You already know this, but it’s worth taking a step back and mentioning again. When it comes down to it, your business is based on one very important thing: relationship. The relationships that you maintain both between your employees (or coworkers) and your clients are crucial to the success of your company. Without one or the other, your business would crumble.
One thing that’s essential to maintaining those relationships is taking time away from work to kick back and just get to know one another better. Time spent intentionally developing that relationship will create rapport on a personal level that will multiply productivity in the workplace.
With that in mind, we’re suggesting five work-free outings that are intended to strengthen or build those relationships.
Outings with Employees:
- Serve together. Try a local food pantry, shelter, hospital, or school. Giving of your time together will give your team something in common other than work projects.
- Play together. Take a vote for a fun non-skilled sporting or competitive activity that won’t single non-athletic team members out, such as bowling, laser tag, paintball, etc.
- Celebrate together. Don’t let a birthday or other milestone go buy without celebrating the unique aspects of your team member.
- Relax together. Go see a movie, a concert, a sporting event, go to a gallery, or try a new restaurant together.
- Dream together. Spend an afternoon talking about company goals and finding out what it is your employees dream about in their careers. How can you work together to make it happen?
Note: if possible, shut down your office for an afternoon and do your team-building activity during work hours. This will show your employees that you value their time and offer them a reserved space within work hours.
Outings with Clients:
- Serve together: Especially if your client is closely involved with a non-profit, give it a try and show them you support the same cause they do.
- Play together: Go to a sporting event together or get your entire teams together and do any of the above. If your client is a foodie, try a cooking competition – Iron Chef style.
- Celebrate together. If your client has had a big milestone that’s worth celebrating, show them you care by taking notice. Treat them to their favorite restaurant.
Note: find out what your clients love, and even if it’s something your team isn’t wild about it, give it a shot. It will show your client that you’re willing to learn something new and maybe your team will end up being inspired by something new.
Another note: Remember, this is really about getting to know your client. Take the time to find out something new about them in the process.
What do you think? What are your favorite non-work activities with clients or employees? Let us know in the comments.