When you’re running an organization with many employees, you need to consider the community aspect of your organization. Working to build a strong community will reduce turnover, save the company money, and make the organization run more efficiently. Building a community means you’ll be building employee loyalty. Your employees will feel emotionally and mentally connected to their job, co-workers, and employer, which means they’ll be more likely to stay in their position and work hard, even when there are seemingly better opportunities out there.
Building a community isn’t something that can be forced. When social gatherings are held, and employees feel forced into fake situations and conversations, they’ll feel like their time is wasted. As an employer, you need to plan events and functions that offer the opportunity for community building. Planning various activities and corporate events that will appeal to a wide range of people will ensure that there’s something for everyone in your organization. Here are eight event ideas to get you started.
1. Family Fun Events
A summer picnic, carnival, festival, or birthday party is a great opportunity to reward your employees while building a sense of community by allowing them to bring their families and connect with their co-workers on a personal level. You can get a dunk tank rental, bouncy house, petting zoo, clown, or other family friendly entertainment forms to keep the event fun and organized.
Balancing work and family life is a constant struggle for parents. By allowing parents to build bonds with their co-workers while not being taken away from their family, you’ll make them feel more loyal to you as an employer. It’s become common in the United States for parents to be expected to choose their jobs over their families; disrupting those norms will allow you to stand out as an employer.
2. Continued Education Seminars
Many professionals require individuals to pursue continuing education through workshops, classes, and seminars. These are typically the responsibility of each individual, and they mean taking time out of their personal lives. As an employer, you can arrange for continuing education seminars to be held at the office as part of the workday. This will allow your employees to spend their free time being free from work activities and will build a stronger work community.
The training sessions’ context will vary based on the type of CEUs your employees need, but you don’t need to worry about actually planning these corporate events. All you need to do is contact an education provider and set up the training.
3. Mental Health Resources
Now more than ever, employers realize the importance of offering their staff mental health resources to handle the stress and anxiety that life often brings in a healthy way. Offering classes or resources free to your employees will allow them to take care of themselves while being more productive employees.
One way to promote community within your organization is by acknowledging and educating others on the LGBTQIA community. While many employees will already be familiar, some may want to know what does LGBTQIA mean? You can bring in guest speakers to talk to your employees about gender identity, intersex people, transgender people, bisexuals, queer, lesbians, and asexual people, so they can learn how to be more mindful of those around them.
Offering employees mental health counseling services, time off when needed, and support when going through difficult times will build community and compassion within your organization. Seemingly small steps like sending flowers when an employee suffers a loss will not go unnoticed.
4. Shopping Opportunities
Some companies will bring a shopping experience right to the office. You can plan an evening for your workers that includes shopping, food, and drinks, so they can socialize and have fun while also buying jewelry, travel clothing for women, a new skirt, capsule wardrobe, scarf, bodysuit, dress, umbrella, or backpack.
Having a wardrobe that creates the image of success you’re projecting will make them feel more confident and focused on their work for professional women. Creating an event that includes food, drinks, and socializing will help build community among your female employees positively. While it may be cliche to offer a shopping event for female employees, it isn’t really about what they do during the event, but rather that they have a reason to come together.
5. Employee Retreats
Employee retreats are a great way to show your employees that they’re appreciated, and you want to ensure they’re taking care of themselves both mentally and physically. Retreats allow employees to be physically removed from their work environment for a short period of time. They can get back to basics and adopt a different way to look at their work lives. They can take the time for self-expression and intersection.
Yoga, mediation, pilates, sleep, vision boards, and team-building activities are all commonly planned on employee retreats. If you’re looking to do something different, you may decide to include the atmosphere of festivals on your retreat, including all sorts of fun activities and games that your employees don’t normally experience. Something as simple as getting a dunk tank from a party rental place and allowing them to dunk their boss can help build community.
6. Staff Lunches
Regular staff lunches are an inexpensive way to show appreciation and build community within your organization. Having the staff lunch during the normal workday means your employees won’t feel obligated to take it out of their schedule to participate. Employers can make lunch a special event by choosing a different theme each time or by providing short entertainment during lunch.
Staff lunches can double as CEU training or advancement training. You can make the lunches options for employees that want to attend or shut down the office for an hour to ensure that everyone gets to partake in the food and festivities.
7. Advancement Training Opportunities
You can create an environment that lets good employees know that they will be recognized with advancement opportunities through training events. Andrew Stewart, co-founder of Venterra Realty, wanted to make sure that all of his employees knew that hard work will gain recognition and advancement. When people join his team, they do so knowing they can establish a career. Stewart has worked so hard to create a strong community and atmosphere that Venterra Realty has been named one of the best places to work.
Similarly to being expected to choose work over family, employees in the United States have been socially trained to work hard regardless of recognition. The problem is that employees who work hard while watching co-workers slack off grow resentful and will move to a different company when given the opportunity.
8. Holiday Parties
Holiday parties can be difficult because you don’t want to be insensitive to people who celebrate different holidays. While maintaining a clear focus and open interest, you can plan a party that provides employees with a fun opportunity to socialize and get better connected. The setup location for the party can be at the office or moved to an event rental location. Unlike corporate events that tend to be more formal, you can plan a simple event that will allow everyone to relax and get to know each other better.
These are just a few ideas that can help build your workplace community and show employees what’s special about your company. You can always get more creative if your events are successful.