From the Blog

How companies keep well-being and engagement initiatives hot during the summer

Summer is in full swing. Time spent outdoors, vacations, fresh foods and healthy living define the season. Contrary to traditional opinions, the summer months offer a great opportunity for employers to increase participation in HR programs and enhance company culture. To keep up the momentum, companies can offer thoughtful well-being and engagement initiatives that get employees outdoors, involved in their communities and participating in building a great company culture.

From summer Fridays to community outreach, employers aren’t ignoring the employee experience and company culture just because the weather’s warm.

Here are 7 companies we admire for their summer employee experience initiatives:

1. Adobe’s annual summer shutdown is beloved among its employees. It’s more than a perk, it’s an internal milestone for the entire company, a kick off to the second half of the year and a moment of relaxation and reflection. Donna Morris, EVP of Customer and Employee Experience at Adobe, says: “I find that the collective shutdown provides a shared excitement to return to work and dive back into driving priorities with my team.”

2. Patagonia makes the most of the sunshine and good waves in the summertime. Their reception desk posts daily surf reports and makes company-wide announcements. Founder and owner, Yvon Chouinard, is all about giving his employees freedom: “We have a policy that when the surf comes up, you drop work and you go surfing. I don’t care when you work as long as the job gets done.”

3. L’Oréal knows that giving back is an important part of the employee experience. In June 2018, over 5,000 L’Oréal employees left the office to volunteer with local organizations across nine states. “At L’Oréal USA, each and every one of our employees believes that we can add value to the communities where we live and work,” said Frédéric Rozé, President & Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal USA. “Our annual Volunteer Day is a beautiful expression of our personal and professional values in action.”

4. Clif Bar & Company is committed to fitness. They give employees 30 minutes of paid time each day to stretch, walk, run, bike, climb and stay fit. In fact, about 80% of employees take advantage of this perk at HQ to exercise on site.

5. Avanade believes in the benefits of summer Fridays, joining the growing percentage of companies offering the perk. With increasing awareness of burnout as a dangerous syndrome, it’s a no brainer for CHRO Dave Gartenberg: “Flexible schedules help employees perform at their best by allowing the freedom to find the sweet spot of their productivity and manage their outside obligations.”

6. REI sponsors an annual LGBTQ+ camp for queer and trans people called A-Camp. It’s a curated conference/camp/retreat combo with a little something for everybody: diverse panels and workshops, comedy, musicians, discussion groups, arts & crafts and more. With its sponsorship, REI truly puts words into action. As Aer Parris, an REI Staff Writer noted, “There was something magical about being surrounded by more than 400 LGBTQ+ people, people who understand in their bones that while nature doesn’t discriminate, people outside do. At camp, I was simply free to be me.”

7. Campbell’s Soup Company lives its purpose, “Real food that matters for life’s moments,” with an employee-designed community garden. The space is for learning and collaboration with a goal to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers for their café, community and employees.

Whether it’s through a volunteering opportunity, a summer perk or an expression of company values, summer is a great time to show employees you care and invest in the employee experience.

Want to know more about how to support employee well-being and engagement in the workplace? Here are 10 ways managers can boost employee well-being improvement this summer.