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Start or Update Your Employee Handbook

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Start or Update Your Employee Handbook

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What are the benefits of events outside the office?

Meetings over coffee, team building activities and other in-office events are great ways to build positive professional attitudes. After all, it is always nice to get up and away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But make sure you also host events outside of the office as another way to reach out to your employees and to provide a venue for them to reach out to each other. Getting out of the office is an excellent way to take a deep breath and cut loose from the strict workplace setting. It also comes with remarkable benefits, including:

  • Reducing workplace stress.
  • Improving morale.
  • Providing networking opportunities among staff members.
  • Getting to know each other on a more personal level.
  • Improving employee communication.
  • Encouraging personal, one-on-one interaction.

Employees can easily feel isolated in office settings, which can lead to them not getting to know their colleagues or superiors.

Getting your employees involved in organizing events is another innovative way to explore ideas and build relationships in the office. Pulling together activity committees or organization groups is a great way to start.

How do I create fun social activities for employees?

With various venues and options in your area, it is important to look at the best matches for your company and employees. Answer the following questions before you start planning, so you can narrow down your search results:

  • Will alcohol consumption be allowed?
  • Is commuting a problem for any employees? Having an event in the city where most of your employees live is ideal.
  • What kind of food do you want to serve?
  • Is the event for socializing, presentations, or group meetings?
  • What kind of budget are you working with?

Depending on what kind of event you want to plan, choose from a variety of venue options:

  • Local bars or restaurants.
  • Sporting events.
  • Area wineries or venue rentals.
  • Large facilities (ballrooms, conference centers, etc.).

Don't hesitate to utilize surveys to get employees involved in the planning process. Opening events to spouses or families can help improve morale by showing your employees that you care about their life outside of work.

What can be done to prepare or plan ahead for a social event?

As with most social events, choosing the right food makes everyone (and their bellies) happy. You also want to make sure that your gathering is fun for everyone, including employees and their families, if they're invited.

From finding a caterer to hiring a DJ or entertainment, make sure you have contracts ready so all the expectations are clear and concise.

  • Have a Facility Rental Agreement in place, designating the length of the event, as well as the expectations of the facility or your company.
  • Develop a simple Catering Contract, with the rates and expectations for your caterer.
  • If alcohol will be served, make sure you have a Bartending Contract laid out for specific regulations.
  • Make a DJ Contract to avoid confusion over rates, expectations, time and music that is approved for use.
  • Make sure you have a headcount from your employees (and their spouses or families, if allowed) so you can plan accordingly.
  • Reiterate the importance of company policies and the Employee Handbook.

If you have any other specific services you plan on adding into your event, make sure you prepare a Contract for Services to make sure everyone is on the same page.

How can I prevent problems at an employee social event?

Whenever an off-property work-related social event is in the works, make sure that your employees know that workplace policies still apply. Structuring a sound and clear Employee Handbook is a great way to convey this message. Even with on-site events, you can never completely predict what might go wrong. When alcohol is served, or families with young children are involved, things can go wrong. Making or updating your Emergency Action Plan can make all the difference if something does go wrong.

Make sure your employees know some basic guidelines, which might include:

  • Encouraging your employees to dress appropriately is important. If the event is outdoors, make sure they dress for the weather. If the event is geared as a meeting or presentation setting, or clients are invited as well, make sure employees understand the expectations.
  • Appropriate behavior is especially important if alcohol is served. Make sure your employees know not to overindulge, and that even if the gathering is off-site, company policies still exist.

It's a good idea to redistribute your Employee Handbook to make sure everyone knows what behavior is expected, even off-site.

With the right planning in mind and the appropriate contracts signed and understood, your company social event can go off without a hitch. If you have more questions about planning social events for your workforce or business, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for affordable legal advice.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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