If the only company party you throw is during the holidays, it’s time to add a summer bash to your roster. Not only does this event give employees something to look forward to, but it also shows that you want to show them a good time, on the company dime, for all the work they do for you:
Small acts like planning these events have the power to increase morale and job satisfaction, especially when raises and bonuses are not financially feasible – according to Workplace Insights; A North Carolina Employer’s Handbook.
That’s not all—summer parties provide a whole host of benefits to you and your employees. Keep these in mind as you decide whether or not to make room in the budget for a mid-summer company party.
1. Boost employee morale
Happy employees are 12 percent more productive than their unhappy counterparts. There are many ways to make your employees happy and a summer party one of the best ones because you can do a lot while spending a little.
For example, instead of renting space somewhere expensive, head to a local park or beach and set up a tent. Summer grilling foods that everyone loves, like hot dogs and hamburgers, are cheap too, so you can throw a true beach party without breaking the bank. In the end, your employees get to enjoy a fun day or afternoon of barbecuing, drinking and sunshine on company time.
2. Celebrate MVPs
Now is a great time to celebrate employees who have gone above and beyond in the first half of the year. For many organizations, January to June are crucial times for gaining new clients after the first of the year or setting up for success during the big holiday sales season. Use this party as a chance to show employees you appreciate their work.
Host an awards ceremony during the party, but get innovative with your gift ideas. Gift cards are a great way to say “Thanks” while giving employees something they can really use, but don’t buy the usual Starbucks gift card. Look into more unique options instead:
“You may be surprised to know that you can find coupons for services like Uber Eats, Delivery.com and GrubHub; grocery stores like Safeway and FreshDirect; and online food ordering with brands like Peapod and Schwan’s,” suggests Marco Piu, General Manager Couponbox.com.
Other unique MVP rewards include:
- Personalized trophies
- Half-day Fridays for a month
- A catered home dinner for two
- Beer or wine of the month club
- A plant for their desk
- Themed gift basket (Spa, picnic, date night, etc.)
Better yet, get personal. Choose gifts for each recipient based on what you know they love. If someone loves baking, create a baking gift basket. If they like yoga, pay for 1-month of membership.
3. Reduce “distance” between departments
It’s easy for teams to become siloed. Instead of streamlining projects by working with co-workers on another team, they become inefficient trying to do it all on their own. A summer party gives employees a reason to talk to people they don’t normally connect with during the workday.
Eli St. George Godfrey, a behavioral economics coach, explains her experience:
At a past employer, we had a potluck barbecue. It gave us a natural conversation starter as we waited for food to cook. Sure, there’s always that table of people who won’t talk with anyone else. On the other hand, the business owner can introduce a few people to one another and encourage others to do the same.
Employees may push against forced conversation, so use games as a way to get them working together and chatting.
4. Boost employee advocacy and organic PR
Most of your employees are active on social media and if you throw a good summer party, they’ll likely post about it on their various profiles. This is a chance for you to look good as a company and encourage organic PR and employee advocacy.
If you want to capitalize on this, create a summer party hashtag for all employees to use—this may even encourage them to post when they normally wouldn’t. At the end of the party, ask employees if you can re-post their photos on your business accounts. Photos of happy employees smiling and laughing in the sun will bode well for your reputation as a company, as well as your recruiting and hiring efforts.
5. You get a tax write off
When it comes to taxes, every little bit counts; including the spending you do for your company party this summer. According to Turbo Tax:
If meals or entertainment are provided for the benefit of your employees, you can write off 100 percent of the cost as a business expense. This is an exception to the usual 50 percent write-off rule for meals and entertainment.
Start the day with a big breakfast at the office because any free food, bottled water, etc. provided to employees at the office can be written of 100 percent as well. Employees will feel spoiled and the company can take advantage at the end of the year.
Take time this summer to throw a party for your employees. Not only will most expenses be 100 percent tax-deductible, but employees will be happier and you may get a little extra organic PR out of it too. Start planning now and show your employees how much you appreciate them with a summer bash to remember.
About the author: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a professional blogger and freelance writer. She now owns her own business and has been featured on Forbes. She’s also written for StartupNation, Manta, Glassdoor and more.