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How to get more out of your company outings

How to get more out of your company outings

Whether it is a karaoke night or laser tag, company outings are intended to reduce stress and improve morale, but can they be educational, too? Our Master of Human Resource Management faculty say yes, arguing that company outings are about stepping away from your desks and learning more about your coworkers, and yourself.

Here are 5 suggestions for activities that are fun and relaxing, but also foster leadership, teamwork and creative thinking:

1. Volunteering
Employees can learn how to pay it forward and give back to their communities with creative volunteer opportunities. Why not complete a service project for a local charity, and start a pay-it-forward challenge? Your company has to challenge another company to complete a similar service project, and the cycle of service continues. Employees can network and develop business connections through these partnerships, and feel good about doing it! They can come back to work re-energized and ready to go.

2. Field trips
Leaving the confines of the office to visit a museum, nature center or local historical society gets you out of the typical work environment and provides an opportunity for new learning experiences. Find an outing that relates to your company's mission or areas of interest. For example, a PR firm specializing in launching new products could attend a speech by a startup entrepreneur, and share their impressions of the speech on the company's blog and social media channels. These outings show employees that their employers care. By relating well to their employees, employers can reduce stress in their workplaces.

3. Scavenger hunt
Trying to get creative with your employee outing? Consider a scavenger hunt around the city. It will challenge your employees' directional senses, and hopefully teach them a thing or two about historic locations in the city or hidden hotspots. You could even put the scavenger hunt on social media, showcasing your fun company culture on your organization's social media pages and your employees' personal pages. A wrap-up slideshow or a Storify of social posts at the end of the hunt can highlight the experience and explain why it was so memorable. To drive home the purpose of the scavenger hunt, employees could gather for drinks afterward to share the new things they've learned about each other, and the city. This will build office camaraderie in a casual yet effective way.

What's the best company outing you've been a part of? Share with @NECBedu on Twitter or post on Facebook or LinkedIn!

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