Finding and keeping quality workers is one of the greatest challenges faced by businesses today. It affects every company from mom-and-pop enterprises with just a few employees to giant corporations.
Reducing turnover and stimulating high morale, productivity and teamwork has a powerful impact on long-term costs and profits. Company outings, off-site activities and employee recognition awards, when properly managed, offer businesses unique opportunities to enhance employee morale and build superior teamwork and leadership skills.
Workers interacting in a relaxed off-the-job environment build stronger bonds with each other and enjoy a positive relationship with the company. When employees feel that you care for them, a positive corporate culture grows. They feel more strongly connected to the company and are willing to put more effort into meeting goals and making their company number one. That kind of employee conscious attitude is one of the factors that led Toyota to dominate the auto industry and now fuels the explosive growth of Google.
Company must promote team skills, high worker morale and loyalty, as well as interaction that produces ideas and leadership.
Food and Fun to Build Strong Teams
Gathering for a shared meal is an ideal way to develop intimacy that leads to better sharing of ideas and information. This is especially effective for teams working on company projects. A meeting for breakfast or lunch allows team members to share ideas in a relaxed environment.
These informal brainstorming sessions often lead to unique solutions to problems and stimulate new ideas for improving product and process back on the job. This approach can be very effective in-house as well. Meetings with catered snacks or an occasional surprise team gathering over coffee and cupcakes stimulates a feeling of belonging that translates into higher productivity and improved teamwork skills.
A properly planned and managed company builds strong relationships between workers and the company. Avoid stereotypical events like the office party where alcohol can cause problems and produces little more than hung-over employees the next day.
Family friendly events that are planned to include every worker and their families create positive results. A company BBQ on the Fourth of July or Memorial Day lets workers get to know each other better and develop strong friendships. This alone is not enough to maintain continued high morale. It is an effective element of an overall program for employee development and creating a positive corporate culture.
The best PR is free. Encouraging your workers to actively participate in volunteer activities and providing time off-the-job to do it enhances the company image with the public and establishes your company as a leader in the community.
Disaster relief, activities for community improvement and programs like United Way are just a few of the ways your workers can make a positive impact in the community. Encourage and support causes like breast cancer through participation in walk/run fund raisers. Your employees and the company as a whole will benefit from the experience.
Competitive sporting activities like softball, volleyball and soccer are a great way to build camaraderie and empowered employees. Offer incentives for all employees to participate and make allowances for those with physical limitations or disabilities to join in the fun.
Again, this is an activity that can transition into the work day schedule to build healthier companies. Management and workers working together in communal exercise or activities like yoga are healthier and more productive.
Going green (thumb) for your employees just might make dollars and sense. Company gardens are an effective way to get employees outside and doing something positive for their health and for the company.
Major companies like PepsiCo and Kohl's are discovering the benefits of encouraging their employees to participate in company sponsored gardens. Your employees will enjoy these and many other outings and activities and be more engaged and productive as a result.