Corporate Away Days –
Last year, while on holiday in France, I found myself highly amused by an awkward corporate away day. As we stood there aimlessly whacking golf balls on the driving range, next to us was a miserable employee. Clearly keen to impress the boss, things just were not going his way.
The group of 4 was clearly headed by one keen, senior management golfer. A quick look at the gleam of the golf bags showed that only one other had played golf before. The other two, in their eagerness to impress, were fully kitted out in brand new golf outfits with a fine set of gleaming clubs each. The trouble was, one of them was just not a natural at the sport. He looked humiliated as the boss constantly picked at his game. Not only was he having a bad day, he no doubt had weeks of taunting and a huge credit card bill to look forward to.
Why have corporate away days?
The idea of the corporate away day is to take everyone out of the working environment and get them connecting on a more human level. It’s about relationship building, problem solving and fostering a better atmosphere. It’s good for motivation, a way to say thank you and to encourage staff to do even better for the future. Somehow though I doubt the poor French golfer will have seen it this way.
Planning your corporate away day
His boss clearly loved his golf and thought everyone else would too. You can imagine the conversation in the weeks before. If you want to get the most out of a corporate away day, you need to think carefully about what will work for the majority and consider:
- What do you want to achieve?
- What is your budget?
- Who will be invited?
- Who will look after the business?
- What will be enjoyed by the majority of people?
- Should you do something that others are unlikely to have done before or stick to something non-controvesial?
- Where are people based? Where would be a central venue?
- Do you have anyone with special needs, access or dietary issues you need to consider?
- Why not ask your staff for their suggestions?
Charity Fund Raising
You could try a different tact altogether and look at making the event a charity fund raiser too. That way, anyone who does not actually want to do white water rafting or other activity can take part by sponsoring those involved and be there at the finishing line. There are many fabulous charities who would welcome your support. My local charity is the wonderful Isabel Hospice.
Whatever you decide to do, have an enjoyable event. Here’s hoping it leads to a happier and more cohesive workforce.
If you would like some ideas on how to motivate your workforce, please contact me.
Categories Communication, Events, Staff Performance, Uncategorized