Throw an Incredible Office Happy Hour

July 17, 2017 · 4 min read

Holding a weekly office happy hour is the easy part... The trick is making your employees actually want to come Get your employees engaged, build your team spirit, and make the fun happen at the office! All you need is these useful tips

office happy hour bonds your team

That moment when you really enjoy being at the office

Every modern company knows the importance of delivering their employees with an exquisite company culture. The default method for accomplishing this has become throwing a weekly happy hour at the workplace. And, it’s not like we’re saying that drinks in the office aren’t a great idea, they sure are, but putting a few beers on a table doesn’t quite do the trick.

To be completely honest, none of us wants to stand around making small talk while holding a beer, or even worse – doing it with the facade of “let’s have fun now!” That is most definitely the recipe for a very boring 40 minutes of people trying not to think about the unfinished work they left at their desks. And if you’re employees are thinking about unread emails during the weekly “party,” then something isn’t quite right. But worry not, read on for a complete guide to making your office happy hour something incredible!

Sometimes the fun doesn’t just happen spontaneously, but actually, requires careful planning. You need to lay the right groundwork for a really good time that will keep them coming for more. Create the vibe that will make your employees feel like they work at an awesome company and not just another soulless Office Space “Initech.” If you already invest so much in your employees, let the magic happen by letting it show!

So how can you fix a broken happy hour?

While providing great snacks and loads of drinks is essential, this alone is not sufficient to create a buzzing workplace tradition that everyone will love. So in addition to refreshments of the adult variety, here are some basic principals to create the perfect conditions for success:

  1. Find the Right Time

No matter how great of an event you plan, if you schedule it the day before a huge deadline, or too early or too late in the day, people won’t be enthusiastic. Just be mindful of people’s work patterns and other external factors like rush hour traffic.

happy hour which will increase employee engagement

Fancy drinks won’t make your office hour great

  1. Have a Dream

You want to cultivate a ritual over time that people will really want to attend because company-mandated fun is the exact opposite of real fun. To start down the road of real fun, it’s important to have a clear purpose in mind. Ask yourself, what will be the final goal of this time together? Good times and games? A place to really bond as a team? To learn something new? To get to know each other personally? All of the above? Once you have a specific intent for the occasion, you can structure your activities accordingly. This brings us to the next principle for success:

  1. Have a plan

Having a structure of action to carry the group will go a long way towards achieving your goal. A good way to do this is to invent a tradition that fits the vibe of your vision. Some examples of this might be “birthdays this month” with cake and sparklers, or a dramatic reading of “this week’s best quotes heard around the office” to get people in the mood. Look at the goals you set before, and choose a tradition that will take you in that direction. You can experiment with different activities until you find one that works, but most importantly, be responsive to feedback about what people enjoyed, and what they didn’t.

  1. Do activities that bring people together. This is where stuff gets good.

The best way to create a community comes down to two words: shared experiences. Shared experiences are the mortar that unites people of any age, background, or personality. Experiencing something exciting or strange or beautiful together creates conversations, jokes, and camaraderie that goes far beyond the borders of the event itself.

So bring a comedian who will give a show tailored to your company, do an Art-With-Jello class (yes that’s a thing), or book a professional magician who will not only capture the imagination but also teach how to apply the principles of illusion and focus to your everyday life. Give people a shared experience that will shape them together in a way that will last long after the party is over. So whether your goal is team-building, fun, or learning, just remember: have a vision, create shared experiences, and of course… Plenty of drinks! We’ll cheer to that.

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