Company socials are great opportunities to show employees how much they are valued and for them to build stronger connections among their peers. They also boost morale, motivation, and just make working fun for the entire organization.
However, 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 what the formula is for attaining a high participation rate.
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 allow 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, maybe consider providing taxi or rideshare vouchers to employees. This will allow them to feel comfortable to attend, with the notion that they will be provided with a safe ride home.
If you're providing food (which we recommend doing), make sure that it accommodates the dietary choices 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!
It's worth considering adapting socials to what employees would do outside of work to give employees a second reason to attend.
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!
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 part on an assembly line.
Designate company event planning to a select number of non-management employees. These employees will typically know what company socials would create the most interest among the organization better than management would. Additionally, they are more likely to influence getting their work peers to attend.
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