Creating a sense of community within your organization is essential for employee engagement and retention. Whether your team works remotely or in person, organizing staff events is a great way to build camaraderie, boost morale, and foster a shared sense of purpose.
Here are three major points to consider when planning staff events that can help build a strong sense of community within your organization.
1 – Tailor Your Events to Your Team’s Interests and Needs
The first step in planning successful staff events is to understand the interests and needs of your team. Depending on the size and composition of your team, their interests and preferences can vary widely. Some employees may enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or kayaking, while others may prefer indoor activities such as cooking classes or movie nights. As a leader, it’s important to take the time to understand what activities your team would enjoy and what events would be most beneficial for your team’s needs.
One idea to take advantage of good weather? A scavenger hunt can be a fun and engaging way to encourage team members to work together, communicate, and problem-solve as they navigate through a series of clues and challenges. You can customize the scavenger hunt to include clues and challenges that are relevant to your company’s products or services, or you can choose a theme that aligns with your team’s interests or hobbies.
For instance, you can plan a scavenger hunt that takes place in a nearby park or nature reserve. You can even include challenges such as identifying different plant species, navigating using a map and compass, and completing physical challenges like walking or hiking a hill.
2 – Combine In-Person and Remote Events
“Organizations should offer a variety of team building opportunities whether their staff are in-office, hybrid or remote.”
Shawn Hewatt, CEO and co-founder of culture platform Wavy*.
As more companies adopt hybrid models with some employees working remotely and others in the office, it’s important to find ways to bring everyone together. This can be achieved by combining in-person and remote events. In-person events can include activities such as team lunches, happy hours, or company retreats. Remote events can include virtual team-building activities, such as online games, virtual escape rooms, or trivia nights.
One great example of a company that combines in-person and remote events is Zapier, a workflow automation tool. Zapier has a distributed team that works from all over the world, so they have found creative ways to bring everyone together. They organize in-person retreats for their team, but they also hold regular virtual events such as game nights and coffee chats to ensure that remote team members feel included and connected.
*Btw, check out Wavy and discover 200+ free & hosted events that foster social fun, wellness, and learning at work!
3 – Celebrate Milestones and Achievements
Celebrating milestones and achievements is a great way to build a sense of community and foster a culture of recognition within your organization. This can include celebrating company milestones, such as hitting a revenue target, or individual achievements, such as completing a big project or earning a promotion. By celebrating these accomplishments, you show your team that you value their hard work and contributions.
Let’s say you run a small marketing agency with a team of ten employees. One of your employees, Jane, has been with the company for ten years and has made a significant impact on your business. To celebrate her work anniversary, you could organize a team lunch or happy hour in her honour, where you and your team members can share stories and memories about working with Jane.
In addition to the celebration, you could also give Jane a small gift, such as a personalized plaque or a gift card to her favourite restaurant, to show your appreciation for her hard work and dedication to the company. This gesture not only makes Jane feel valued and recognized, but it also sets a positive example for the rest of your team, encouraging them to work hard and achieve their own milestones.
Building a sense of community within your organization is essential for employee engagement and retention, and organizing staff events is a great way to achieve this. By tailoring your events to your team’s interests and needs, combining in-person and remote events, and celebrating milestones and achievements, you can create a strong sense of community within your organization that will benefit your team and your business as a whole.
Let’s work hard, enjoy each other and become even more powerful teams!