Companies that are short of cash, may be inclined to scrap the staff outing. They shouldn't do that; a fantastic company party or outing is not only good for the team feeling, it also motivates employees to continue working just as hard in the future.
At ICT company Experius in Utrecht, the "champagne moment" is a regular thing on Friday afternoon. "Then I highlight the people who have been successful that week", says Chief Hapiness Officer Evelien Veenman.
"We then open a bottle of champagne for every performance." That performance can be anything, for example, launching a new website, but also bringing in a difficult customer. In addition, the 65 employees have an outing every month to look forward to, such as a boat trip through the canals or an afternoon of old-fashioned monkey cages.
The entire team also goes away for a weekend once a year. Veenman: "Last year we went skiing, and the year before I had rented an island in the Netherlands. We did all kinds of activities there all weekend."
Celebrating successes ensures endorphins
So many outings and festive moments within one company may seem too much of a good thing, but according to social psychologist Fred Bryant you cannot celebrate your successes enough. He is the author of the book Savoring which freely translated means 'enjoyment'.
"We open a bottle of champagne for every performance." Evelien Veenman, Chief Hapiness Officer at Experius
"Every time you celebrate the well-earned success of a performance, endorphins are produced in the brain," he says in his book. "In this way you train the brain that success is worth a reward, so you want more of it and you continue to work hard."
The reverse also happens, says Bryant. "If you don't pay attention to performance and milestones, you signal your brain that what you are doing is not so important. This will decrease your motivation and performance."
In addition, the moments when we actually see the results of our work are scarce these days. "In the past, many professions were traditional," explains Veenman. "Your effort often yielded a tangible product."
Because this is no longer the case today, we have to get the satisfaction from somewhere else. Veenman: "You can do this by celebrating successes and milestones with each other."
Saving on a staff party can turn out to be expensive
Celebrating achievements and milestones is probably a small effort when your business is doing well. But what do you do if your company is in a financial dip? Although it would be very tempting to scrap the staff outing, it is not a smart idea, according to the owner of company event organizer SOS events Erik Kroon.
In fact, saving on this can ultimately cost you dearly. "In general there are three reasons why someone works somewhere," Kroon explains. "Salary, challenge and pleasure. The latter is very important. If the atmosphere in a company is good, people will continue to work somewhere longer. Not unimportant, because constantly hiring and training new staff costs a lot of money."
Make memories together
But does a staff outing really contribute so much to a better atmosphere within the company? Isn't it also possible to build a bond with your colleague at the coffee machine? That is not how it works, according to Kroon. "The mutual bond is strengthened by making memories together," he explains.
"The mutual bond is strengthened by making memories together." Erik Kroon, owner of SOS events
"That usually does not happen in the workplace, but during a staff party or activity," says Kroon. If people have a bond, they are willing to run a little harder for each other. You are less concerned with competition and more with good team work. That ultimately also leads to better performance. "
Veenman also notices that. "Those outings are an expensive joke," she acknowledges. But in the case of Experius, they also pay off. For example, turnover is low and this year the company won the FD Gazelle Award for the fastest growing technology company for the seventh time in a row. "Our employees feel valued and therefore feel a lot of connection with the company," explains Veenman. "As a result, they don't mind adding an extra boost every now and then."