With the financial crisis fading, many businesses are still operating under tightened purse strings. Where staff celebrations used to help boost motivation and show appreciation, these have become an expensive luxury which many businesses can no longer afford.
The traditional staff party, with a meal followed by drinks has its pros and cons. For some employees, the hassle of organising childcare can prove expensive, while others enjoy the opportunity to see their colleagues in a non-work setting.
With more and more working parents in the UK workforce, perhaps it is time to change your approach to staff celebrations. Corporate family days are a relatively new idea in the UK, but originated in America. A corporate family day is an activity day planned with your employees and their families in mind.
Often with an outdoor activity theme, corporate family days usually involve the workforce working in small teams to complete a range of tasks. Similar to a team building day in some respects, a family day will challenge your staff in a variety of ways. The family element helps employers demonstrate their appreciation of their staff, not just as employees, but as parents too.
Planning the right sort of day
To plan a day that will be a success and enjoyable for all, you will need to find activities that are suitable for everyone attending. Find out the ages of your employee’s children, and find out if any have disabilities so you will be able to cater for and include everyone.
A good mix
The next stage is to devise activities that will be suitable for everyone, and that will cater to each of your employee’s strengths. Ideally you want each employee to have an activity which they can feel that they are good at.
Going to the professionals
You may decide, after thinking about the various risk assessments and health and safety forms you will need to fill in, that going to a professional would be a much simpler option!
There are several companies throughout the UK which offer corporate family day events. Often these will be based at outdoor activity centres, so look for some in your area.
The benefits of letting them run the show
Allowing an external company to take over the planning and organisation of your family day takes the pressure off of the internal teams responsible for organising it. This means that they will be in the same boat as the other employees, and be able to enjoy the event without worrying how it is received.
Also, by handing over to experts you know that they have a wealth of experience that they can call on in planning your event – giving it every chance of becoming a great success.
Things to check
• Make sure you have passed on all the important information to the family day organisers. These included details of ages, disabilities and dietary needs.
• Ensure that the event is planned on a day which is convenient for all or most of the attendees.
• Ensure that the location is one which everyone can get to – or provide transport if required.
• If you have and desired outcomes of the day that are work specific – let the organisers know.
• If you are planning to give a speech, or the head of the company wants to say a few words let the organisers know so that this can be worked into the schedule.
• If the events are weather dependent make backup plans - and if the whole day is subject to certain conditions agree a deadline time so that all attendees can be informed.
• Decide in advance if there will be gifts for the children – often company branded goodies can be created.