Small businesses can become stronger when co-workers connect with each other. Company picnics are a great way to get to know each other better and see your co-workers as people instead of just office drones.
With this in mind, there are some places where a company picnic will do more harm than good:
- Subway station
- Overnight Campground
- Theme Park
- Ethnic or Race-related Festivals
- Political Rallies
Once you have found the right spot for the picnic here are some views/ideas that can help make that company picnic successful.
Networking is a term that is often misused or considered too literally. Networking happens less in situations where the people already know each other and happens far more often at "formal" events where random strangers meet. In a small business, networking takes a different meaning where employees get time to get to know each other.
There is also “outside-networking” that happens when your employees talk to people other than each other. These connections can come from anywhere and can lead to fresh perspectives and skills no one considered before. Together all of this can make the difference for your employees doing well and doing EXTREMELY well. Company picnics can be the perfect place for this type of networking. There is a tendency to see people as "just a co-worker," but this ignores how important new opinions and insights can be.
Appreciating Fellow Team Members
Every member of your team is someone with a unique worldview, knowledge, and skills that you may not have. While it can be tempting to see the workplace as a place of competition, the best way is to see it as a place of combination. Solving the small problems in a space such as a company picnic or another type of company outing can lead to a “think-tank” styled list of ideas where the unique ways everyone in your small business can help to solve problems that come up in the workplace.
A team that appreciates and respects one another is a team that accomplishes more. This is the beginning of an attitude that asks "How can the problem be solved with everyone's heads together?" instead of "How can one person solve the problem?". Working as a group where there is a sense of mutual trust and respect means that there is a higher likelihood of the team listening to each other and offering up suggestions. Brainstorming starts small, but it can grow from there.
Casual Chatting = Big Ideas
Many companies have started great things because they gave their team some time to think "outside the box." Just because you have major projects does not mean that you cannot allow your team some open air. A company picnic is a great way to let your team talk casually. While this may turn into nothing in particular, sometimes great future projects spring from a random comment and then can be built upon that idea. For some, a company picnic is a solid place for casual chatting that can spark innovative ideas, and encouraging this kind of relaxed chatter could help your bottom line down the road.
Relaxed Understanding = Great Work
At times the conversations from the company picnic turn into something work-related, and this can be a chance to blow off some steam. While this might seem threatening at first, often disgruntled employees just need to share what they are feeling. From a big to small businesses, a person can feel like they are not being treated properly within the group. Getting this off their chest in a relaxed setting can be a serious boost to morale, which tends to lead to better work from everyone.