Planning outdoor activities to boost morale among employees and volunteer team members will allow everyone to relax and enjoy some sun. Fresh air always lightens the spirit and the chance to wear casual clothing will also boost happiness. If your team members spend long hours at their desks, an outdoor activity can be a welcome break.
1) Your Team Gets to Use “Outside Voices”
Many offices need to stay quiet so people can focus and concentrate. Sadly, this often means that employees can go for hours without communicating verbally. Plan a picnic or an outdoor ice cream social and let people enjoy a conversation and a laugh. Play a word game or ask everyone to share their favorite ice cream flavor. Talk about your first cars as a group and see who opens up.
2) Everyone Can Wear More Casual Clothing
Even if your office doesn’t have a dress code, many people wear something approaching a uniform over time. Let people choose their own weather-appropriate clothing for an outing to a local park or a pumpkin farm. You may also find that quiet folks who don’t talk much suddenly open up about their hobbies with teammates. Noticing that a co-worker is wearing a particular piece of outerwear may spark a conversation that would never have happened otherwise.
3) Shared Adventure Builds Friendships
If you want to take your team away from the office for an extended time, an adventurous outing such as hiking, zip-lining, or white water rafting can build terrific memories that employees will cherish for years to come. Employees who have friends at work with whom they can share personal experiences tend to stay longer and spend less time job hunting.
Do make sure that your outdoor adventure offers options for everyone. Older team members may not want to try a zip-line. Folks with allergies may not want to hike. Do your best to pick an adventure that everyone can enjoy.
4) Campfires Offer Sharing Time
No matter how your outdoor adventure starts, try to enjoy a campfire together at some point. You may end up with lots of experts on building a fire! You might also notice that people communicate more freely when everyone is meditating on the flames. Do make sure you have access to hot water for hot cocoa and make sure you bring marshmallows.
5) Gather Recommendations for Next Time
Being the planner for such events can be overwhelming. While you’re all hanging out on the grass enjoying your picnic or staring into the fire at the end of the day, put out feelers and ask for suggestions before a specific date. If you have a big deadline in the fall and enjoy an outing after you reach your goals, take your outing as a team. Then send out an email asking for ideas for next year.
You may also get better engagement if you offer employees the chance to vote on next year’s event. Set a budget and suggested time on the calendar to make sure that as many employees as possible can attend.