Many businesses organize office outings every so often to provide some fun for the hardworking staff and to instill team-building attitudes among workers. Venues can vary, from boat rides to picnics to educational retreats. The type and size of your corporate get-together will depend on a number of factors, include budget, size of staff and the nature of the work. If done correctly, your staff will return to work with heightened spirit and a greater sense of affinity for the organization.
Here is a list of a dozen ideas to improve the effectiveness of business outings:
1. Schedule the outing for a workday. Many workers don’t want to give up weekend time, even for an office party, so schedule the outing on a workday and score double points with your staff. Evening parties are good too. Picnics are great, and for extra fun, have custom labels made up for your refreshments –beer, wine, water, whatever!
2. Sing out loud: Karaoke night is a real hoot, especially for folks who like to drink beer and mingle. Every town has at least on Karaoke bar, and if you’ve never been to one, you’re really missing out. It really helps bring the shy staff members out of their shells.
3. Add a little structure. For example, custom logos on tee shirts, jackets or hoodies are a terrific way to get everyone in the team mood. You can use an online design service to sponsor a contest and come up with the perfect logo or other design for your clothing articles, and then have them printed up at a reasonable rate. Use good quality materials so that your workers will want to keep and use them.
4. Try some community service. Many folks love the opportunity to take on worthwhile volunteer tasks. For example, you can make arrangements with Habitat for Humanity for your entire team to work on building a local house for a worthy recipient. There are many good causes to choose from – check out VolunteerMatch for dozens of great ideas.
5. Escape to an escape room. If you haven’t heard about escape rooms, well, they are great teambuilding outings. You go to a venue where the team is locked in a themed room and has an hour to figure out how to escape, using hidden objects and secret puzzles. There are escape rooms all around the world. Pick one that isn’t too easy and isn’t too hard.
6. River activities. Kayaking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, sailing and other fun activities are what rivers and lakes are for. The beauty of this activity is that everyone is working toward a common goal – staying out of the water! You can rent the necessary equipment and even hire guides to supervise the whole thing.
7. Trampolines: You know, trampolines are fun for adults too. You can visit a local trampoline park and watch your workers lose their inhibitions. You can even play trampoline dodgeball or basketball at these parks. There are trampoline facilities all over the country, such as Sky Zone.
8. Pump the adrenaline: Nothing like a rousing game of laser tag or paint ball to get the juices flowing. These games put your staff’s logical and strategic skills to the test. It’s fun to make up teams in advance and equip them with custom uniforms.
9. More adrenaline, please: Another way to get the heart pumping is at a kart-racing track. We mean a real outdoor track, not some lame indoor go-kart game at an amusement park. Several well know race tracks organize kart competitions for corporate outings and other occasions.
10. Cook, then eat: Cooking classes may not pack a lot of adrenaline, but they are great ways to have staff members get to know each other. And if it encourages employees to bring tasty goodies into work, so much the better.
11. Scavenger hunts: What a fun way to get outdoors and breathe some fresh air! Encourage your employees to take many silly pictures and give a prize for the silliest. There are organizations that run team-building scavenger hunts in most large cities, so check one out.
12. Professional development workshop: We end on a serious note. This kind of workshop encourages employees to sharpen their skills and bond with one another. It’s a shared learning experience that can return many times its original investment.