Workplace culture is one of the top factors linked to employee happiness. That and the fact that any job is all about the people and engaged teams produce results.
It is also very important that colleagues get on and work together well to be productive, effective and fulfilled, and while friendship can’t be forced, social connections need to be encouraged and woven into a company’s culture to help employees get to know each other outside their roles, to build strong teams and increase employee engagement and communication.
With summer here and lockdown restrictions being eased, people might not have to endure too many Zoom office quizzes! We can now go outside – if the weather is clement and take a break in our daily routine, especially if that routine has been Microsoft Teams from the box bedroom in the back of your house.
Being social doesn’t have to revolve around booze either and there are many ways and means of organising social activities to ensure they are inclusive. Define the goals and then establish the budget, who the planning team is and whether some of the activities are compulsory or not. Choose a date that everyone can make and get it into the diary as early as possible. Chose an activity that everyone can participate in and then build the excitement.
A good way is for staff themselves to brainstorm and come up with some ideas and then survey the most popular. And the activities themselves are almost limitless, although budget dependent. But given it’s summer going outside is an easy first step. We all benefit from unplugging from technology, being able to breath and rejuvenate in nature.
Rambling with packed lunches or hill walking or orienteering with a pub drink as a reward are easy fun activities, as are high ropes adventures in beautiful trees. Scavenger or treasure hunts and ‘geoteching’ are great for team building too.
It’s also Olympics year, so why not create your own company version and compete in various games of skill – it doesn’t have to be the shot put or the 110 metre hurdles, just let your creativity run wild and remember to consider skill levels!
It wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in the UK that if we’ve already have had our quota of sunny days this year, but don’t let that stop you. There are scores of places to have fun and team build such as ball game venues offering table tennis, pool, crazy golf and beer pong, or escape room challenges (no irony meant), or go-karting. There is of course still fun to be had in the rain!
It doesn’t have to be all high-energy or competitive either. Many companies choose karaoke nights, chocolate making classes or cocktail masterclasses to have fun and build camaraderie. Or how about team lunches, a gentle picnic or a summer paella party?
To foster a good workplace culture, a supportive and open environment, office getaways or activity days shouldn’t be a tagged on after thought to company policy or even limited to the summer months. Many companies implement weekly or monthly activities like board game tournaments, office quizzes or just beers and pizza in the boardroom.
Bottom line though, after the year we’ve had, companies should make it a priority for employees to spend quality time together. It will help relationships blossom and bring the workplace together.