Right about now each year I have clients who suddenly realize it is summertime. And they meant to consider summer hours or a summer family picnic or some other form of recognition for all the hard work of the last few quarters. But the firehouse of daily activities overcame the intent.

Is this YOU?  Yes, there are still things you can do to enhance morale and inject a little fun.

Tip 1. Bring some fun into the workplace

If all your employees are in one-two locations, this works well. Have an ‘ice cream sundae’ party or bring in catered lunches two-three times over the summer. Start with a short ‘thanks’ and push to get people talking to each other for 30-60 minutes. Make it a real break from work. And yes, that means the executives too – unless you are having them make the sundaes.

Tip 2. Cancel a workday

Independence Day is a Friday this summer. Shut down for Thursday July 3rd as well. Or just pick a random day, say August 1st. Announce it in advance a bit to give folks a sense of anticipation. Give a reason – or not! Yes, you will still pay everyone for the day so it has a cost. But it does not take a lot of effort to plan or run and most employees love this ‘playing hooky’ day.

Tip 3. Go All In

Set up a last minute picnic or area trip – say Great Falls National Park with bag lunches and a bus to/from the office for a mid-day break.

Each employee gets a chit for some ‘free’ time off – maybe 3 half-days or two full days, depending on your business.

Bring in a seated chair massage therapist 4-6 times in July and August for a half-day.

Enhance creativity – take a tour at the Corcoran of ‘American Journeys’ or visit the “Torpedo Factory” for a couple of normal work hours, with refreshments.

Have a summer version of ‘secret Santa’ and pass out $15/20 to each person to buy a gift to celebrate summer.


You may not be able, at this late hour, to set up a program of compressed workweeks or telecommuting or organize a big family event. But you can do something that is appropriate to your business and your culture. And you can recognize that everyone likes a little summer break. And it might just become an organization legend – like the conference room that turned into a giant screen brown-bagger for old cartoons every Monday at noon where entry was a thank-you note for another employee …