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A Few Tips to Ensure Your Staff Enjoys the Next Team Building Event

January 18th, 2018

How many of you have been to a team building event with your company where you started checking your watch five minutes after you got there? I certainly know I have. It is because most corporate events are terrible. Well, maybe I should say that most planners of these team building exercises haven’t had the luxury of reading this and learning the few easy steps to planning an event your employees will actually enjoy.

Step 1 – Make It Exciting

It doesn’t matter if you have the most creative and cohesive team outside of Google working for you, if you don’t build the event around an exciting activity, the whole thing is a waste. So be sure to find an activity that is truly out of the ordinary, anything to completely remove daily tasks from the minds of your employees. You can take the team skydiving. You can take them to a ball game. You can even take them on a bike tour of local breweries. If it were me, I would take my team to do some indoor go karting at Speed Raceway. I enjoy doing a little high-intensity racing inside with air-conditioning, but that is just me.

Step 2 – Provide One Calm Place to Relax

If you ever rescue an abandoned baby deer, you will need to nurse it, care for it, and slowly reintroduce it into the wild. Take this same approach when picking a location for your next group event. Remember, your employees have probably spent the majority of their recent lives in your office. They are used to that environment. And anything too out of the ordinary may frighten or overwhelm them. This can be good to a degree, but this is supposed to be a positive experience for all, so make sure that the location you choose has at least one quieter area where members of your team can escape the excitement for a few brief moments. This also provides you and your company a place for some conversing, as well as some opening and closing remarks. At the very least, the VIP area may make your employees feel fancy and privileged, at least for the duration of the event.

Step 3 – Provide Access to Delicious Food

Group events come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the size of your company and the event you are planning for, your budgets may vary greatly. But it shouldn’t matter if you are a single shop or a Fortune 500 company. At the very least, you should always provide access to delicious food. This means that if there simply isn’t room for food in your price plan, try to choose a location that at least offers the access of good food. For instance, if you decided to throw a local brewery tour, many of these establishments won’t offer food directly, but they do offer the proximity of excellent food trucks that tend to hang nearby, and others will provide you with information of all the local delivery places that will delivery to the brewery. So try to inquire if the location serves food, allows delivery/catering, or whether you will be better off just grabbing a bite nearby. Nothing kills a party vibe more than a bunch of people with low blood sugar, so to consider the food issue to be vital. You can’t go wrong with snacks.

Step 4 – Provide Booze

If you are a rigid HR person for a large corporation, chances are that we won’t agree on much, but please, continue reading just in case. And if you are planning a team building event and are serious about planning an event your employees will truly enjoy, then you should make sure to provide some form of alcohol (assuming your employees are typically over the age of 21. Now, I know, alcohol can be a dicey subject from time to time, and some of your employees may not be able to partake, but that is why alcohol should always be a compliment and not the focus. (I will admit that a brewery tour is more alcohol themed than other ideas, but it was just one of a few option I provided, so try not to make a fuss.)

Alcohol, much like food, makes a great compliment to most activities. And if you are trying to get your team to relax and truly enjoy themselves, then you should consider providing some booze. Even if you just pick up a couple six packs, so your employees can enjoy one cold beer that can go a long way to making people feel comfortable.

Step 5 – End the Day 

Nothing is worse than when you have a fun event with your company during the day, only to be expected to go back to the office for the second half of the day. If you are trying to provide a fun event for your employees, either have an early event and give them the rest of the day off or simply plan it for the second half of the day. No one likes to have excitement, food, and some drinks only to be expected to get back to their desks. Find a date that works, or simply find the kindness in your heart. Either way, allow your staff to take off after it is over.

If you follow these easy steps, you are well on your way to planning a great team event. It isn’t rocket science. In fact, it is exceedingly simple. You want everyone to be able to leave work behind for the afternoon. You want them to be able to get excited while still feeling comfortable. So add some food and booze. Provide a fun activity and pleasant atmosphere. And for goodness sake, let them take off after it is over. If you do these things, your team is sure to be thankful for getting to enjoy themselves at a work event for a change.