Summer parties: hosting the perfect team bonding day
By Danni Rush, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Experience Days and Virgin Incentives and Virgin Experience Gifts
Summer is well and truly on the horizon meaning summer social season is upon us. For many businesses, it’s the first time they’re able to host a workplace party without social restrictions – especially after a lot of Christmas parties were cancelled last year!
As well as bringing employees together to bond and socialise with each other, hosting a workplace summer party is a perfect way to reward your employees for all their hard work over the past year.
A little thank you gesture goes along way, especially in a time where more people than ever are prepared to leave their job if it’s making them unhappy given job vacancies have now outnumbered unemployment figures.
So, what are the benefits of hosting a summer party and what makes it a memorable one?
The benefits of hosting a summer party
One of the main benefits of hosting a summer social event for employees is it engages employees in their company’s culture. If employees are more engaged in their work’s culture, then they’re less likely to change jobs as they have more to consider.
Many business leaders also understand the importance of using summer socials to bring a dispersed workforce together. In the new world of work, many companies have adopted a hybrid way of working. Gone are the days of five days a week in the office, meaning employees get less face time with their colleagues. Hosting a fun, in person, social event, that all employees are encouraged to attend, is a great way to bring teams together, foster a better team dynamic and keep morale up – especially in such challenging times.
But ultimately, the main benefit of hosting a summer party is to reward employees for their hard work and to celebrate their participation in the company. Employees that feel valued are likely to be happier which will only play in their employer’s favour.
The intimate affair VS the big summer party
It’s clear summer socials have many benefits, but it’s important to consider what type of social to host. Some business leaders opt for large, company-wide parties and bring the entire business, regardless of where each employee is based, to one location. This is a great option for teams that are dispersed all over the country or even worldwide, but can also be costly and take a lot of organisation. Alternatively, smaller more intimate team socials or away days may be a more viable option for some businesses.
Either way, employees will feel rewarded and connected to their employer but there still are some considerations for business leaders to make sure their summer social is one their employees remember.
Top tips to hosting a summer social
Firstly, employers should remember that if it’s a company wide social, all employees should be invited, even the ones on maternity leave and those on leave for other reasons. You also shouldn’t shy away from asking for feedback, getting employees to contribute suggestions is a great way to foster an inclusive company culture that all employees feel a part of.
It’s also worth considering partnering with a third party for smaller team bonding days or summer socials. You can lean on their expertise and try something new and different – a great way to engage your employees.
Another key factor employers need to think about when planning a summer social is the venue – finding the right one in the right location is crucial. A venue that has both indoor and outdoor space should be a consideration, especially in the summer months when days tend to be warmer, and people are keen to make the most of the sunshine.
The venue should also be in a convenient, well-connected location to ensure everyone’s able to travel home safely and at a reasonable price. If this is not possible, consider offering employees taxi allowances at the end of the night to ensure everyone’s able to travel home.
Employers should also make sure there’s enough food and drinks, including soft drinks for inclusivity, at their summer social event. It will ensure guests feel well looked after and catered for, but also ensure employees are able to conduct themselves in a ‘semi-professional’ manner and not get too intoxicated.
Finally, all these factors will be determined by how much budget you are prepared to allocate towards a summer social. The key component to any good social event is ensuring there’s enough food, good entertainment, and a variety of drink options. Business leaders should prioritise these components and be prepared to adjust the venue or entertainment options if they’re finding their budget isn’t stretching.
There are lots of benefit to hosting a summer social and business leaders should look to embrace them and recognise the importance of rewarding and celebrating your employees. Not only do socials bring teams together, but they also help to engage employees in a company’s culture which is crucial in today’s world of work.
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