Finding the Value in Corporate Events
by rebecca stewart
Remember when it felt like we were never going to come through the other side of the pandemic and return to life as we knew it? Slowly but surely, life inched its way back to “normal,” but on the other side, people weren’t quite so willing to go back to “business as usual.” In the business world, there has been a quest for higher standards, an awareness of the necessity to not only create a healthy work-life balance, but a healthy work environment.
It's fair to say that connection matters in every setting. In a family, on a team, and in the workplace. When people feel seen and valued, it makes a difference – a survey from the American Psychological Association1 found that feeling valued at work was linked to better physical and mental health, and higher levels of engagement, satisfaction, and motivation. Dare I say that’s true in every context. There are many ways a company can make its employees feel valued, let’s look at a few ideas to help foster community, boost morale, and build connections.
Even when you’re doing a job you love, sometimes it’s a grind – for some, every day feels that way – so, when companies can find ways to break up the grind, to give back to its employees, and acknowledge their contributions, it can act as a buffer against those more challenging stretches. As Polly Campbell wrote for Psychology Today in Why You Should Celebrate Everything, “Even mini-celebrations can plump up the positive emotions which make it easier to manage the daily challenges that cause major stress.”
So, first, the little things…
- Have a small staff? Treat them to a no-stress brunch & bond.
- Serve delicious food (lunchtime meeting? Think outside the box when treating your team to a meal).
- Validate, validate, validate! Help your staff build their warm fuzzy files by regularly (and genuinely) acknowledging their contributions and efforts. Say “thank you,” and mean it.
- Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. For example, instead of saying you’re a servant-leader, be a servant-leader.
- Create an environment that aims to catch people doing good works. There is truth in the saying that we find what we’re looking for. In other words, set people up for success, not failure.
As we shift gears to actual corporate/company events, let’s reiterate the why: In a February 2020 LinkedIn article, Eugenia Gorkowa, Founder & CEO at VESTI Events, Inc., explained that “These events are ways to boost the company culture and reward the employees and clients working with it.”
Surely, we’ve all been to company events that were a bust and others that hit all the right notes. So, as you’re planning your next event, there are some things to keep in mind:
- Is it possible to schedule the event during work hours? Some things simply don’t make sense during the business day, but when seeking to emphasize a work-life balance culture, you want to acknowledge that in your actions when and where you can.
- On that note, give plenty of notice so your team can appropriately balance their schedule, and for the introverts, so they can also adequately mentally prepare.
- Get your team excited – especially for an event being held off-site. Mix it up and get creative with your venue/activities.
320 Guest Ranch, located between Big Sky and Yellowstone National Park, shared with us some of the benefits of choosing a location like theirs for corporate events (and even dropped some tips for businesses looking to make the most of their next event).
- It allows your employees to feel like they are on a one-of-a-kind business trip while being able to unwind with beautiful scenery.
- Tailored activities aim to meet group needs – “You can have fun with your employees and co-workers without doing trust falls. Maybe try a scenic wagon or sleigh ride trip instead!”
- Spaces can be arranged according to need – providing more of a conference or dinner and reception feel, “depending on the event and how guests want it to flow.”
Making the Most of Your Corporate Event:
Add something fun! All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as the saying goes. 320 Guest Ranch suggests creating an experience that makes the event memorable. Whether that’s via an activity or a getaway from the normal routine. In other words, aim to reach beyond the “run of the mill dinner reception that gets forgotten about.”
The reality is that we spend a lot of time at work. It is absolutely worth the effort to make that space a safe, enjoyable place to be, and to invest in the connections being made there.
1 "APA Survey Finds Feeling Valued at Work Linked to Well-Being and Performance" by American Psychological Association
Originally printed in the March 2023 issue of Simply Local Magazine
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