It’s an extremely common question: which time of year is best for boosting morale and reward your hard-working employees? Since I operate a corporate team building company in New York City, I’ve seen staff entertainment activities run in all seasons and weather; however, this decision is ultimately made on a case-by-case basis, depending on your own company’s unique situation.
Here are several points to consider when deciding when your group’s activity should be held:
1. Your Production/Service Calendar – If your company & industry are like most, there are certain points of the year which are much busier than others. Would you want to plan an employee entertainment activity smack in the middle of your Hell Week? Likely not- however, the week prior would be a pretty good time if you’re looking to motivate and pump up a staff, and the week after would be ideal if your goal is to reward long hours and hard work.
2. Your Corporate Culture – Are you a group who truly loves the outdoors? If so, you should plan your event accordingly in the warm weather. However, if your group is less competitive and/or doesn’t like getting all sweaty and dirty, perhaps the colder months would be better to have a nice indoor activity. This party really entirely up to you.
3. Your Company’s History – Is there a specific date which is significant to your company’s history, such as a founding date or the day you went public? In order to help foster a sense of loyalty between your employees and the firm you may want to consider using those milestone dates as designated team building days.
4. Avoid Holidays – I’m not just talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas; there are a boatload of holidays which many companies observe, such as Columbus Day, Martin Luther King Day and others, that you should be careful not to plan an event on or around, as many people go away. Also, be aware of any religious holidays among your staff which would preclude them from participating – having a cooking class during Ramadan or Yom Kippur wouldn’t go over very well among your Muslim or Jewish staff members.
5. Ask Your Staff – Don’t forget, you can always poll your employees to find out when THEY would like to have an event. You might be surprised with what they tell you.
Ultimately, you are seeking to provide your staff with a highly impactful and memorable experience. Selecting the right time of year plays a significant role in how well the activity will be attended and received, and should be carefully considered during the event planning stage.
Are there other factors regarding the calendar which come into play when scheduling employee team building activities?