10 corporate event ideas for a harmonious company culture

A trip to the ballpark, a barbecue cook-off, even birthday cake in the break room can forge bonds—or foster friendly rivalries—that will boost camaraderie and, in turn, productivity.

A tightly knit company culture is a key component of business success.

It cultivates accountability, which bolsters employee engagement, productivity and motivation when advocating for your brand. Millennial workers say they deeply value company culture in business organizations.

One proven way to build company culture is to hold fun events and team-building activities. Once you understand the core components of a successful event, the next step is to choose an idea that will resonate well with your employees.

Though there are thousands of event ideas, here are 10 you should try this year:

1. Sporting events. If your employees root for a local sports team, bringing them to a game is a great way to have them cheer together. There’s even a chance that someone will favor the opposing team, but conflicting views in sports can break the ice. Use this opportunity to bring employees together and build friendly rivalries.

2. Volunteering. Volunteering gets everyone contributing to a common cause, but it also gives your employee advocates plenty of material for social media sharing. This will also enhance your brand in the public eye.

3. The biggest loser. Statistics show that a 1 percent reduction in weight or blood pressure can save up to $103 a year per employee in medical costs. Encourage employees to shed unwanted pounds by holding a “Biggest Loser” event. Weight-loss challenges not only improve your employees’ health, but they can also build confidence and loyalty by offering relevant rewards.

4. Birthday surprise party. Your company can do this as many times each year as the number of employees you have. True, everyone can see it coming, so try new activities every time to keep the celebrant guessing. The important thing is that employees feel a sense of belonging and gratitude toward your company.

5. Professional development workshop. Although corporate events are opportunities for employees to relax, offering professional development workshops that focus on relevant skills should win their full attention and participation. Besides, employees can have fun while learning—if you have excellent motivational or informative speakers.

6. Laser tag. A fast-paced, team-oriented game of laser tag pushes employees to be competitive; it’s also a great way to develop leadership skills. Laser tag won’t consume the whole day, so schedule it along with other events to help employees unwind.

7. Escape rooms. You can test the observation, deductive reasoning and decision-making prowess of your employees through escape rooms. To make things more interesting, form groups and make it a contest to see which teams are faster in beating the puzzle. This will also let you see who copes best under pressure.

8. Outdoor BBQ party. An outdoor barbecue/grilling party is a simple, inexpensive way to help employees socialize and build relationships. Just remember to pick a great venue that allows for other outdoor activities like swimming or tossing a Frisbee. You might spice things up by hosting a cook-off pitting your organization’s culinary creatives against one another.

9. Brewery tour. You may expect a dinner or night out somewhere in this list, but you probably already had one or two before. If you want to try something different, you can bring your team to a brewery or tour a winery, if there’s one near your office.

10. Social media takeover. A social media takeover gives employees full control of your company’s social media accounts. During that period, they can post anything they want-such as a Facebook Live video of your company behind the scenes. This particular example is a great way to stir up social media engagement, given that live videos are viewed three times more than recorded ones. Just make sure you tap employees who know their way around social media and communicate well with the rest of your staff.

Alan Rita is an SEO specialist and professional marketer. A version of this article first appeared on Business2Community.

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