How to Plan a Group Outing with Coworkers
Planning a group outing with coworkers isn’t always for the faint of heart; it’s like trying to get a new litter of puppies to sit still and pose for a picture. But outings are often necessary - they encourage bonding and comradery. So, how do plan as efficiently as possible? Take into consideration the following:
Stay away from fear-inducing activities
Sure, you love to skydive; the higher the plane, the better. But that doesn’t mean Sally from the second floor likes the idea, too. Any activities that elicit fear are best avoided. You don’t want to put people in a situation where they do something they’re scared of because they want to keep their job.
Don’t be exclusionary
It’s also important to choose an outing that isn’t exclusionary. If your staff consists of ten women and two men, booking facials may inadvertently exclude those with Y chromosomes. This isn’t to say you need everyone to agree on what you do (if you go that route, you’ll never get anything planned), but aim for activities that a wide-range of people enjoy.
Bring out the icebreakers
Yes, icebreakers are cliché and corny and we secretly wish they, like ice itself, would go off and melt, but they have their moments. In an environment where people might not know each other on a personal level, icebreakers provide the oomph needed for bonding. Give them a try and see what happens.
Do something that won’t make people self-conscious
Many people get nervous the second you utter the word “group.” They don’t like crowds and are better off behind the scenes. When you’re planning an outing, keep this in mind and avoid anything that’s going to make people feel self-conscious. Not only should you stay away from forcing all staff members to sing at least one song at the local karaoke bar, but refrain from anything that requires a high degree of skill, as well. The local soccer tournament might be great for employees who are athletes, but those who run a fifteen-minute mile won’t be thrilled.
Pick a good time of year
Timing is everything, and this applies to group outings, too. Avoid dates that fall during crazy stretches (i.e., the holidays or when kids return to school) and opt instead for a quiet time of the year. You’ll have a better turnout and happier workers.
A group outing isn’t a guarantee that your staff will connect, bonded enough to skip and hold hands on the way to the breakroom. But, you never know, they might.
Satisfy your employees with a take my shift attendance policy. And don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list. We’ll provide ideas for group outings and company policies that allow you to balance work and play.