In a tight job market, it makes sense for employers to find new ways to recruit and retain employees.

One way is by offering summer perks.

Employers should consider comparing the perks they offer to other organizations to see if they are on the same level as their competitors.

Obviously, vacation is a benefit that helps employees achieve a work-life balance, take care of personal needs, prevent burnout, and improve morale and productivity.

Although no law mandates private employers provide paid or unpaid time, most employers know that giving their workers paid time off keeps workers happy, which keeps the company competitive, and helps recruit and retain talent.

Communicate Policies

Employers must ensure vacation and time-off policies are communicated to employees and described in an employee handbook, including the terms of vacation time such as accrual rates, whether unused days off can be carried into the next year, and if vacation is paid upon termination.

All vacation policies should be applied uniformly to prevent discrimination claims.

Since many workers aren't taking enough vacation, employers must encourage employees to plan and take annual leave.

This involves creating a culture that values employee wellness and a work-life balance.

It also means having managers and supervisors lead by example by taking their own vacation time.

For many employees, a health work-life balance is a key benefit.

Workers can achieve this by offering:

  • Flexible schedules
  • Reduced schedules
  • Telecommuting
  • Flexible working locations
  • Compressed workweeks
  • Shift flexibility
  • Job sharing

Summer Fridays

Another morale-boosting perk that's gained popularity in recent years is Summer Fridays, in which employees are allowed to take Fridays off or work a half a day.

This perk is often used to award employees for their work throughout the year.

But employers aren't limited to Friday. They can also let employees take days off at various times in the summer, schedule or allow spontaneous days off, let workers use flex time, or allow them to arrive late or leave early on certain days.

Summer is also a good time to improve employee engagement by having employer-sponsored events for employees. These events are often a great way to show employees appreciation, encourage camaraderie and bring the team closer together.

Summer Dress Code

Another inexpensive option is a summer dress code.

It must specifically indicate what types of clothing will be appropriate, and the employer should ensure employees whether the policy is in effect every day or just Fridays.

Employers must be sure that any dress code policy imposes an equal burden on men and women, and provides for religious expression to prevent claims of sex or religious discrimination.

It’s also important for employers to apply such policies consistently and follow up with warnings and disciplinary measures for repeated violations.

Regardless of what summer perks your company offers, you must provide guidelines and outline expectations for your employees.

Make sure you review applicable policies with your workforce so they know what is and isn't allowed.


For more information, contact CBIA's Mark Soycher (860.244.1138) | @HRHotline