Work Hard, Play Hard
Have something in common
A key element of teambuilding is sharing history together. You know … those events that you have in common, like the time there was a fire drill and Jessica walked out without her shoes into the snow. Or when you all came down with food poisoning after the same lunch special that Herb talked everyone into trying. You can definitely laugh about it now.
Social events break down the barrier between a regular ol’ workplace and a thriving environment. It also provides an effective mechanism for stress relief.
It is proven that relationships are more fruitful and forgiving when the parties know each other personally. Thorny behaviors are tolerated because you know someone’s background, his tendencies, or her idiosyncrasies. They may even become endearing after knowing someone better.
Ways to get people to connect
So the action here becomes a no-brainer – plan social interactions. Start with offering something during work such as a monthly pot-luck or a cook-off. Then experiment with after-hour and weekend events.
Office party ideas or office party themes:
- Monthly birthday celebrations
- Daily ergonomic exercises in the hallway
- A training event (like personal safety, internet savvy, etc)
- Build a Habitat House together
- Plan a cook-off (like best chili and don’t let Herb influence you)
- A Holloween costume contest
- Happy hour
- Organize a softball team
- Gather a list of talents and conduct a sharing session
- Consider a traveling dinner where you visit each others’ homes (good for small offices)
- Celebrations for obscure holidays (jelly bean month, singing telegram day, mardi gras