Give Your Employees a Break

Summer is the perfect time to treat your employees to a respite from the daily grind. Rested and rejuvenated, they’re a much more effective return on investment.Summer is short but sweet in the Pacific Northwest, home to Ritani. To take advantage of the ideal weather, which typically spans only July and August, Brian Watkins, president of this clicks-and-bricks Seattle-based retailer, throws a huge barbecue event each year for employees and their families.This isn’t just about enjoying cloudless skies. Watkins is aiming for something else: to connect and engage with his ­employees in a non-work environment.“Turnover is lower, there’s better customer service, and morale is higher when you have highly engaged employees,” ­Watkins says. “When people find meaning in their work, they are willing to go the extra mile, which ensures an outstanding customer experience and makes our

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