We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again – great employees make a company great! When wooing a potential employee, companies often have their pitch down pat. Offer a great compensation package, a few perks, and with a little razzle-dazzle, you’ve found yourself the perfect fit. But what now? All of those late nights and deadlines that were dedicated to your next big release has depleted your staff and left them wondering whether a fridge full of La Croix and a bouncy house is worth it. And let’s face it, you’ve been there too. So how do you restore balance to your depleted dream team?

Today’s employers recognize that their employees need a pat on the back and a little bit of time to recharge by way of employee appreciation events. And with summer fast approaching, this is the perfect time to plan and execute.

Here are a few ideas to help you harness the power of Vitamin D and lingering Spring Fever to create a summer event that will energize and inspire you for months to come:

Start Small

If the budget is tight and you simply cannot bust out on a big event – or a cake from the local supermarket for that matter – just say THANK YOU! A high-five with a thoughtful statement can be most meaningful of all. Better yet, encourage peers to offer appreciation to one another. Did you know that peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition? Encourage your people to pay it forward and watch morale (and productivity) rise.

Keep it Light

Travel with me to a time when employee appreciation meant two things — a banquet hall and dry chicken kiev. Unless you are presenting a Nobel prize, maybe steer clear of an elaborate ballroom affair. Instead, bring in a few food trucks for lunch and spend the afternoon enjoying one another’s company! Summer is the perfect time to soak up some rays and take down tacos from a grease trap on wheels! Your people will walk away from the event satisfied and they’ll recognize the effort you put forth to thank them for all they do.

Play Ball

Gather together for a little healthy competition! Sure, you can shoot some hoops, but think outside the box. This employer organized a golf tournament that began as a four-person event and now includes over 200 employees with teams in costumes. With a broad skill set (or lack thereof), they said “Golf tournaments are one way for companies to show how much they appreciate their employees and build familiarity between departments. We found that even the employees who’d never once stepped foot on a golf course had a fantastic time.”

Now You’re Cooking

The way to an employee’s heart is through their stomach, right? At least one has to assume so when you consider how many cakes, cookies, cupcakes (not to mention the odd potluck meal) grace a break room in any given year. But instead of bringing in snacks, gather the troops and make something great together! Breaking out into teams for a chili cook-off is a great way to inspire healthy (and delicious) competition. Or have a smoke-off. Summer is the perfect time to fire up the barbeques and take over a local park for a day of fun, food, and delicious sugared meats! Just don’t forget the potato salad!

High Five on the High Seas

Simply giving a high-five is a step in the right direction, but if you really want to nail it this summer, appreciate your employees with a cruise. Step away from your computer screen for an afternoon and enjoy refreshing drinks and even better views. This gives you and your team time to relax and reconnect in an atmosphere that is completely void of the trappings of the workplace. Dinner, cocktails, and dancing, all while enjoying an incredible view. This is the perfect way to lavish a little love on the people who make it all happen and isn’t everything better on a cruise? Yes!

Whatever it is you do, when the rubber hits the road, showing your people that you value them is the surest way to get the very best from them day after day. Appreciation ought to be a daily practice in the workplace, but giving your employees a boost when the weather is warm and spirits are high is a great way to maximize those great Summer vibes.

Ready to plan your summer company event? Contact us today to learn about our customized events for companies of any size. Currently offering corporate events in Berkley, Long Beach, Marina del Rey, New York, Newport Beach, San Diego, and San Francisco.