Company socials are a great opportunity to show employees how much they are valued and for them to build stronger connections among their peers. They boost morale, motivation, and just make working at your company more enjoyable for the entire organization.
But many companies struggle with employee participation rates at company socials. At Humi, after hosting many company socials with both high and low participation rates, we’ve learned the formula for how to get it right. Here’s what we’ve learned.
Why it's important
With more companies heading back to the office, leaders can’t expect their workplace to be as it once was.
Especially as hybrid models are adopted and some employees remain fully remote, employers must be equipped to keep their people engaged and happy. If your people aren't engaged and happy, you risk an unmotivated workforce, high turnover, and the lack of your industry’s top talent working for you.
4 ways to encourage event participation from employees
1. Remove barriers to participation
Think about what participation barriers exist. Are there specific rules or practices in place that may discourage employees from participating? If a company event is on a weeknight, consider allowing employees to work a half-day. This will lead them to not feel too exhausted to engage in the fun-filled night your organization has planned.
If the event is far, or if there is drinking involved, consider providing taxi or rideshare vouchers to employees. If you're providing food (which we recommend doing), make sure that it accommodates the dietary choices and restrictions of all employees. You might want to think twice before planning a rib fest social if the majority of your employees are vegetarians – they won't be able to eat anything!
2. Plan socials that appeal to employee lifestyles, hobbies, and interests
It's worth considering adapting socials to employee interests outside of work to improve event turnout. This could be anything from having the social revolve around a favourite activity or adding a snippet of the social that ties to their interests.
With this being said, it's also a good idea to have employees experience things they wouldn't have otherwise tried. At Humi, we had a company social where we went rock climbing – the attendees ranged from experts to beginners. We enjoy a fine balance of both existing interests and new experiences!
Do you have a good sense of employee interests from existing slack groups and clubs? To get a better grasp of what your people are down for, use the Humi survey tool.
3. Celebrate personal wins
When employees or teams achieve monthly, quarterly or annual goals, try organizing outings to celebrate these accomplishments or adding a celebration to an existing one. Celebrating wins will aid with boosting employee morale, motivation, and engagement.
This also might be an excellent opportunity to inform employees about how their jobs help to fulfill organizational missions, visions, and values. By doing this, employees will feel more influential in their roles, instead of feeling like just another cog in the machine.
4. Create a social committee
Dedicate time to planning and hosting frequent events your people are excited about by working with your Social Committee to offer events that are employee-led.
These employees will typically know what company socials would create the most interest among the organization better than senior leadership would, because the events are for them after all. Additionally, they are more likely to influence their work peers to attend. At Humi, we use Go.Rally to host social events.
Learn more with Humi
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