Most businesses recognize the importance of having a sense of community in the workplace. In terms of productivity, a work environment that promotes bonding and collaboration is usually more efficient in achieving its goals. Why? In short, there is a significant body of research telling us that employees who feel connected to others at work are happier and more productive. Not only does the sense of unity create a more positive workspace, but it also makes employees more loyal.
Here’s some additional insight on how corporate events inspire employee bonding, and how they can benefit your business.
Never discount the importance of workplace companionship. You probably know from personal experience that being close with your co-workers makes the day go by faster, but there is data that backs this up. According to the Gallup State of the American Workplace survey, having friends at work makes work more enjoyable and worthwhile, with workplace friendship boosting employee satisfaction by 50 percent. What’s more, people who have a “best friend” at work are seven times more likely to engage fully at work. Corporate social events, which encourage employees to socialize outside the typical workplace, can promote more genuine friendships within the workplace.
When your employees want to wear their company logo T-shirts outside the office, you know you’ve done an excellent job. Loyalty matters, and not just because it makes leadership feel good. Long-term employees are vital to the success of a business because they offer the company stability, knowledge and cost savings over time.
When you know someone better, you’re much more likely to open up to them about things that affect you throughout the day or in your life outside of work. Putting your team in a scenario where they’re encouraged to communicate (see below for some great ideas) is a fantastic way to inspire bonding and boost the strength of your workplace culture. Make sure that you focus on opening up the communication channels between all departments and titles. For example, be sure that your latest entry-level employees are encouraged to work face-to-face with the top members of your C-suite at fun corporate events.
When you to work together with someone to achieve a clear-cut objective—say, to get yourself out of an escape room or to beat the competition in a friendly game of softball—then you’re much more likely to forge real bonds. Working with others in these kinds of scenarios also helps employees polish up their problem-solving skills for the workplace, allowing them to better communicate their wants, needs, and frustrations at any given moment.
Indeed, one of the best parts about getting to “hang out” with your co-workers and employees outside of the workplace is that you can be yourself since there are much fewer pressures and stressors. When you feel like there are fewer rules and you’re away from your e-mail, to-do list or that ever-growing stack of paperwork on your desk, you’re much more likely to associate your co-workers, and the work itself, with enjoyable experiences and positivity rather than stress and worry. Employees also feel relaxed enough to share their personalities.
To plan a successful company outing, you need to have a game plan going in so that you can tailor the event to your unique goals. Here are some great corporate event ideas that help encourage bonding while also helping you achieve specific high-level workplace goals:
To make employees happy—If your game plan is to promote more comfortable, more connected employees, then don’t overthink things. Any activity that has to do with pure fun will help employees associate happiness and joy with their work and co-workers. Here are some awesomely fun employee activity ideas.
To improve loyalty—Having a problem with turnover in your workplace? To boost loyalty, create some friendly competition between departments or entities so that workers feel loyal to the team they work with every day. And make sure you provide all of the event-goers with company promotional items they can wear at corporate events and outside of work.
To improve communication—If your corporate event goal is to enhance communication and dialogue among your team: Don’t send employees to a movie, a concert or a play! Instead, make sure they’re someplace where they can talk to one another in a comfortable, open environment. You might also think about coordinating a more formal, planned event complete with ice-breakers.
To improve problem-solving—One excellent way to boost interpersonal engagement within your organization is to present groups of employees with a specific challenge. If they find that they all have one shared goal—even if only temporarily, to win a competition or complete a task—they will simultaneously build close bonds and strengthen their individual and team problem-solving skills.
Setting time aside for more focused group development and changing the scenery for employees separates the event from the everyday work environment. When done correctly, a good company outing allows people to be involved in the activities without the worry of the typical job responsibilities and deadlines. This encourages people to socialize and cooperate more without feeling pressured, which is good for the long-term success of your company. Always remember: a little bit of fun goes a long way!
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