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Official Time Out!

2 days back my friend, George, took his employees out for lunch – it was an opportunity for him to interact with them in a neutral setting; the conversation was casual and relaxed, there was some harmless leg–pulling going on and even the Boss was at the butt-end of some jokes. It was a young team and George suggested a round of Beer, but the team politely declined since it was a working day and there was work to complete after lunch. George and team had a great time and got to know each other as individuals and human beings, not as employer and employees.

On Facebook I often see photos uploaded by friends, who are business owners or in some cases managers, which show them out with their team for a picnic or for a hectic trek on the weekend or even playing a cricket match. The energy and excitement was evident in the pictures and I am sure the mood was upbeat even when they returned to work the next week.

It is a good idea for organisations and for individual managers to plan such outings; depending on the size of the team various activities can be planned – movie, luncheon, picnic, trek, games or group activities. Such events can also become an opportunities for team – members to show off their talent. Another idea would be to involve the families – it’s for you the decide the scope and scale of the activities.

From planning and organizing skills, to leadership, team work, decision making and negotiations skills, a whole host of skills needed at work can be put to practice during such events. It’s also an informal means for organisations and Managers to judge the commitment and capabilities of team–members (but this should be done unobtrusively – even a hint of it being a quasi-official event will cause resentment – my suggestion is for Managers to make a mental note of involvement and attitudes of people during such events). Tasks can be allocated to them by you, or go one step better and hand the project over to them –  then sit back and watch them run the whole show. Let them take charge of scheduling, finance, logistics, resource allocation and the agenda. Also be available to support and guide when approach you and ensure that you (as Boss) contribute a little more than the other into the program fund – if it is a small event just for your team then sponsor the entire event.

And during the event the Bosses should not be stand-offish – it is an opportunity for them to let their hair down and be one with the team. Show the employees that you have a human side too and give them an opportunity to interact with you on the level.

The bonding, networking and team-work that takes place during such activities is useful to build effective teams. Smart Managers would use such events to create synergy and to build effective teams.

Time to take your team out for some fun and games – it will yield better results at the office!

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  1. March 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Very nice idea Jayadev

    • JayadevM
      March 19, 2012 at 3:48 am

      Thank you, Paul. Do you have an anecdote to share about such events?

  2. pg
    March 19, 2012 at 5:17 am

    jayadev………. taking out the team for a lunch or on picnic once in a while always gives you insight into your team dynamics, My father used to do this religiously as he was in sales heading a big team of sales executives for E I D Parry fertiliser Divn in Trichy , i too started my innings with Parry as a Management Trainee in Pondicherry but my Boss was slogger with no time for any interaction or nicities , all sales execs used to have sepearate jam sessions after the weekly reviews which was frowned up on . My second innings with with Aurelec , an IT company that too based out of Auroville with a french CEO Michelle Lemaire at the helm brought the bon homie and bon Ami back since then i practice it de riguire. Our business lunches were always with a glass of Beer invariably the meetings will come down to a close with a sundowner …………to continue

    • JayadevM
      March 19, 2012 at 7:26 am

      PG,

      Thank you for sharing those anecdotes from your previous assignments – the lunch with your team sparked this article and I know that wasn’t your first outing with them.

      Your Dad definitely was onto a good thing when he started the offsite team activities and you have maintained the tradition – great way to build your team.

      Waiting to here again from you at this blog. 🙂

  3. April 28, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Very Interesting… Many thanks for sharing…

    • JayadevM
      April 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Roshni,

      Happy you liked it … thank you for reading!

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