What is corporate happy hour?
The corporate happy hour increases socialization and empathy among the company’s employees, favoring integration and the organizational climate.
For those who are not familiar with it, a corporate happy hour is a type of social gathering between the employees of a company. It’s a time when everyone gets together to drink, eat and talk together.
It is very common in large companies that have adopted this practice for years. Some of them promote get-togethers in their own internal spaces, becoming part of their organizational culture .
In other cases, the team chooses a bar or restaurant close to the company and holds the meeting there.
But the key word of the event is relaxation . So, this is not the time to talk about work, but about fun, family and fostering friendship.
How important is the corporate happy hour?
Perhaps the main benefit of the corporate happy hour is the integration of teams and employees.
This is an excellent opportunity for everyone to get to know each other better and strengthen friendships, talking about different topics and building a spirit of collaboration, taken to work, tending to increase the team’s productivity and confidence.
Another important point related to the promotion of corporate happy hours is the expansion of the network of contacts , the famous networking, which still favors the creation of partnerships and new businesses.
This is a simple way for the company to improve the quality of life of its employees, promoting their well-being, motivation and income.
How to integrate teams?
Far beyond just avoiding relationship problems, promoting team integration and developing harmony between the company’s sectors is essential to build a feeling of empathy between teams.
This integration is even more important for bringing together professionals who do not meet frequently or who do not need to interact on a daily basis.
A very common scenario for a remote and hybrid work reality , for example.
Integration actions also help to develop a sense of belonging in employees, making them realize they are important to the company, increasing the sense of appreciation and motivation.
Promoting this integration is not a simple task, but there are tips that can help, such as:
- maintain clear and objective communication ;
- resolve conflicts quickly ;
- ensure that employees can make suggestions ;
- leave roles clear and encourage open dialogue ;
- align the organizational culture ;
- create a healthy living environment ;
- Invest in events to promote integration
How to make a corporate happy hour?
The basic rule of thumb for a corporate happy hour is not to overdo it.
Define an appropriate location , which can be a bar or restaurant near the company, or an environment in the organization itself.
Decoration can also help to enhance the relaxed atmosphere. Food and beverages — such as snacks — contribute to building this pleasant atmosphere. Music that is not too loud is also important to complete.
We will detail some of these elements to make your choice easier.
It is important to remember, first, that this type of in-person event tends to be sporadic , that is, it does not need to be held every week, so you can really take care of it.
If you choose to hold the corporate happy hour outside the company, it can be done after hours or on the weekend. Just remember to reserve a table for everyone you invite .
Depending on the number of participants, it may be more appropriate to find a place for corporate events, with a good structure, so as not to lack space for everyone.
If the choice is to hold the event at the company, it will take a little more organization, but it doesn’t have to be anything too complex either.
2-Consider the profile of employees
Before starting to prepare the corporate happy hour, it is important to consider the profile of your employees and make choices that please most of them.
What types of drinks and foods do your employees prefer? What style of music?
A tip to avoid doubts and avoid mistakes at the event is to involve employees in the organization. If it’s your first date, do a survey and gather everyone’s opinions.
3-Value company culture and establish ground rules
Although the idea is to relax and promote integration between teams, it is important to remember that the company’s image is related to the event.
Therefore, basic rules must be established, such as avoiding excessive consumption of drinks and also causing fights and arguments.
How to invite collaborators?
The internal communication is important at this time to ensure that the date chosen is good for most employees.
In addition, a virtual invitation sent by email can be a good reason even for employees to work happier.
The invitation can also be made through other platforms, such as WhatsApp or the most used internal communication in the company.
Corporate happy hour can be a great way to minimize the impacts caused by the pandemic, within the context of the company and the relationship of the companies.
How does corporate happy hour help to minimize the impact of the pandemic on companies?
The years 2020 and 2021 were quite challenging for companies in general.
Almost no organization was prepared to transfer the work to digital platforms and the first few months were chaotic in many cases .
Issues such as the support of leaders, the lack of social interaction and, often, inefficient internal communication generated great impacts on the integration of the teams.
If before, the main way to communicate was verbal and visual, with the distance, it was necessary to transform this into writing.
And this change brings difficulties in interpreting emotions, and this often leads to conflicts .
How to deal with the impacts of the pandemic on the company?
If change is inevitable, so must adaptation. And it is up to the company to find ways to better deal with the problems generated by the pandemic.
The first point to be discussed is the role of leadership , which can make the big difference between productive and motivated teams and those that just support each other.
Many people management and leadership practices are not consistent with current reality and leaders need to adapt to new processes. Excessive pressure can cause even more demotivation and damage the team’s atmosphere and integration.
Generally, decentralized management is the best alternative, favoring demonstrations of trust and support. And at that point, some questions can facilitate leadership.
1-Have a good practice manual
Companies had to reinvent themselves in the face of the need for change and, probably, employees were not prepared for that either.
Everything they learned when they joined the organization no longer makes sense, so it might be interesting to create a booklet with “new good practices”.
This is a way of helping employees understand what is expected of them, offering guidance on how to use each communication channel , how to reconcile personal and professional life, how to relate to colleagues virtually, etc.
2-listen to collaborators
Keeping communication active is the best way to understand employee needs and identify what can be improved.
Sometimes, the company can make small changes that contribute to increasing employee motivation and a sense of worth.
3-adopt digital tools
After the first scare of having to make big changes in a short time, companies discovered that many digital tools can help and facilitate the daily lives of both managers and employees.
While simple tools help you perform basic activities like video-calling meetings and securely share documents, more can help automate tasks and manage teams of employees.
This is the case of tools such as Tangerine’s digital time attendance , which makes it easy to check in and out of employees through the application and offers 12 different types of reports that simplify HR control.
4-Promote virtual integration events
Yes, even with the distance, the company can still create events that favor the integration of teams in the online environment.
During these years we have seen several cases of organizations that set aside commemorative dates such as the time of June parties, Father’s and Mother‘s Day, and others, to program virtual events among employees.
And, in addition to being a favorable point for integration, it also generates great repercussions among employees and for the company’s image.
How to make a virtual happy hour?
It is not always feasible, or recommendable, to hold happy hours in person, always bearing in mind the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies can promote virtual meetings that, despite being at home, have everything to be a lot of fun.
Some ideas might work better with your team. The best thing to do is experiment and see what your employees like best.
1-Make these online dating a habit
The invitation to the first virtual corporate happy hour should inform you that the proposal is to catch up on the chat, without worries.
If the company has a collective communication channel, it is worth publicizing it.
Then, closer to the date of the event, it is interesting to send an invitation to the schedule of each employee, to reinforce the importance of participation.
The trend is that, with time and habit, these individual notices are no longer necessary and chat becomes a pleasant habit and part of the company’s culture .
2-Make an appointment for a coffee or collective snack
You know that coffee break, in the late afternoon, that everyone takes to chat at the office? You can replay this moment at home .
One idea is to surprise your employees with a special kit of coffee, juices and small sandwiches and make an appointment for everyone to have breakfast together, virtually.
Or a box with snacks and drinks on a Friday in the late afternoon !
3-Offer fun workshops
Another cool tip is to offer practical workshops for your employees. But no work!
It can be a class to learn how to make cupcakes, artisan breads, sweets. Or some kind of craft that your employee can invite the children and family to participate in as well .