Thanking your staff for its hard work is not only a way of showing your appreciation for the role the staff plays in your organization's successes but also a way of motivating employees to ensure success continues. Connecting your staff in an informal atmosphere is also an invaluable communications tool and can enhance employee morale. Planning a staff social doesn't have to be costly: use your corporate office or low-cost venues, self-cater events and make every effort to get active during the event.
Take it outside and have a staff picnic at a local park or beach. Your organization will avoid costly catering fees by making brown bag lunches or even using barbecue grills for a grilling session. Purchasing drinks, bottled water and snacks at the grocery store will be much cheaper than having the event catered. A park or beach will also be free; consult with your municipal office if you have a large number of staffers. An event permit may be required; however, this fee will still be less than traditional catering.
Rent a gymnasium or town hall, or even use your corporate grounds, and have a staff Olympics. Set up games like the three-legged race, egg toss and obstacle courses. Provide nonmonetary prizes, such as coupons for an additional break during the day, an extended lunch or an afternoon off. Purchase bulk snacks from a local wholesaler in an effort to keep event costs minimal.
Gather your staff together for an afternoon of sliding at a local park. Serve hot chocolate and doughnuts as an affordable yet enjoyable snack. Bring your staff to a local frozen pond or arena for ice skating. Encourage staff to bring along their husbands, wives, children or even a few friends. Collect nonperishable food items for a local food bank as a way of giving back to your community.
Ask each staff member to make a meal he or she loves from a different country around the world. You can even have staffers sign their names to a country on the map and note that item they will be bringing. Provide drinks, paper plates, cups and cutlery and a large cake for your staff; these items will serve as the employer contribution. Play an assortment of music on a CD player or iPod.