If the term “company-wide meeting” puts images of bad news being imparted to people in a giant meeting room, then you understand the need for a company picnic.
Company Picnic Tips
For employers, a company picnic is a wonderful way to show you care about the demanding work people put into the operation five days a week (and in some cases, more). It’s a chance to bond, learn more about each other and create the kind of creative, supportive atmosphere that makes for a better business.
Ultimately, it’s a way to get together when the news is good, not bad.
You probably already have most of the practical issues under control. But here are some general ideas that will make the company picnic even better.
Bring Departments Together
Company-sponsored activities outside of the office – including company picnics – are meant to bring people together. That means setting up a situation where people from various departments mix together. Getting to know the people you work with, rather than just knowing them from a name on an email or a username in Slack, makes for a better experience.
It also helps people understand the job duties and responsibilities of those in other departments. That means it’s best to get together people from the highest levels of the organization with those working on the “front lines.”
Getting people from all areas of the company is one thing. Making it fun is something else altogether. Take the time to plan fun activities at the picnic, but also make sure it’s casual and relaxed. You might consider some games or maybe even a fun challenge such as an obstacle course.
Share Great News
Unfortunately, in many companies people associate company-wide meetings with getting unwelcome news. A company picnic is a fantastic way to break that cycle. You want people to feel relaxed when they get together, not anxious. A terrific way to do that is to share big, positive news, such as growth in the company or perhaps the promotion or retirement of a popular employee. People want to associate happy memories with company picnics.
Have Fun With Food
You can have company picnics catered. In some cases, people like to bring their own dishes. Whichever way you decide to go, think about creating a theme that makes it more fun. Consider making it an international menu with food from around the world. Or maybe you want to have a carnival atmosphere with food and games you would find on the midway. Whatever the case, get people involved and create an atmosphere that is enjoyable for all.
It’s a Family Affair
For some employees, their “work family” becomes a second family. This is especially true for long-time employees, who are usually the most productive and creative of all employees. Spending so much time together creates bonds that are like those in a family. Because of that, it’s important to treat the picnic like a big family reunion. Let that overall feel guide your choices.
Have a Backup Plan
This is true everywhere, but especially in Central Florida in the summertime. Have an inside location or an alternate date picked in case Mother Nature decides to alter your original plans. That also goes into your choice for the site – ideally, it might have both inside and outside areas in case the weather turns.
Company picnics can really draw people together and summertime is one of the best times to have one. Keep the above in mind. Create a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Your employees will have a good time – and appreciate the effort.