|Click here to read my post for 25 other AWESOME fun activity ideas commonly in practice in some companies
Employee engagement activities in the office will always keep the employees relaxed and refreshed. Having fun at work will increase team building, bring togetherness, relieve stress and make the employee emotionally attached to the work place and at the end of the day will reduce attrition.However, coming up with a cost effective engagement activity every month is a challenging aspect for employers and at the same time many companies have to cut down the cost for lavish holiday camps, festival celebrations and annual family get-together. Employee engagement activities are absolutely essential when the employers want their employees to truly engage in what they do.I am always open to bringing in ideas other than mine to this blog.Guest posts are invited here… and to begin with..
!! Potluck Lunch!!
Yesterday my sister-in-law shared with me her potluck lunch experience in her office and she was the winner for her mouth watering dish ‘Chicken Kabob’. She sounded very happy and had fun at work and that inspired me to write about ‘Potluck Lunch’.
‘Potluck’ is a gathering of people where each person contributes a dish to be shared among the group. This is a well known & successful concept among friends, office, clubs, housing communities and it is always good for a happy gathering. Planning potluck lunch in office is very simple and effective team building exercise. Every employee brings one dish and shares it with all. It promotes a family atmosphere and is obviously a low cost way of providing a large meal for everyone you work with. Doesn’t it sound fun?
Normally lunch hour in office is where everyone finds their time for a chat, shares their views with friends, creates interdepartmental relationships and gets a little break in order to relax. And it’s always been a best way to spend time together irrespective of the hierarchy!! Share your food and have fun with your co-workers. And it’s an opportunity to show your cooking talent as well.
You can organize it in your own cafeteria and you don’t need any huge funds for conducting a potluck lunch.
1. Decide the date & Time: Get the necessary approval for a small budget to purchase plastic cups, plates, napkins and beverages then schedule the potluck on an appropriate day. Usually on Fridays everyone will be a little bit relaxed and would be in a weekend mood which will be appropriate for the employees to spend some time to gather without having to worry about their work.
2. Communication: Send out an initial friendly email to all the employees at least two week prior communicating about potluck lunch (ask employees to bring a dish to share with all others), date, time & Venue so that the employees can plan for it and confirm their participation.
3. Posters: You can have posters in some busy traffic areas in your offices like in front of the elevator, cafeteria or discussion rooms to convey the communication to all.
4. Signup sheet: Create a signup sheet for employees to commit to bringing certain items. Fix the signup sheet in the notice board or one common area (where people will see every day) and inform every employee to sign up by writing their name along with what they are bringing. This will help to coordinate easily. Someone seeing the filled signup sheet will be encouraged to participate.
5. Volunteers: If you have a large workforce conducting programs by inviting few volunteers will always be recommended. Interdepartmental volunteers will confirm the participation from their department and will be easy to co-ordinate the program.
6. Reminder Communication: Have two or three reminder mailer in order to encourage employees and confirm everyone’s participation. Few points to add in the reminder mail to keep the employee informed about:
– Deadline for signup
– Volunteers contact details so that anyone who has come up with a dish at the last moment can contact them.
– Required items to be brought on the day of potluck e.g. appropriate spoons to serve their dish. Everyone might not be able to prepare the dishes at home and bring. Employees might buy some dessert or wines from restaurant like cake- need a knife, Wine bottle need an opener etc.
– Inform them to label their dishes in order to understand it easily for other. Inform everyone to bring their dishes to the venue place/area (where microwave oven is kept to warm the dishes) at least half an hour prior to the meal time.
7. Set up: Set up the dining area neatly and arrange the dishes brought by the employees with the help of volunteer and have a friendly potluck Lunch with everyone.
1. Give out gifts for the best dish of the day. You can have your own criteria for selecting the winner. For e.g have the employees vote for the best dish after finishing their meal. Keep a voting box with paper and pen. And you can even circulate the best meals recipe to all the employees
2. Check the sign up frequently and if you think that the participation is low and the food quantity will not be sufficient for the available employees encourage everyone to bring the food, like those who can’t cook can buy the food from outside and bring it too or may be even contribute cash.
3. You can even give some category of dishes in your signup sheet like appetizers, salads, Vegetable menu, desserts & Cool drinks. So that employees can select the particular dish that they planning to bring in and you will not end up with lack of appropriate quantity of food for the lunch.
4. After the program send out a thank you mail with lot of photos to one and all in your office. Photos will be great for the company’s magazine/newsletter.