If you are struggling to get everyone in the business on board with your promotional or team building events, we have put together some helpful tips to show you how to increase participation at work. Read the full post and end those team event woes.
Get Bosses And Influencers On Board
If you feel like you are the only one banging the drum for your promotional or team building events, you will be making your task all the harder if you work your way around the whole workforce and try to convince people to join in with you.
This will result in more people saying "no, thanks", because most people are reluctant to go against the grain and be the first to stick their head above the parapet, so to speak. Especially if your events are a new initiative.
Instead, tactically and covertly target key people instead and recruit them to help you spread interest in your event. Bosses, team managers and socially influential people in the business should be approached on the q.t. so you can explain to them why the event is so important to improve morale and productivity in the company.
For various reasons, these are the type of people who will understand the importance of what you are trying to achieve and how it benefits everybody by increasing communication, brand awareness and team cohesion (and therefore results).
With these key figures in the business on your side, your task of coaxing out the secretly-keen-but-outwardly-reluctant souls who would enjoy the next event if they just got into the proper spirit of it. It's like filling a dancefloor at a party, it only takes a few willing volunteers to make the first moves and then everybody else takes to the floor and the night is a success.
If you are a million miles away from getting people to buy into your project, try swallowing your pride and playing the, "Please, can you do it for me?" card because, really, it's the business and everybody's prospects at work which will benefit. They in turn can then spread the word by saying, "Look, they are really trying with this event, I don't want to go either, but let's go. It might be fun."
If it gets people to take part and you know it will be success anyway, it doesn't matter what it takes to get people to take part.
Make It The Norm
And after just a few successful events, it will quickly become the norm for your company to host and run these types of team building and promotional events. The impact of them will only grow the more you keep making them a success. Likewise, whenever new starters join the company, they will see it as an established part of company culture and add to it in their own way.
A workforce which sees it as normal to socialise and communicate openly together is more likely to work better and produce improved results. It also increases job satisfaction and improves staff retention. All of this is great news for everyone involved with the business.
What you personally prefer may not be to the ideal tastes of everyone at work. In fact, in large companies, there could be wildly differing opinions of what constitutes a worthwhile team building event, promotional activity or charity cause.
This is why, to make sure your events are a success, you need to vary their format, timing and type. Just because you enjoy going to the pub on a Friday after work doesn't mean everyone else does.
Or not everyone might be a keen football fan, so that is why your Fantasy Football League only has the same small group taking part.
It also might need to feel more special - try getting something like branded, personalised t-shirts printed and issue these to staff.
Likewise, we strongly advise being considerate of people's beliefs, tastes and workloads.
Religious or cultural behaviours may prohibit certain colleagues taking part in some or all of your events. So could a whole host of personal issues that you may not know about; family commitments, past experiences or medical conditions.
Also, some people may be so snowed under with work that they simply cannot commit to your next event. To put pressure on them to do so may be counter productive and cause them to feel alienated. If this is the case, it's important to address the underlying issue of overworking so that they can feel valued and will have the time to take part in the event, just like the rest of the team.
Sell The Wider Positives
You may be familiar with all of the benefits of team exercises or promotional events. And you may have managed to convince the management that it is even worthy of a dedicated budget and allotted time in your work schedule to organise it.
But the wider workforce may not see it this way and might just see it as a means of people "trying to make friends at work" (a common claim). All of this means that you need to educate the workforce about the wider benefits of a company which is able to not just work together, but socialise, communicate and take part in extra tasks or events as a team.
It improves communication between the team, promotes cross department networking and friendships, all of which improves morale. Improved morale makes being at work a more enjoyable experience, which means people work more productively, are less stressed and produce better results for the business. Better results for the business mean that the company does better, makes people's jobs more secure and opens up other bigger and better rewards.
To get this message across to the wider workforce, here are some ideas:
- Have respected senior managers or directors personally explain some of the benefits on a regular basis via email or printed memo letters. A personal message, timed, for example, just before weekend or on each pay day will mean people will be in a positive frame of mind and therefore more receptive when reading it.
- Subtly decorate the office with posters/notices which transmit the message. Use facts, slogans and designs which compliment the wider decoration scheme and work towards the end goal of getting the workforce to understand why team events are important.
- Offer employees the chance to respond so that they can feedback what works and what doesn't, what they see as needing improvement and communicate their feelings to you and senior management. It needs to be a two way street as we are all adults, here.
- Treat your colleagues with respect - let them decide what events should be like.
Offer Holistic Rewards Or Even Consider Making It Compulsory
If all else fails, resort to the old "carrot and the stick" approach. Personally, the carrot is always more effective than the stick, but for some people, the fact that it is compulsory to take part in an event is the only thing that will make them attend.
This just means that the pressure is on you to make sure the event is a success and they will be more willing to attend in the future - when it isn't compulsory (the most successful events are ones which people choose to take part in, so think very carefully about making more than one event compulsory).
As a rule of thumb, for every compulsory factor ("All employees need to attend the company BBQ this Friday..."), offer something which is employee led ("...as this is where you will be able to decide how this year's Christmas Bonus will be distributed.")
Also, try to entice participation by building in some sort of reward system. Games, monthly prizes and various other rewards can go a long way to motivating people to partake in your next event. And they don't always have to be financial rewards - many studies show that non-financial rewards are actually preferable to most employees.
Lay The Foundations
As noted earlier in the post, the most effective team events work because they take place amongst a company culture which encourages and welcomes communication, socialisation and team unity. This is done through painstaking and sensitive ways of laying the foundations across the business. Attitudes don't change overnight, but need to be altered incrementally each and every day.
Staff uniforms and branded workwear is one step towards achieving this. The simple act of providing comfortable (branded) clothing for employees to wear during the colder months can be a great stepping stone to introducing a wider company uniform policy, which is proven to help boost team unity and morale.
Interested In Finding Out More Benefits To Company Clothing?
You might be interested in our guide to workwear clothing because it outlines all the benefits to using company workwear and branded clothing. How it helps business and team unity and also includes a handy sheet to make ordering simple and error free.
Get the guide by pressing the red button below.