We All Scream for Ice Cream

Summer is here!  Much of the country is sizzling in record high temperatures.  image

Even here in often gloomy Seattle, the sun is shining.  That means the lakes are speckled with stand-up paddle boarders, the hiking trails resemble I-405 traffic and yet, we still need to do business!

You may find it challenging to keep your team focused on the business at hand – and getting more new business – when it’s hot out, or in the case of Seattle, when the summer makes a brief appearance.  Still, times are tough for small businesses  and giving everyone a day off to enjoy the sun is just not feasible for very many companies.

So what can you do to enjoy a little “summer” in your office and why should you?

Hawaiian shirt day.  Declare Wednesday of next week “Hawaiian shirt day”.  Let everyone wear their wild, tropical prints or their classic Tommy Bahama style shirts with khakis.  If you are so inclined, make a contest for the craziest shirt, let everyone vote secretly throughout the day and give a gift card for a Starbucks Mocha Coconut Frappuccino to the winner.

Total investment:  $5 for the gift card

Take a “Friday the 13th” group break at the Starbucks in your building or nearby.  This Friday from Noon-3 you can try their new “Refreshers” beverages FREE!  Yes, you read that right!  Two flavors and they are giving out FREE 12 oz “tall” sizes just so you can try it.  (No purchase needed – 1 per person so everyone has to go in person to order their own drink).  Call the Starbucks nearest you to be sure they are participating then take your team there for an afternoon break and toast to summer.

Total investment:  a phone call to be sure your location is participating!

Bring in ice cream.  Over the years I’ve heard of companies arranging for an ice cream truck to come by their building and the manager picking up the tab for everyone’s selection.  Other companies have had the CEO serving ice cream from one of those frozen treat carts they rented.  Some teams will bring in the makings for ice cream sundaes to the lunch room.  All of that can get pricey and takes time – both in coordinating and consumption and it’s critical that we keep a sharp eye on the bottom line both in costs and productivity.


As a result, I’m in favor of just stopping by your neighborhood Albertsons, Safeway or QFC for an assortment of individual serving size ice cream cups (no drips!).  My personal favorite are the Haagen-Dazs single serving (3.6oz) cups.  There are a wide variety of flavors, a spoon is tucked inside the lid and can often be found on sale at the grocery store for 10/$10.  Even the “regular” price is only about $1.50/each.

Pick an assortment, hide them in a brown paper bag sealed shut in the freezer, then in the afternoon, have everyone pull their chairs together in the middle of the room for a “quick meeting”.  Arrange the cups on a table and let everyone choose a flavor, then take a few minutes to tell them how much you appreciate their hard work, dedication and loyalty while they enjoy their unexpected treat.

Total investment:  $1 – $1.50 per employee

These are VERY inexpensive ways to show your appreciation for your team.  By acknowledging how hard it is to come to work and focus when the weather is so beautiful out, you will reduce the amount of “sick” days this summer.  You will also build loyalty and a sense of community within your business that translates to reduced turnover, greater productivity and an improved customer experience.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: