Improving Company Cultures

Social Events in the Workplace

Planning social gatherings for your employees outside of work is one of the best ways to encourage a healthy work environment where teamwork thrives. If you haven't done an outing in a while, it's time to get an office event defined and lock it in on the calendar!

Planning social gatherings for your employees outside of work is a great way to improve the workplace.

Social Events in the Workplace

All work and no play makes your business a pretty dull place. So occasionally employers have found it beneficial to organize social events outside the workplace for their employees and their families.

These events can serve a number of functions for your business. For starters, they provide a way for employees to get to know one another outside of the work environment. That's a plus for your business because the better your employees know one another, the more productive they will be in the workplace. In addition, social events convey a sense of family, a connectedness that can cement the bond your employees have with you and your company. A few successful social events can make a big difference in your ability to retain quality employees for years to come.

Planning a company social event is going to take a little bit of effort on your part. One of the most difficult parts is deciding what kind of event you'd like to do. All the sky's the limit, over the years employers have found that some social events are more successful than years.

Here's a selection of the types of events employers have found most appealing to their employees:

Picnic or Barbecue

The old company picnic is still as popular as it ever was among both employees and business owners. The great thing about picnics is that they are largely informal affairs, which is wonderful for calming the anxieties of families and others who don't know each other yet. An added perk is cost. Picnics and barbecues can be planned for pennies on the dollar compared to many other types of events.

Dinner at a Restaurant

Sit-down dinners at a local restaurant are another good option for a memorable event. Typically, restaurant events are restricted to employees and their significant others. In other words - no kids, please. Even though parents might incur a cost for babysitting, most welcome the opportunity for a kid-free night out. If you really want to pull out all the stops, consider reimbursing parents for the cost of a babysitter.

Company Day at an Amusement Park

Amusement parks are a perfect setting for an employee event that is fun for the entire family. Historically, employers have relied on amusement parks as a venue for company events. For example, Milton Hershey built Hershey Park to provide a place to host family-themed events for his chocolate workers and their families. Although building your own amusement park is probably a little out of your price range, you'll be happy to learn that today many amusement parks offer discounts and packages designed for small businesses.

Sporting Events

There are a couple of different ways to go if you decide to host a sporting event for your employees. One option is to take your employees and their families to a professional or minor league game, complete with refreshments and group seating. Another possibility is to host your own sporting event, like a softball or a volleyball game. However, if you choose to do your own event, keep it casual and fun. Remember: Many of your employees are non-athletic, and it only takes a few hardcore competitors to turn an otherwise enjoyable event into a complete disaster.

Share this article

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


Business Glossary


Conversation Board

We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.

  • posted on 6/19/2007
    I like these ideas. We are looking for ways to motivate co-workers and this is very helpful advice.

Leave a Reply

Questions, Comments, Tips, and Advice

Email will not be posted or shared
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code

Problem Viewing Image? Load New Code