I’m not saying everyone has to have this much color-filled, choreographed fun at your next job meeting, but it is important that work-related events be considered as important as client events. After all, if no one is there to work for your clients you wouldn’t have a business. More importantly, if those workers don’t have pride or excitement for their job your clients are going to go away because, well, your employees are disgruntled and basically suck.
I read this great blog post, unfortunately I can’t link it because I read it rather nonchalantly amongst a slew of other articles. It basically stressed the value of quality events for employees. I agreed with the author whole heartedly. When my company does meetings it usually involves food & drink (I work at a restaurant). And I LOVE it. It reminds me why I love my job so much and why I love working for my company. A few corporate team members pretty much know our entire staff by name and we learn things while tasting and enjoying foods & beverages I would never buy myself. (No I’m not getting myself a shot of $400-per-bottle scotch, but sure I’ll try it for free.) It works for me. I get to taste what I’m selling and when I like something, I tell people. “Yeah, this stuff’s GREAT, you should definitely offer this wine.” My clients can tell I’m legit because I am — I’ve tried it and I like it.
I have found how important it is to feel encouraged and be around encouraged employees. They usually work harder, and when you feel appreciated it’s easier to. It’s also important that you be both creative and relevant when planning these fun corporate events. While everyone would love a trip to Vegas, it may be good to let your employees vote on a restaurant or venue and plan activities around it. While most people shun surveys it never hurts to ask. Send out a brief 3-7 question survey to get people’s thoughts on particular topics that you can build ideas around. For example:
1. If you weren’t at work would you rather be A)Bowling B)Exercising C)Eating D)On An Island
2. If you could star in one of the following type of TV shows, what would it be: A)Reality B)Comedy C) Drama D)Documentary
3. If you were an animal, what would you be: A)Lion B)Koala C)Llama D) Dog
4. If you weren’t allowed to work in this field anymore would you be a : A)Scientist B)Explorer C)Writer D)Rock Star/Celebrity E)Independently Wealthy — keep your 9 to 5. I’m getting on a yacht.
Something as simple as this can give you an idea of your employees interests and what they may want outside of work. While ideally all of your employees could imagine doing nothing other than what they already are, chances are that’s not true. Acknowledging that and creating an environment around it may help you facilitate a feeling of acceptance and openness that makes your employees feel better about working for you. You may also discover talents you never knew your employees had. Getting to know your co-workers/employees and acknowledging their skills is a great way to encourage innovation!