Even the most productive employees have days when they just feel burnt out and unmotivated. Things only worsen when there’s limited scope for camaraderie, socialization, and time for relaxation.
What can you do to ease it up a bit for your team? You can just organize a happy work hour! The University of Oxford found that happy employees are naturally 13% more productive. After all, everybody deserves some time off when the topic in question is not an upcoming project or looming deadline!
To help you help your team bond better, here are simple yet effective happy hour ideas (regardless of your company’s size!).
1. Let it Be a Formal Affair
Does it sound counterintuitive? Yes, but hear this out – Fun comes in different packages and doesn’t always have to be casual.
For instance – Switch up a casual Friday with a formal Friday! Then what? Establish a dress code your employees need to adhere to. You can even set a high-class theme, such as Met Gala. It doesn’t hurt to have your team dress up in gowns and tuxedos once in a while.
Plus, you’d be surprised to know how many of your employees love playing dress-up!
2. Step outside the Familiar
In most workplaces, the happy hour lasts somewhere between 4 PM and 7 PM. But that is not a hard-and-fast rule! You can always switch things up a bit.
For instance – Opt for a happy hour that starts from lunchtime onwards. You can also try something new when it comes to drinks. Instead of the regular beer and wine, consider opening a martini bar and inviting your employees for a fun tasting session (aka shots!).
3. Don’t Forget the Food!
Happy hour drinks are almost a given. But you must consider the fact that your team needs to refuel too! This is why event planners like Cater Cow offer more than just happy hour ideas. They also collaborate with renowned chefs and caterers to deliver and curate unique meals. The company has served over 2 million meals to date in partnership with 500+ catering partners.
Watch the magic unfold as you introduce meals that complement the theme or your team’s preferences! After all, food has its own way of bringing people close, whether classic tacos or a luxuriant buffet.
4. Plan a Successful Icebreaker Moment
The degree of employee engagement during the happy hour will depend upon how you choose to structure the event. The best thing to do is to give your employees a great conversation starter.
Think about introducing the month’s birthdays or celebrating milestones and successes. After you have everyone’s attention, scatter great conversation starters. Here are some inspirations –
- Share funny jokes
- Discuss the most used emojis during the month
- Share memorable photos or an interesting tweet
- Recommend good music or a movie
Once you’ve thrown the starter, let your team talk about it among themselves.
5. Bring over a Guest Speaker
Nothing brings people together like sharing like-minded ideas. In a similar vein, you can invite a guest speaker or a panel of speakers.
The best part is that the topic need not be related to business at all. You can decide based on commonality. If your team is unanimously fascinated about government leaders, local cuisine, popular restaurants, etc., bring over a speaker to speak about it.
After a brief 15-20 minute speech, have a fun Q&A session.
6. Investigate the Vicinity
Your team spends a significant portion of their waking time in their respective cubicles or cabins (every single day!). Perhaps consider taking them out for a change.
The happy hour is an amazing opportunity to explore the neighborhood. It can be as simple as visiting a nearby park or zoo. The whole point of the work happy hour is to bring employees together and celebrate through fun activities and delectable food items!
7. Make it a Fun-and-Learn Experience
Your hardworking team must also be naturally curious. The happy hour is a good chance to arrange for hands-on learning experiences.
This can be about business, but it’s best to leave that for work hours. You can introduce the element of fun through a master cooking class or teach them the art of making specialty cocktails. The options for team bonding are practically endless, so don’t shy from being creative!
Curate Happy Hours, Create Happy Workers
One important thing to remember is to avoid keeping the happy hour a surprise. It’s best to involve your employees in the planning process.
Put forth your ideas and listen closely for employee feedback. After all, it’s a day dedicated to their fun and well-being, so why not make it an all-inclusive one? Organize work happy hours regularly, and you’ll undoubtedly steer clear of employee disengagement costs that several US companies are paying.