Hosting an effective work social event

Hosting an effective work social event

At any time of year, a work social event can be a great way of improving staff morale, assisting them to work together better and perhaps providing an opportunity for you to get to know colleagues you rarely speak to in the office. Here we look at some helpful tips for staging the perfect office social event.

Think about what type of event is best. There are all manner of options for work-based social events, from simple drinks-based get togethers in pubs or bars to meals out, sporting events, visits to cultural attractions etc. Consider what the company’s staff would enjoy – maybe conduct a survey and ask them what they want to do.

Ensure everyone knows when and where they’re going. Emails and other announcements about the event should clearly show date, time and venue, ideally with both a map and detailed directions to the venue.

Select the venue with care. If it’s being held on a weekday evening, it should ideally be somewhere close to the office but which is close to public transport.

Think carefully about whether people can afford it. If the company is not footing the entire bill for the event, and staff will need to pay at least part of the cost of their ticket, ensure that the cost is not so high that people won’t be able to afford it. Holding an expensive social event can be very divisive if it means that only staff from senior, better-paid positions will be able to afford it.

Think about any introductions you can make. Perhaps the best people to introduce to one another at a social are staff from different departments who may find themselves working together in the future, or people who have only previously corresponded with each other by phone or email.

Make sure people know not to go too mad. An office social must allow staff to let their hair down to some extent. However, you may need to gently remind people that this is not an excuse to behave inappropriately, and that disciplinary action could be taken against people who are guilty of serious misconduct, such as making sexist, racist or insulting remarks; or causing damage to the venue.

If it’s a working day next day, think about how you might handle this. Are staff still expected to turn up at the normal time next day, or can you allow some flexibility for them to arrive later and make up the time later the same day or on another day?

Don’t state or imply that attendance is compulsory. The best social events are ones where everyone is enjoying themselves because they have made their own decision to attend. So don’t force staff to attend, or use undue coercion to try and get them to accept the invite.

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