Whether you run a business or are an employee; work life can be relentless.
Day in, day out, early mornings, late finishes, tense meetings, tight deadlines, Monday to Friday, all year round. It can be easy to focus solely on what you’re doing that week, but lose sight of the bigger picture and what the company is really trying to achieve. If your company is more than 20 people, unless you get together regularly, it can be easy to forget that you are part of a team and the power of team spirit to make the whole much more than the sum of its parts. Other than the occasional staff party and after-work drinks, when do all the employees have the chance to come together and really build that genuine team spirit?
The answer? A staff conference.
The whole point of a staff conference is for it to be as different as possible from a staff meeting. You want your employees to stop thinking about their regular duties and place of work just for a while, so that you can hopefully reinvigorate them for future tasks. Staff conferences are hugely advantageous because it’s the opportunity to do the following:
- Reinforce goals and leadership
- Provide awareness into future plans
- Strengthen teamwork and professional development
- Give thanks to the staff
- Deliver new and useful industry info
As for where the conference is actually held, it all comes down to somewhere other than the office and that everyone can get to easily enough. Some businesses like to plan an event overseas and really go the whole nine yards with overnight stays in a hotel and even getting everyone together on a private jet if the company is just the right size to make that an posh economy!
When it comes to what people will expect from the staff conference, of course, every company may do things differently, but there are several key things which should never be missing when it comes time to host one of these events.
Welcome and thank you speeches
As a leader, you’ll first have to thank everybody, not just for coming to the staff conference, but for all their hard work. This is where employees will really feel valued and a part of the company – not just a cog in the machine. Your speech should also give a little insight into what the conference will entail, as well as some details about company plans for the near future and what goals you’d like to achieve. This simply makes everyone aware that this staff conference has a strong purpose.
Depending on what your industry is, it’s often a fantastic idea to bring in an outside public speaker who’s an expert in their field. It’s refreshing for employees (and even yourself) to hear another voice giving advice on stage. Your staff can hear some new tips and information about their trade and this will motivate them to achieve bigger and better things.
Team building exercises
Although many people start rolling their eyes when someone mentions team building exercises, they don’t have to be awkward or lame! Staff members rarely want to get up in front of the group and talk about themselves, but in order for them to know each other better, the team building exercises could be fun and a little silly. These can be something like a paper plane contest between two teams (whose plane can go the furthest), a pub-style general knowledge quiz, or even a karaoke battle. The point is that these should all be team-based so there’s the opportunity to strengthen existing bonds and form new ones.
At the end of it all, a staff conference makes your employees feel better about themselves, their colleagues, and the company and its leaders. It can take a lot of effort to pull it off, especially if it’s overseas, but the resulting team spirit and increased productivity will speak for itself.