer benefits, from outdoor activities to professional development opportunities. Learn how to create a positive work culture that values work-life balance.

It’s only natural for people to look forward to beautiful weather in the summer. Oftentimes, if business allows for it, work slows down a bit—seemingly a reflection of this natural transition—as people schedule vacations and soak up the sun.  

If you haven’t yet considered how to integrate a few creative summer perks into your employee’s benefits as a way of boosting overall engagement, there’s no time like the present. Benefits like healthcare, parental leave, more flexible work arrangements, and professional development opportunities (to name just a few) all play a crucial role in employee engagement by fostering a sense of value, job satisfaction, and work-life balance. They contribute to improved motivation and productivity, reduced turnover, and increased loyalty, ultimately creating a positive and engaged company culture.  

What’s more, for 80% of would-be employees, enticing benefits are the deciding factor—even more so than salary. This is hardly a surprise considering the ever-increasing collective importance of enjoying a more meaningful quality of life.  

Ultimately, regardless of the size of your business and the resources available to you, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of benefits. Even with limited resources, have no doubt—it’s 100% possible to get creative! 

Creative summer benefit ideas  

Employees want more flexibility from their employers in the summer months.  Giving your team a bit more time to enjoy their summer can help boost their mood and their performance when they are at work.  

Need a little inspiration? Consider the following 9 ways of making your valuable team feel extra valued this season: 

1. Outdoor activities

Organizing company-sponsored outdoor wellness activities like team hikes, yoga sessions, picnics, beach days, or sports activities to promote physical and mental well-being during the summer months can go a long way toward team bonding, higher office-wide morale, and overall satisfaction and engagement. All key ingredients of any retention strategy worth its salt. Transforming outdoor spaces into temporary workspaces or relaxation areas during the summer, thereby allowing employees to enjoy the fresh air while working or taking breaks is also a grand plan. 

2. Fitness challenges

Consider creating wellness challenges that encourage employees to engage in healthy activities like step counting, hydration goals, plank challenges, staircase targets, distance running competitions, boot camp classes, or bike-to-work incentives—with rewards and recognition for those who actively participate, as well as for high-performing teams. A little healthy competition helps to foster more meaningful engagement, after all. And engaged teams are productive ones. 

3. Mindfulness sessions

Consider conducting regular guided meditation sessions where employees can learn and practice various mindfulness techniques to enhance focus, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being. Workshops focused on teaching employees different breathing techniques to cultivate mindfulness, increase self-awareness, and manage stress effectively are also a great idea, as are sessions geared toward teaching employees mindful eating habits—like paying attention to food choices and savoring each bite for improved nutrition and well-being. 

4. Flexible work arrangements

There is no dearth of information out there about how much employees treasure the ability to negotiate flexible work arrangements. Be it a hybrid arrangement, a remote one, a 4-day work week, and/or the ability to work off-hours (i.e., at night when the kids are asleep), it seems flexibility is even more valued in the summer months (perhaps long commutes are even less desirable in the summer). Can’t do 4-day weeks? Consider implementing ‘Summer Fridays,’ a policy whereby employees can enjoy half-days on Fridays, allowing them to enjoy extended weekends. 

5. Professional development opportunities

Close to 90% of millennials say that having opportunities for learning and growth are among their top priorities at work. Offering employees a stipend to attend workshops, conferences, or online courses related to their professional development during the summer months is just one great way to offer employees a taste of the skills-building and career advancement opportunities they desire. Implementing structured training programs, workshops, or seminars that cover relevant skills, industry trends, and specific job-related knowledge is also a major boon, as is establishing a mentorship program, providing access to online learning platforms or e-learning courses, or assigning employees to cross-functional projects that expose them to different areas of the organization. 

6. Casual dress

Offering a casual dress code can be an attractive perk for potential job candidates, particularly for industries or roles where formal attire is not essential. It can also contribute to employee retention by enhancing job satisfaction and demonstrating a progressive work culture. Ultimately, casual dress allows employees to dress in lighter, more relaxed clothing suitable for warmer temperatures, increasing overall comfort. And when employees feel comfortable and at ease, it can positively impact their mood, job satisfaction, and productivity. 

7. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

Providing employees with a day or two a year of additional paid time off specifically designated for volunteering in their communities—AKA Volunteer Time Off (VTO)—offers countless benefits, both to individual employees and your company as a whole. In addition to improved morale and engagement, VTO also demonstrates a company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. It shows that your organization values giving back to the community enough to do something tangible about it. Engaging in volunteer activities and supporting community initiatives also enhances your reputation and brand image, attracting customers, partners, and potential employees who align with your organization’s values. 

8. Employee appreciation

There are oh-so-many worthwhile ways of demonstrating employee appreciation and recognition. From summer-themed rewards or incentives, like company outings, summer bonuses, or vacation giveaways, to visits from popular food trucks to provide employees with diverse and exciting lunch options, to creating a regular employee spotlight program where outstanding employees are recognized and celebrated publicly, the possibilities are endless. Even smaller gestures like personalized thank you notes which highlight a given employee’s achievements can go a long way toward promoting good (summer) vibes. 

9. Policies that promote work-life balance

In addition to offering flexible work arrangements, there are several other policies your company can implement to promote a more meaningful work-life balance. A generous paid time off (PTO) policy, for instance, actively encourages employees to take their vacations and recharge already. Work-life integration resources, such as on-site childcare facilities, access to family support programs, or initiatives that address mental and emotional well-being are all incredible ways of letting the concept of balance guide your policy-making process as well. 

Bottom line: offering special perks to your team—whether just for the summer, or year-round—adds immeasurable value in the form of satisfied, engaged, and therefore productive employees, creating a positive and supportive work environment overall. And in case you missed the memo, a positive work culture, in addition to being good for everyone involved, is money

Similar posts

Get notified on new marketing insights

Be the first to know about new B2B SaaS Marketing insights to build or refine your marketing function with the tools and knowledge of today’s industry.