Corporate Family days – 4 things you might not be doing right 

Corporate family days are like the Oscars where the entire corporate family comes together and celebrates as one unit. Organizations spend a lot of money, time and effort in making these happen so they can allow their employees to celebrate and relax. 

But, are you doing them right? Here are four things for you to think hard about as you plan and execute your next corporate annual day.

corporate family days - dfrens employee engagement

#1 Are you bringing in an event agency? 

As soon as you have decided to do the annual day, who are you banking on for ideas and execution? Let me guess… an event agency? Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. But then, you are directly jumping into execution. Corporate family days are way more than thinking about the theme for the evening – Bollywood, Forest, Indian Village or Beach Party theme. Annual day as the name suggests, is a once in a year activity and a great platform for you to connect with your most valuable resources – your people. Don’t leave it to your agency to decide on what will work best. First and foremost, Employee Engagement needs be at the core, and should really be at the heart of your plan. It’s awesome if you hire an event agency with solid employee engagement experience. If not, time to rethink the sequence. Read on and it will be clear.

#2 Are you defining the purpose and designing the event aligned to the purpose?

Fun and entertainment in the annual day? For sure. What else? A corporate theme. Ok, what else? Employee engagement! You got it!

Most annual days that I see do not have a defined purpose. Even if the purpose is defined, it is limited to a few posters. The design of the event and the activities are not aligned with the purpose. And, when the purpose and the event design are aligned, nothing can stop the event from being a great success.

Quite recently d’frens was engaged in designing and running an annual day for a client. Over a couple of discussions we nailed the purpose of the event as ‘to create pride in the employees and their families in the kind of cool work the organization was engaged in’. While this would form the core reason, the event itself had to be engaging as well as entertaining. After speaking to the marketing and technology heads, we focused on the Hollywood film “How to train your dragon” for which this client had provided key technology support and expertise. Dragons formed the main theme of the event and every engagement and communication element was based on this concept. You can’t imagine the amount of pride the employees showed, as well as the fun the families had that evening. This is what can make your annual day memorable.

Designing the event, its theme, and activities around the purpose is the crucial part. You need to do that keeping in mind the audience as well as the engagement that you are looking for.

#3 Are you treating your annual event as a one-day program?

Corporate annual days are anything but a one-day event. Like anything big and important, the key is to consider this as a campaign, with a pre-event build up and a post-event follow up. You don’t need to think of an engagement plan that spans months. But depending on the size of your event and the detail you want, it may actually require at least a 2 month planning horizon, and  a 2 week build up. In my experience annual days with a pre-event build up, with employee involvement, made the actual event far more successful than those that didn’t. One thing which employees don’t like is to be treated as guests at their own event! More the involvement before the event, more the participation! And, campaigns help you achieve that. 

Pre-event build up activities, such as floor walks, internal competitions, theme based communication and others contribute to a successful turnout and impact at the event. 

#4 Are you capturing real-time feedback?

Feedback is best taken when the experience occurs. Not before and not after. Having a set of expert volunteers take real-time feedback from the employees and the families is crucial to get the pulse. We are not referring to feedback about corporate policies, but purely the engagement during your event. Do not forget to analyse and share the feedback with defined action items. 

Entertainment is good, but don’t miss engaging your audience during these annual days. After all, engagement is the best form of communication.

I am eager to hear your thoughts. If you want more ideas or want to talk to me, feel free to drop me a note.  

Go ahead and give your employees an experience of a life time.