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10 ways managers can boost employee well-being improvement in the summer

Hey, managers — this one’s for you. Did you know that nearly all employees say their immediate managers matter the most when it comes to well-being support at work?

It’s the perfect time of year to help your people continue on their paths to well-being. We partnered with Fitbit to share our summer tips to embrace engagement. You can incorporate active adventures and healthy food into everyone’s busy schedule. Make sure you and your team remember to wear your fitness trackers, like your Fitbit, to ensure you’re moving all summer long!

10 tips to engage your employees this summer:

1. Set the tone by authentically engaging in your well-being program — and encourage your team to do the same. It’s important for you to be a role model for well-being improvement. Take stress breaks, go on walking meetings and communicate your own well-being priorities to your team. Here’s how you can take 5000 steps before lunch!

2. Implement a summer flex-time policy. It doesn’t have to be a company-wide initiative. As a manager, offer your team the option to leave early on Fridays to do something active for their physical well-being. Bonus points if they bring another teammate along or share what they’re doing.

3. Try something new on the weekends. Summer is the best time to try a new outdoor activity — hiking, biking, swimming, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding and so much more. Warm weather? No problem. Beat the heat with these tips for exercising outdoors. In team meetings, ask your employees to share their new experiences and how it made a difference in their life.

4. Give employees a half day for outdoor fitness. Is it an especially nice day? Plan a fun run or walk around campus, offer yoga on the lawn or start a pickup game of soccer, softball or volleyball. Summer calls for friendly competition — challenge other teams or departments to join the fun. This is also a great time to bond beyond Happy Hour.

5. Take a vacation. Did you know that Americans left 658 million unused vacation days on the table last year? Acknowledge or reward employees who take all of their vacation time. If things are hectic and employees can’t take a week off, encourage them to break up their vacation days and take a few half days when time allows.

6. Get fit on the Fourth. Independence Day doesn’t have to mean hot dogs, fried foods and sodas. Encourage your employees to stay happy AND healthy during the holiday weekend. Since the holiday lands on a Tuesday this year, allow your team to work from home that Monday and encourage them to take some time to work out. Reward employees who log four miles of any physical activity on the Fourth of July ― hiking, biking, walking and running all count. You can even use the holiday as a reason to get the team together in a company picnic to boost morale. Check out this guide to survive and thrive in your company picnic.

7. Grow it yourself or go to the farmers market. Challenge employees to plant a garden and designate a day when they can share their gardening tips and great Summer recipes (like this one) with coworkers. Promote the local farmers market for lunch to employees.

8. Foster friendly competition, like the “Office Summer Games.” Put together challenges that employees can do in their office apparel. Activities might include wall sits, stretches, planks, broad jumps, squats, lunges, chair races (if you have a long straightaway), pushups or a steps challenge. Make a makeshift podium and host a ceremony to cap the day off.

9. Stretch it out. Encourage your team to step away from their desk to stand and stretch. According to a new study, people who perform any kind of movement throughout the day are physically healthier and more content. Check out this short tip sheet with four moves to start the day off right.

10. Add well-being questions to your regular 1:1 meetings. Take your summer 1:1s outside and use a portion of the time to check in with your employees on their well-being. Use our conversation cards for inspiration on how to start.

Download the walking meeting cards and try them out with your team.

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