Tasked with improving team spirit, arranging the Christmas party, or just wondering how to handle work related social events as an employer? Read on for our tips to navigate your next work social to ensure that the event is handled in a way that is fair and respectful of all employees, whilst maximising the potential for its success.
Why Have Workplace Socials?
Workplace socials are a great way to boost team morale, build working relationships, encourage employees to interact with each other on a more personal level, and can be beneficial for both employers and employees.
- For the employer, it’s a great way to foster team spirit and build morale within their organisation. It also gives a chance to get to know each other outside of work, making communication more relaxed during working hours.
- For employees, these events allow them to let their hair down and enjoy the company of their colleagues in a less formal setting.
When done well, workplace socials can be beneficial to team dynamics, output and atmosphere. To stand the best chance of achieving this, your role as an employer when arranging these events is to ensure that everyone feels included and comfortable, without feeling forced to participate. Simple ways to do this include offering a variety of activities, choosing convenient locations, including both physical and non-physical activities, making attendance voluntary, and encouraging participation by providing food, drinks, and entertainment that will lease all types of employees.
Benefits Of Positive Workplace Relationships
- Trust building. If employees feel like they can trust their colleagues, it makes for a much better working environment.
- Better Communication. By encouraging employees to communicate openly, and learn more about the people they work with, we create an environment where everyone feels heard and respected. This can lead to better decision-making and a more positive work experience for all involved.
- Positive working relationships encourage employees to collaborate and support each other in the workplace.
- Work socials can be a great way to motivate employees, and enhances workplace productivity and creativity
Things To Consider When Organising Work Social Events
- Make sure that everyone feels included in any work-related social events. To do this, the event must respect cultural norms, dietary requirements, and religious observances as some staff may feel uncomfortable in certain types of environments.
- Think carefully about the format of the activity. Social events with lots of people can be overwhelming for some employees. Consider hosting smaller, less formal events such as a lunchtime get-together instead, or having quieter breakout spaces available. This may help nervous employees feel less pressured into attending when they would rather not.
- You should ensure that any activity or event is strictly voluntary to not put any pressure on employees who may not wish to participate.
- Always consider the location and its associated health and safety for the attendees so that you have suitable provisions for people with disabilities, as well as take steps to address any potential hazards in advance.
- If alcohol is to be served at the event, be sure to provide plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages as well. Make sure that employees are aware of the employer’s rules regarding drinking and remind them to drink responsibly throughout your work-related social event. It may be a good idea to send an email or memo to all staff ahead of the event, making staff aware of what will be expected of them. Within this communication, you can draw attention to any relevant policy such as a Work-related Events policy.
- Events should also take into account different levels of affordability and provide options that are open to all staff to attend if they want to, regardless of their financial situation.
- It is important to create an atmosphere of respect and inclusion throughout the event. Ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate without judgement or criticism, and make sure that everyone feels comfortable expressing their opinions.
- Ensure that you have a clear code of conduct in place for all staff attending the event. This should outline what is and what isn’t acceptable behaviour and should be communicated to all staff before attending. You should also inform employees that any inappropriate behaviour or misconduct will not be tolerated and will be subject to disciplinary action.
- Feedback Allow employees to provide feedback after the event and make sure that any issues are addressed and taken into account when planning future events.
Social Idea For Employers
- Team Breakfasts. Getting the team together for breakfast once a week is a great way to boost morale and start the day off right. You can either provide a healthy breakfast, order from a nearby food outlet, or make it into a potluck where employees bring in their favourite breakfast snacks. Either way, it creates an opportunity for your team to catch up with each other before starting their workday.
- Business milestones. Christmas isn’t the only time to have a party. The anniversary of your business, great end-of-year results, or landing a new, major client is also an excellent time to celebrate what you’ve accomplished together as a team.
- Group Charity Event. Uniting team members in raising money for a good cause is a great way to build positive working relationships as well as build memories. Whether it’s a sponsored fancy dress day, signing up for a fun run, marathon, or less active pursuit, this kind of team endeavour is sure to build and strengthen working relationships.
- Activity Days. There’s a reason why corporate activity days, like go-karting, scavenger hunts or paintballing, are becoming more popular by the day. Not only do they help the team build and establish positive relationships between employees, but they can accommodate groups of any size without breaking the bank. There is also plenty of opportunity for more nervous employees to watch if they don’t want to do the activity, whilst still being part of the day out.
Get Help With Work Social Events From HR Experts
Neathouse Partners provide HR support for small businesses and can help employers navigate the complex landscape of work-related social events. Our expert team can help employers develop policies and procedures that will minimise the potential for conflict and ensure that all employees feel comfortable and included. Should an issue arise, we can also help you to resolve the situation quickly and efficiently in line with HR guidance and employment law.
Work related social events are often used as a way to break the ice, build team morale, and get people mixing, but they can be a minefield to manage from an HR perspective. By enlisting the help of Neathouse Partners, employers can ensure that work socials are handled in a way that is fair and respectful of all employees when trying to accommodate large numbers of opinions, preferences and personalities.
By taking the time to consider employees’ preferences, sensitivities, location and budget on top of establishing a code of conduct for the event, you can ensure that all staff feel included and respected whilst getting the chance to enjoy some well-earned downtime.