Experiencing disruptions or a lack of interest in your company? Are emotions low or is work suffering? Try treating your employees to an outing, non-related to your place of employment. Creating a better work atmosphere starts with relationship building. Sometimes, maybe most times, relationship-building opportunities exist outside of the office. Read this article and find out how one simple company outing can change the scope of your office.

Volunteering. Coordinating employee volunteer activities encourages co-workers to give back to the community while promoting the causes they care about most, says Ballard. “In addition to being a good corporate citizen, employers can feel confident knowing that research suggests that participating in volunteer activities outside of the office can help employees recover from work and come back re-energized,” he adds. Orion Associates, a small management service company stationed in Saint Cloud, Minn., has encouraged volunteering since it first opened its doors, and attracts employees who are interested in giving back to their community. “Almost 100 percent of Orion employees have volunteered their time and energy to disaster relief efforts and, in the process, have improved their own leadership abilities in a way that extends far beyond what they could have learned in a seminar,” some experts say.

Exercise. Try starting a physical activity that involves teamwork and competition. Even a friendly game of bowling at the lanes may bring forth some excitement among the team. If competition and or teamwork aren’t the goal, fitness walks for charity are fine as well. Charity walks encourage commitment to employee health while fostering team spirit. Make sure they are company-sponsored activities.

Field Trips. Leaving the confinement of the office to enjoy an outing that is completely unrelated to your office’s profession is always nice. A complete getaway, together!

Professional Development Activities. Some experts say “participating in a shared learning experience allows employees to serve as ambassadors for the organization and discuss how the new knowledge and skills they develop can be applied back at work.” Professional development activities such as off-site training workshops or conferences encourage and ignite learning and provide your staff the opportunity to engage in a setting that’s integral to the office, outside of the office. Experts also believe “employees are viewed as knowledgeable leaders and are expected to share their learning experiences through written summaries, presentations, or group discussions when they return to the office.” These actions behoove workers by reinforcing on-the-job lessons in unique settings.

Shared Meals. Social settings such as dinner, lunch, picnics, and even coffee breaks can serve as an excellent opportunity for your co-workers to intermingle with each other and build personable relationships outside of business. Whether you’re celebrating a colleague’s birthday to marking a long-time employee’s retirement with a happy hour, breaking bread is an inherently social experience. Team building opportunities are great, but why shortcut the experience? Take the time and escape the office for a couple of hours on a Friday or after work hours. Let your employees see the company in an informal setting. Who knows, a simple happy hour may make things a bit more comforting from 9 to 5.

These examples of outings are all feasible and appropriate for most companies. Remember, it’s not the “fun” aspect your promoting, but the opportunity to reduce employee stress load and give them the chance to get to know one another outside of the office.

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