In our last edition of Inside HR, we asked organizations what type of summer perks or benefits they provided to employees.
The top three vote-getters were “Summer Fridays” (allowing to leave early or work half days), relaxed dress code, and cookouts/picnics. Flexible scheduling/telecommuting and holding meetings outside were the next highest responses.
A few employers mentioned that some of these extra perks are offered year-round, not just during the summer.
Other identified benefits offered by employers during the summer months included: walking lunch groups, giving away local event tickets (such as to a State Fair or to the zoo), root beer floats, pancake breakfast, food truck, bike rides, sponsored events outside of work such as a company baseball team, and providing water, Gatorade, or popsicles when it’s very warm.
For organizations that have a relaxed dress code policy for the summer, typical issues that could come up include: wearing flip flops, cleavage, visible tattoos, see-through clothing, dressing too casually in general, lack of coverage (including shoulder exposure, open back shirts, and short skirts), wearing long basketball shorts and claiming they are capris, and inappropriate shirt lettering.
HR professionals must continually deal with the shifting definition of what is acceptable to wear in the workplace for professionalism, safety, and to minimize distractions without turning employees off with overly stringent policies. Dress code policies should have clear guidelines of what is acceptable and what is not.
Many employers take advantage of the summer months to increase morale and retention by allowing these added benefits while employees appreciate having opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and dress in a more comfortable way.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our poll!