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A Guide to Company Outings

A company outing has many purposes: thanking employees for their hard work, establishing friendships outside office walls, marking an important company milestone, and motivating employees.  Whether it is the atmosphere, getting to know your fellow associates, or the complimentary food and drink, company outings prove to be a pick-me-up for many employees.  In order to have a successful get together, careful planning is necessary. Here are some guidelines for ensuring a positive outcome at your next company outing. 

Think Less Business, More Fun 

Planning a company outing should not be like planning a business meeting.  Without excitement and enthusiasm in the planning process, your outing will be a bust. It is important to ensure that your outing will be enjoyable to all.  Take into consideration the age, abilities, and interests of your employees.  If you are still having trouble on deciding a venue, ask your people for suggestions.  Keep the planning lighthearted and think about what would be the most enjoyable for all employees.  Plan the company outing as if you were planning a vacation with some old friends. 

Explore Various Types of Outings  

From scavenger hunts to sporting events, BBQs to laser tag, today’s company outings take on many different shapes and sizes.   In order to achieve what you want for your outing, it is important to pick the right type of outing. Consider the following: 

  • Traditional Outings – Conventional events can be enjoyed by employees of all ages and abilities.  They give associates a chance to interact outside of work in a relaxed environment.  Some examples of these activities include sporting events, dinner cruises, BBQs, amusement parks, and comedy clubs.
  • Friendly Competition – Outings with friendly competition include activities for groups and individuals to reach goals and encourage teamwork.  Some examples include golf, bowling, adult arcades such as Dave & Busters, and a friendly casino night where chips can earn large door prizes.
  • Competitive Edge – For those looking to bring out the competitive spirit in their employees, while working towards a common goal, consider interactive events.  Comprised of activities which involve strategy, competition, and multitasking, these events encourage teamwork. Some examples of aggressive outings include scavenger hunts, laser tag, go karts, and paintballing. 

Important Elements for Success 

Assuming your outing is correctly planned and executed, company morale is going to increase.  Gathering outside of the office walls will develop friendships and add to the strength of the company.  Activities involving families communicate to employees that you not only value them as a worker, but also as a family member. Ensure that your company outing is one that can be enjoyed by all.   Leaving employees out will have detrimental effects on their opinion of you and your business.  Keep the event lively and try not to have any lulls in excitement.  Attendees will take note if they are having a great time, as well as if they are miserable.  Incorporate all levels of staff in the outing.  If you are doing team building exercises, be sure to place employees of various levels in the company on each team.  The different levels of staff will have the chance to get to know each other.


Making the Memories Last


The morale is still high the next day in the office after a company outing.  Employees talk about what a great time they had and are able to relive events that occurred just a few hours before. Unfortunately, without reminders, this morale usually does not last longer than one week.  One way to keep the memories fresh is to hang pictures of the event in the break room.  Change them periodically, and watch employees remember the good times.


An EXTREME Company Outing – Would you pay $9,000 per person?


Seagate Technology, a hardware storage company, uses its multibillion dollar profits for an outrageous company outing every year.  Eco Seagate, the annual company teambuilding challenge in New Zealand, comes at a hefty price tag of $9,000 per person, totaling a whopping $2 million for the entire week.  Over 2,000 of the 55,000 worldwide Seagate employees apply for the trip, but only 200 are chosen.  Some employees have been working for months to prepare for the challenge; one employee has even lost forty pounds, according to a CNN Fortune article.  This week-long teambuilding outing includes a 17-kilometer trek through the bog, 18-kilometer bike ride through mountain terrain, traversing 5-kilometer in a kayak, rappelling down cliffs, and more.  The last day of the challenge combines these adventurous activities into one 40-kilometer race.  Teams are comprised of employees from around the world who have never met and are expected to work together to finish the eco challenge.   The prizes? The winning team receives a large jade trophy, along with exceptional bragging rights. All 200 Eco Seagate participants learn a lifelong lesson about the importance of teamwork, CEO Bill Watkins’s central message.  By showing his employees the value of teamwork outside of the office, they rely on it back at Seagate.


Regardless of the kind of company outing you choose, the goals are still the same: boost morale, support office camaraderie, and encourage teamwork.  Eco Seagate is an extravagant example of how a company outing can positively impact employees.  Bringing the values from a company outing back to the office will improve workplace environment, create friendships, and build teamwork, generating a positive atmosphere for your business.