A company picnic is a great way for coworkers to bond and get to know one other. This friendship ultimately helps your business, as a strong network of employees is key to your company’s success in the face of any challenge it will face. When thinking of what to do to make your company picnic a hit, you should be both creative and spontaneous, making the event something your employees can remember fondly. If you’ve found yourself planning the next company outing, this article is for you.
Have healthy activities.
If your company is currently running a health or fitness initiative, as is common among larger companies, or if you happen to have a number of fitness nuts on your team, try a farmer’s market theme. Make this company event the classic image of picnics: hold it in a park, complete with checkered tablecloths, and include only healthy food and healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables. Plan both leisurely and active outdoor activities and keep an eye on the weather forecasts when it comes to picking a date.
Try a potluck.
The potluck picnic is the ultimate bonding experience: everyone gets to showcase their favorite dishes cooked in their own special way, and the exchange both enriches and fosters a sense of unity. In fact, you could say it’s an American tradition. Make an event out of it and let each person talk a little about their dish and how they made it or why it has some special meaning to them. It will provide a great way for your employees to get to know each other through some homemade cooking.
Make it kid- and family-friendly.
Another great way to get your employees to get to know one another is to have them invite their spouses, children, and families. Also, setting up events will be much easier if you have a bunch of enthusiastic kids who want to participate, as children often do. And what better way is there to raise the positive energy level of a get-together?
If there will be children, have a scavenger hunt.
Scavenger hunts may seem childish, but they’re a great picnic event and, if there are children attending, this will keep them engaged and having fun. Make the scavenger easy enough for the kids to follow, yet difficult enough that the adults have to join in too. You could even go so far as to make each step in the hunt something that can be worn or displayed by the hunters. But make sure there’s a nice prize at the end.
You know, for adults.
Go to the beach.
Don’t host your company picnic on actual company grounds. You want people to engage and interact as though they’re not even thinking about work. Hosting a picnic on the beach is a relaxing way to get everyone’s mind off the job. Water sports can serve as the main event for your employees and their guests. You could even go so far as to luau, although you’ll have to tailor the available libations to the nature of your guest list.
Team building exercise: sand sculptures.
If your company picnic is taking place at the beach and you want to incorporate some team building exercises into the picnic, have a sand sculpture contest to see who can build the most impressive sand creation. Don’t forget a prize for the winning group!
Host a tournament.
If you’re outdoors, pick a sport or activity that requires some teamwork. If you have enough employees, you can create brackets to have winning teams compete against one another for the top prize in whatever activity you choose (volleyball, races, etc.) You could build a flag for the yearly event, or even give each team their own flag for their “camp” during the games. Just remember that this is a team building opportunity, not survival of the fittest.
Take advantage of local events near you.
If there is a new winery or restaurant opening, a fair or circus nearby, or some other event occurring, bring the company picnic to it. For example, the theme could be “Under the Big Top” if there is a carnival in town, and after having something to eat, you can give your employees a stack of ride tickets so they can enjoy the carnival together.
Go to an amusement park (also kid-friendly).
This is another idea that works if your party is kid-inclusive. Have a select spot that the company will meet with one another to eat together, and then head off to ride the rides and play games. You could even order a set of brightly-colored shirts for the occasion, so folks feel like they are a part of a team, even in the midst of the lines and crowds. It’s also a good way to make sure people, and their children, are easy to spot.
Christmas in July.
If you want to do something totally out-of-the-box, try a “Christmas in July” party — or, as we like to call them in Florida, “Regular Christmas Parties.” Make your summer company picnic Christmas-themed, or even do a Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange. If you think your employees would find such randomness and spontaneity fun, give it a shot.
Planning a company picnic can feel stressful, and you may be a little stuck on what to do for your employees and coworkers. Hopefully, this article has helped get you thinking about different family-friendly events, themes, and activities you can do together.