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AS A SHOW of appreciation for their staff, many companies hold summer parties or picnics for their employees. They can be both morale boosters and a way for you to say thank you for their hard work and services.

But sometimes the affairs, if not pulled off correctly, can create tension and stress not only for the staff organizing the parties, but also for management and employees that attend.

To have a successful summer party, you may want to consider the following tips:

  • No mandatory fun – Try not to make it seem like another work obligation. Don’t treat plans for the office party as you would in making operational decisions for your company.

What you think the employees would like to see at the affair, may not be what they themselves want. If you don’t know, circulate a quick survey asking what type of party or picnic events they would most like.

  • Get out of the office! – If you are having a party during the summer, have it offsite, preferably outdoors. A local park is always a good option, but you have to plan ahead and reserve a space with your local parks and recreation department.
  • TGIF – Friday afternoon is the ideal time for a summer office party if you can afford to close your office for that period.

Employees are not always thrilled to give up weekend time for work events – and don’t think that just because you are throwing them a party or hosting a picnic, the rank and file won’t still consider it a work event.

  • Active activities – Consider including activities that keep people mixing and moving. If you are inviting families, this is even more important. You can:

Set up a volleyball net or have a water balloon toss, and maybe also consider a scavenger hunt.

Make sure that the employees are doing something they enjoy. Also, don’t push people to participate in events. If somebody just wants to sit and observe the fun with a cold drink in hand, you should let them.

  • Alcohol = liability – Carefully consider the question of whether you should serve alcohol. There are many potential liability issues when you serve alcoholic drinks. If you decide to do so:
  • Monitor consumption and level of sobriety.
  • Do not serve someone who appears drunk.
  • Have plenty of food available.
  • Encourage designated drivers.
  • Have phone numbers available for local taxis

 

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