The concept of employee engagement isn’t new, but we are seeing an increased focus on the ways to achieve it. Effective company team building on away days isn’t just an excuse for a jolly. When done right, it’s a way to increase staff retention, and improve the happiness of your employees. Social activities and away days are considered particularly important to the millennial generation, who are likely to make up 50% of the workforce within the next couple of years.
Away days are also a key way for companies to boost the mood in the office, and reduce work-related stress. Recent surveys show that around 40% of firms now put proactive plans in place to improve health and wellness at work, with team building considered an important part of this.
But how can you be sure that your away day is delivering what it needs to for staff?
Be clear about your away day objectives
One of the first things you’ll need to do ahead of your away day is outline your objectives. What do you want to achieve throughout the day? What should the outcomes be? You can arrange an all singing, all dancing event, but if it doesn’t tick your boxes, it’ll be a waste of your money and your employees’ time. More than a third (68%) of workers) would quit a job if the right training and development isn’t available to them, so it’s important to maximise away day opportunities for them as well as the brand. Nine out of 10 employees also want more training courses, so you may wish to consider these options when you’re planning your event. If you have specific things you know you need to get done on an away day, such as a team brainstorming session or debate, make sure you add them to the schedule early on. It may also be worth consulting your team to see what they would like to get out of it.
Maximise engagement and experience
The days of a job for life in a dusty old meeting room are long gone. In 2019, companies have to work just as hard as their staff to keep them in post, especially as the market gets increasingly competitive. Your internal events, like the rest of your business, need to reflect your efforts to retain and engage staff. While bonuses and fair pay are important, around 74% of people say they prioritise experiences over things, To really engage with your employees you’ll need to maximise the ‘experience’. For some brands this might include a banquet at a venue not ordinarily open to the public, for others it might be a spectacular fireworks display. But it doesn’t have to be grand and expensive. By injecting some creativity and thought, you can find ways to be innovative for less money. Whether it’s a treasure hunt or a learning and development activity, interactive experiences usually have the most impact.
Technology has been a game changer for meetings and events, so there’s no reason you can’t make the most of it for away days too. People are now online for an average of 24 hours a week, with smartphone addiction running rife. For away days you can use this to your advantage. As well as encouraging a social media plan to engage your employees through Twitter and other platforms, you can download apps for games and activities. In addition to saving costs, this can help to manage large groups with minimal logistical issues. Technology also allows for greater creativity and diversity in events, provided it’s used in the right way.
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