While we may not get off for the summer like other professions. In most firms I have worked in, there has tended to be a lighter summer vibe after school lets out. In my previous firm, we even changed our hours to work half-days on Fridays.
You are probably wondering why I am even writing about summer fun. Don’t we have proposals to get out the door? Isn’t employee engagement HR’s job?
Well sometimes if you want to change the vibe in your environment you have got to lead by example or just take charge to get the ball rolling.
Below are some ideas to inject summer fun into your office. Some of the ideas are strictly internal but some can carry over to your firm’s external social media or client interactions.
What does your firm do to capture that summer vibe? Share below in the comments.
Postcards from the Road
Start an internal campaign at the beginning of summer to encourage your team members to capture pictures on their summer vacation. Have them send to you to compile into an article for your internal newsletter or intranet. Showcase interesting activities and places your team explored over the summer.
Take this outside of your firm by establishing a specific hashtag to use in social media posts. Encourage employees to use the hashtag when posting their travels. Track the hashtag usage and re-share photos (as appropriate and approved) on your firm’s social media channels. Of course, this will need to follow your firm’s social media policies.
One of my previous firms somehow had a rubber duck that ended up traveling with many of our employees. It became a challenge to see who can take the duck to the most interesting place to photograph.
I love scavenger hunts. Maybe it is the competitive side of my but I love a good riddle and challenge. With technology and a little thought, you can make a scavenger hunt fun and interesting for your team. You could even include a cross-office scavenger hunt to include several offices. Some ideas for your scavenger hunt are:
- Intranet scavenger hunt – Develop a list of 10 questions in which the answers can only be found in different areas of your intranet. Then make the questions in either a Google Form or fillable PDF. Send to your employees with a deadline. You can enter all of the correct entries into a drawing for a prize like an Amazon gift card. SMPS did this same activity to launch the MySMPS portal and it was quite fun.
- CRM/Database scavenger hunt – This follows the same concept as above but could feature different areas of your database and/or tasks to perform. Example tasks could be 1) enter all your business cards from your last tradeshow, 2) update two opportunities and 3) add personal interests to at least five of your contacts.
- Project scavenger hunt – This could work for smaller firm where most of your projects are in your immediate area. You would create a series of riddles or questions in which the answers take you to a project location. Your team would then take a picture in front of that project to text to the organizer before moving to the next clue. The first team to complete the questions, submit their questions, and return to a designated spot (I would recommend a bar/restaurant for a happy hour) would be declared the winners.
- Mystery scavenger hunt – This similar to the project scavenger hunt above, but your teams won’t need to travel. In this hunt, you would make photos of projects but would tightly crop them so that they are not easily identifiable. The photos should be tightly cropped to a small square that only shows a portion of the project detail. The participants or teams who guess the most correctly (or the fastest) are the winners.
You basically get the idea. This is why I like the idea of scavenger hunts. They can be played in person, electronically, in one office or across multiple ones, and in teams or individual. They also bring out competition which we all can appreciate!
I have always wanted to do this, especially during a summer when the official Olympics is happening. I originally got the idea from one of my favorite websites, Baudville. Using this link you can get your very own guide to Office Olympics.
This may take a little more planning or help from some others. You would declare each Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day Fun Friday. Then each week (or every other) you would have something different planned. These can be as simple as bagels or donuts brought in to scheduling a potluck picnic or happy hour. The idea is to make every Friday different and consistent throughout the summer.
There are 14 Fridays in 2017 from Memorial Day to Labor Idea. I have provided 14 different ideas for you below to get you started.
- Guess the Principal – In this game, you collect baby pictures of your principals and ask your team to guess what photo belongs to what principal.
- Chair Massages – If you work near a massage school you can get a good rate on bringing in one or two masseuses to provide chair massages. Typically, they would be only for 15 to 20 minutes and people would have to sign up for a designated time a day or two in advance.
- Ice Cream Truck – Do you have any ice cream trucks that go around your neighborhood? You might be able to get one to come to your office. Employees can either pay cash or you can pay for a certain amount up front.
- Trivia – Make a trivia game of you firm’s history. See how many employees get the answers right!
- Scavenger Hunt – See the options for scavenger hunts above.
- Guess How Many – Fill a jar or box with marketing swag such as pens, jump drives, etc. Send around a picture of the filled jar. Give people a day or two to respond to you with their best guesses on how many are in the jar. The one who is closest gets a prize.
- Cornhole or Ping Pong Tournament – If don’t have any in your office, ask someone on your team to bring in theirs. Then get a bracket made and host a tournament. Teams can play on the lunch hour and will most likely carry over a few weeks.
- Cornhole or Ping Pong Tournament – Week #2
- Cornhole or Ping Pong Tournament – Week #3
- Potluck Picnic – Take your traditional BBQ or summer picnic indoors (if you’re in Florida like me) or outdoors (if you’re living somewhere not hot as h#ll!).
- Foodtruck Friday – See if you can get a foodtruck or two to come on a Friday for lunch. If you work in a larger building with multiple companies, see if you can talk to your property manager to get a bunch to come.
- Ice Cream Social – Are you noticing my food trend? I think it’s just me but I have always worked in offices who love food!
- Minute to Win-It – Set up stations with challenges like the Minute to Win It show in a break or training room. Then during lunch have teams challenge each other to declare a winner.
- Game Day – Have your employees bring in their favorite board game. Set them up in a break or conference room. Play the games during lunch and bring in lunch. Or, have it later in the day and have a few drinks and snacks!
What does your firm do to bring summer fun into the office? Share your comments below.