We have been talking about some kind of bowling party for a while around here. I have to admit, I was a tad skeptical in regards to the turn out, and how successful something like this could be. I always have the same worries – at the end of a long day, will people actually want to hang out with each other? Am I forcing them to “have fun” with one another? Will we be able to get away from talking shop? Is this totally lame? This has been a recurring state of mind for me over the last year as we have begun to encourage and support similar initiatives. This has self-doubt written all over it…but before I turn this into a personal blog post, I do have some professional points to make.
Why “fun” takes a back seat:
When you don’t know what something looks like or how it will be received because it is essentially new, procrastination becomes difficult to avoid. Two things can help: 1) SUPPORT, in the form of a “committee” of sorts, to cheer you on in your sometimes silly schemes, and 2) CONFIDENCE – trample that self-doubt! If you are sincere in your efforts, it will go a long way. At the very least, even if you put on a flop of an event, and all people can say is, “meh,” you know what? At least you did something, and people will appreciate the effort. You also probably learned something and know what not to do next time. Take the opportunity to ask for constructive feedback from your co-workers, and as I have said before, open up the floor for ideas.
Back to my original point: I tend to worry, when I really shouldn’t. And really, I shouldn’t, because every event that we have put on over the past year has been met with tons of energy and participation. This isn’t always the case, but I attribute much of our success with regard to our effort to pay attention to what our employees might enjoy, and incorporate their ideas. The bowling idea started with one of our employees, and everyone seemed really excited about it, so we implemented. And knowing that many of our employees have families and other commitments during the weekends, we decided to make it a happy hour-like event. Everyone was able to mosey on over to the bowling lanes after work on a Thursday for a couple hours of bowling, beer, snacks, and low and behold…tons of fun. Know your coworkers, and try to plan accordingly.
Varsity had a lot to celebrate at our bowling event. We had a great quarter, a few new faces on the team, and positive visions for the future. We went to the Mission Bowling Club, which is a small but swanky (not too swanky mind you) bowling venue – six lanes, delicious food, good music, and a full bar; we were happy campers. Engaging in a mildly competitive activity together allowed us the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary, and get to know one another in a different light. Not to mention the stress-reducing effect of hurling a big ball toward pins and watching them fall down (this is the hope…over time, you will get there). We always invite employees to bring a friend, partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, what have you, which is such a nice way to extend the positive energy. The team feels more like a family when this happens, and the opportunity to build camaraderie naturally manifests, then transfers through to the workplace….teamwork!
I was very pleased with the event, and will be implementing on a quarterly basis for the office. Planning a regular activity like this creates a nice thing for people to look forward to. I encourage you to find an activity that your office can do on an ongoing basis, and make it fun. This will help to foster a positive work environment, and your employees definitely deserve it!