A company outing, the time when everyone is expected to unwind and recharge (except a few who gets to stay to hold the fort, so to speak) OUTSIDE the office, is and should be a major event. The company outing should be carefully planned. Here are some tips and suggestions, guides to remember when planning your corporate outing:
Decide on the PURPOSE of the company outing
There is no single purpose for all company outings. It could be an annual policy that must be satisfied, an automatic corporate event that existed even before many employees came on board. It could be a team-building exercise, a time for employees, among themselves and with management personnel, to bond and achieve a higher degree of cohesion. It could be an occasion to thank and reward the employees for their hard work, or to mark an important milestone. It could be an instrument to reinforce the sense of culture and identity within the company, which manifest in the employees’ pride with their work and the company as a whole.
In short, the purpose for the company trip must be clear to management. Without a conscious or deliberate program for this corporate event, i.e., the company outing, it remains an expense item that contributes very little, if at all, to the company’s business success.
Decide WHEN to have the company outing
Companies usually hold their company outings during summer. The chances of rain or inclement weather is minimal so outdoor bonding activities could proceed as planned. Kids are on vacation from school so they could go, if the company’s budget permits. Some companies allow employees to bring their children, simply subsidizing a portion or providing that the employee shoulder the added expense. Some companies, to save on costs, incorporate the annual sports fest, so the rainy season is out of the question. The weather or season doesn’t matter, however, if the plan is to simply sleep in the hotel room.
Knowing the purpose of the company outing would make it easier to decide when and where to hold it, and what activities to engage in.
Decide WHAT activities to engage in a company outing
As mentioned above, knowing the purpose of the company outing, you could then decide what activities to do. If it’s partly a sportsfest, what sports or events to play? Is there need to divide the employees into teams? What part of the day could the employees go out on their own to explore the venue and its surrounding areas? We have a client who requested for a venue, preferably north of Manila, with a bowling lane. For the sports fest, we were told. Now, how many hotels or resorts have bowling lanes? Nakakaloka, but if there’s a will, there’s a way.
Whatever the purpose of the company outing, remember that a company outing should be fun — not only for the bosses, but fun from the general perspective. It’s a time for the staff to let their hair down, so to speak, and do NON-WORK related activities OUTSIDE the OFFICE. Otherwise, it’s just another day at work. Where’s the fun in that?
Decide WHERE to hold the company outing
So you’ve decided on a particular purpose or direction of the company outing and you’ve decided when to hold it. The next challenge is deciding where to hold it. It should have enough facilities for the planned games and activities, comfortable accommodation, and a safe environment. It should be near enough, if distance is a concern. Does it provide food as part of the package? Snacks and water? Sports equipment? Golf, perhaps? Does it have first aid facilities? Is there a swimming pool for the kids? If the resort/hotel is beside a beach, is the beach safe for swimming? Is there a need to hire a van or bus to accommodate all employees? The list of questions could go on.
There’s no hard and fast rule, of course. You could decide where to hold the company outing, and based on what activities could be accommodated in the location, plan the activities, events and programs to have.
Know your budget
Ah, the budget; the most important aspect in planning for a company outing. No budget, no company outing. Even if there’s sufficient budget, the scope of the activities and the venue (accommodation, food, transportation) should stay within the target amount. A planning committee is usually created to make sure that everything is planned and, more importantly, the activity does not exceed the budget.
There you go, some tips on how to prepare for your company outing. You may already know these and you may know more than what’s written here (would appreciate inputs through the comment section below). The entire office should be talking about the company outing in the next days and years thereafter. They should be proud about it, so much so that they would want to immediately upload photos on facebook. Enjoy!