By: Marlene Cosain
It’s the beginning of the year, and one area always worth improving is making our team feel special, appreciated and happy. Sometimes with the busyness of our schedules, we forget to take the time to make those around us feel appreciated and employee morale begins to lack. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Many companies remember about cultivating happiness only around the holidays, but appreciation should be given all year long because it makes your team happy which echoes in all aspects. One thing that I’ve figured out by now is that the more involved you are with your team, the more appreciated they feel. Then, add family into the mix and it is like icing on the cake! That is why thanking your employees with a family friendly type of event is always a hit!
If you plan events that include a plus one (usually a significant other) or an open invite to their family, it helps bridge the happiness they feel at home to the workplace. Having a fun, child-friendly event like a bbq, picnic, dinner or team building event creates something that the entire family has to look forward to (especially if there’s food involved… let’s be honest!) Having dinner parties is definitely something that we are big fans of. We have had dinner parties at different restaurants where the receptionists brought along their spouses, best friends, or kids. After the dinner, I remember that it created a stronger, friendlier culture at work because everyone could then talk about the dinner and the people they got to meet. I was able to ask the girls about their husbands, others related to each other because of their kids and so on. The environment at work went from being stressed and talking about the work we were doing to talking about things that make us happy on a daily basis: family.
There was another event where we were each able to bring a plus one, and that was on our volunteering day at The Animal Foundation. While working together as a team to accomplish different tasks it was nice to be able to share that experience with our closest friends and family members. Even now, months later… my friends and family bring up the different experiences they have been able to be a part of because of the bridge we created. We’re having another dinner where the receptionists can bring their family to as an appreciation get together. Not because it’s a holiday. Not because it’s Thanksgiving, but because we are thankful all year long for their hard work and because we care about their happiness.