6 Practical Tips for HR Leaders to Boost Employee Well-Being & Engagement During Summer

Jun 17, 2024

For many of us, the summer months signal more vacation days, more time spent outside, and more opportunities to encourage wellness. 

During this time of year, employees want more flexibility from their employers in the summer months. But, giving your team additional PTO isn’t the only way to support them during this time. Keep reading for 6 practical tips to increase employee well-being and increase engagement this summer.

Tip #1: Provide a Mid-Year Benefits Refresher

Most HR teams held their open enrollment over six months ago. Since then, you’ve likely welcomed new employees, seen family changes, and noticed engagement trends. Amidst the busy, PTO-filled season, sending out a mid-year benefits refresher is essential. You can do this by sharing on Slack the benefits employees are eligible for, hosting a Q&A-centered benefits webinar, or sending out a newsletter highlighting benefits employees should know about going into the warmer months. 

For instance, if your Slack #pets channel is buzzing with new furry, feathery, or scaly friends, letting those employees know about any pet benefits they qualify for is helpful. Also, remind caregivers about family caregiving benefits that might be more relevant now than during the colder months. Keeping everyone informed helps ensure they make the most of their available resources and increases their engagement and benefit utilization. 

Tip #2: Offer summer wellness initiatives 

Organizing mindfulness and fitness challenges is a great way to support mental well-being during the summer. Since not everyone can join traditional fitness challenges, offering mindfulness activities ensures everyone can participate. These challenges also help keep those covering for colleagues on PTO calm and focused.

For example, organizing an outdoor challenge with the whole family to encourage employees to spend time walking their dog, gardening, hiking, or otherwise soaking up some sunshine!

Tip #3: Conduct Informal Employee Surveys

Like we mentioned above summer is about 6 months out from open enrollment, making it a natural time to assess progress and gather feedback. Conducting a quick employee pulse survey surrounding benefits allows your team to gauge how well benefits are being utilized and if there are any gaps or areas for improvement. Identifying issues or areas where employees may feel less satisfied with benefits allows HR to incorporate these findings in their 2025 planning sessions. 

Tip #4: Encourage Volunteer Opportunities

Encouraging volunteer opportunities and community involvement during summer is equally important. Supporting initiatives like volunteering at local pet adoption centers or participating in charity runs not only strengthens teamwork but also allows employees to make a positive impact beyond work. These efforts not only enhance employee engagement but also align with overarching company values of compassion and community involvement.

Airvet and several of our Advisory Board members recently spent the day volunteering at PAWS Atlanta. We loved spending the day together, and the cute furry friends were an extra bonus.

Tip #5: Introduce Off-Cycle Benefits

Introducing off-cycle benefits during summer allows HR to address any gaps or emerging needs that may have been overlooked during annual open enrollment. Whether it’s offering benefits related to summer activities, wellness programs, or flexible work arrangements, employees can benefit greatly.

Moreover, summer often brings a shift in priorities and lifestyles for employees. Introducing off-cycle benefits tailored to summer needs, such as wellness challenges, outdoor activities, or childcare support during school breaks, demonstrates that the company is attentive to the evolving needs of its workforce.

PepsiCo recently announced their off-cycle launch with Airvet in honor of National Pet Day to celebrate all of their pet families and get them the care they need as soon as possible, instead of waiting for open enrollment. 

Tip #6: Be Sure to Support All Types of Working Families

It’s crucial for your HR team to ensure that benefits and policies support all types of working families, especially during the summer. Offer flexible work arrangements tailored to different family situations, such as flexible scheduling or remote work options, to help parents manage summer childcare challenges or caregivers more time to find additional support. Additionally, provides support beyond traditional parental leave, including resources for elder care and pet care, to acknowledge modern families.

By ensuring inclusivity in benefits, HR creates a supportive work environment where all employees feel valued and empowered to balance their work and family responsibilities effectively, contributing to overall well-being and engagement during the summer.

Make this your most engaged summer yet! 

In conclusion, let’s make Q3 2024 your most engaged quarter yet! With summer upon us, it’s a prime time for you to prioritize employee well-being and boost engagement. By taking proactive steps to enhance well-being and engagement during the summer, your HR team can make Q3 2024 a time of increased positivity, well-being, and engagement for your employees.

Interested in learning more about including pet families in your benefits? Read more here. Already have access to Airvet? Check out our latest product update to ensure you’re experiencing all of the features we have to offer!