Integration Events: Waste or Worth it?

Many of you may think that coordinating integration events at your company is a waste of money. The ones who actually have organized big events might also believe that it’s a waste of time. Let’s face it: organizing an event is not an easy task. You have to manipulate several variables at the same time: suppliers, price negotiation, budget, communication of the event, logistics, and expectations: what your boss wants, what people want and what you want (99% of the times they are three totally different things). Even if you are good and you manage to coordinate everything properly, it’s not guaranteed that the event will go smoothly. The list of unexpected things that can go wrong is pretty large!
So, being aware of that, why should we gamble and spend a big amount of our resources on an integration event? And more importantly, how do we actually know if it is worth it?

Well, in order to answer those questions, first I would like to enumerate the different types of events we throw at Intraway:

  • Asados/ Bonding Activity Abroad: this kind of event happens every last Friday of each month. In Buenos Aires we organize an asado and we open up the dining-room so everyone can eat together. Outside of Buenos Aires, Intraway members of each different country get together and have lunch (or dinner) in a restaurant of their choice.
  • Family Day: this event is organized once a year at the Buenos Aires office during the winter break. We invite all of our employees’ children to share a day at the office full of games and fun surprises.
  • Team outings: twice a year we organize an activity specially thought out for every team. This is the perfect way to reduce employee stress, let team members unwind and give them the chance to interact with one another outside the office. At Intraway we have organized both relaxing activities such as cooking competitions and ping-pong tournaments, as well as adrenaline-pumping events, such as karting races, paintball, escape games and even paragliding!
  • Big Events: twice a year we organize an after-office event with music, food and drinks. What better way to get our coworkers to break out of their shells than to have them catch up over some drinks and burn up the dance floor? Moreover, in celebration of the spring season we usually rent a party house with different catering choices and organize a football tournament. Our objective is to build up team spirit while mixing both competition and camaraderie. Last but not least, in December, of course, there’s the end-of-the-year-party for which we push the boat out in order to wrap up the year and head into summer.

We don’t plan all of those events because we are fun people. Well, we actually are fun but that’s not the point, we do it because we believe we can accomplish great things through the events such as:

  • Improvement of the working environment. Having fun together is a great way of boosting people’s morale and mood.
  • Promotion of bonding as equals. People can get to know their coworkers for who they are, not just the role they have at work. Everyone can talk to each other without thinking who is a manager and who is a director. Afterwards that small-talk while holding a beer can translate into better relationships and more trust.
  • Increment of the sense of belonging. This makes people feel they are part of something good and integrates new employees into the company’s culture.

To summarize, integration events can have amazing repercussions if you plan them correctly. Pay attention to what employees like and appreciate, and go for it. Happy people in a good environment, working with peers that they know, respect and trust can deliver amazing things!

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