From the archives, here are a few fun at work ideas that lend themselves nicely to the quieter pace (for most of you) of summer:
1. Hold a family open house. Not just a barbecue or social event, but something that allows family members to see the inner workings of your workplace. The family is part of your employees’ support team. Winning over the hearts of employees’ families can turn employees into raving, loyal ambassadors for your business.
2. Go on a field trip. Summer is the perfect time to take the team on a creative walkabout through a zoo or park. Use this time as a chance to give employees a break, build teamwork and spark creative ideas.
3. Set up an ice cream sundae bar every Friday afternoon.
4. Two words: stealth disco. Two more words: goofy fun. And yes, stealth disco exists. Here’s how it works: Someone video tapes a fellow employee (under the pretense of doing a survey or interview) while someone else stealthily disco dances in the background unbeknownst to the person being recorded. Compile a collection, edit and screen to uproarious laughter – especially if you get your senior managers involved.
5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off contest. Have employees share what their ideal day of hooky would look like; a great way to generate some laughs while learning something about your teammates. Put names in a basket for a draw and the winner gets to live whatever their Ferris Bueller’s dream day is.
6. Ugliest/tackiest Hawaiian shirt day/contest. Does it get more fun than that? I don’t think so.
7. Fishbowl Fridays. Everyone’s name goes into a fishbowl, then draw a name to see who gets let out of the fish bowl one hour early on Friday afternoon. Keep going until everyone’s had an early catch n’ release.
8. Employee appreciation day. Summer’s a great time to acknowledge employees with a special event.
9. Community charity events. Summer’s also the ideal time to get out of the office and clean up a local park or give back to your community. Great team building, great marketing, and if you get folks out of the office for an afternoon, a great perk as well.
10. Team lemonade stand contests. Each week a different team sets up and markets a lemonade stand in the office. Proceeds go to your social fund, project or charity of choice. The team that demonstrates the most creative approach to marketing, raises the most bucks, or has the best tasting lemonade wins the coveted Lemon Masters of the Universe trophy, which includes your company kicking in extra money for that team’s charity or project of choice.
Michael Kerr is a very funny business speaker who is known as one of North America’s leading authorities on how to create more inspiring workplaces.
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