A while back, First Business Bank sponsored an outing to see a local baseball game — employees and their immediate families who work at our headquarters were invited. The Madison Mallards are a very popular summer collegiate team in the Northwoods League. It was a gorgeous evening, and employees and their families filled the new Duck Blind area, a deck with great views of the game and food, and cheered on the home team while making new memories together.

I love organizing events for our employees for several reasons. At First Business Bank, our crew works hard. The rigorous pace combined with our can-do culture means our productivity standard is high, no matter the position. That’s why one of our statement of beliefs is so important:  “Have Fun!” We prioritize our employees and show them we value them and their families.

Research shows that employee engagement is crucial to creating a positive working culture, an important ingredient in maintaining a loyal, high-performing staff. In fact, a recent Gallup poll showed that disengaged workers have 37% higher absenteeism and 60% more errors. That same study showed that when it comes to engagement, employees prefer workplace wellbeing more than material benefits. Here are some of the other reasons these annual events are important to our organization, and the benefits we see:

  1. Promote positive relationships company-wide. We talk about our families at work, but this is an opportunity to introduce them, get to know them, and show how much we really care about each other. People are more than just their work—it’s easy to forget that someone is not just a credit analyst, but also a parent, a small business owner, and a triathlete. We value the chance for everyone to get to know each other better. It also increases networking opportunities between departments and locally beyond our company.
  2. Welcome new employees. With our steady growth, our company isn’t as small as in years past. New employees and their families have the chance to meet others outside their departments and learn more about them and the services we offer.
  3. Celebrate successes and thank employees. When you hire motivated, engaged people like we do, it’s important to recognize their accomplishments and create a culture of appreciation. Each and every one of our employees helps us succeed, so we celebrate and recognize our successes.
  4. Promote visibility in our communities. While it’s not our top priority, it is a benefit of scheduling employee family events at local venues.
  5. Maintain our culture. As First Business Bank grows, we know change is inevitable, but we also want to work to maintain our friendly, caring, hard-working culture. Enjoyment of your workplace is so important. Just because we can’t fit all of our staff in one room anymore doesn’t mean we should abandon the effort to create a positive, inclusive work atmosphere.

Does your company hold employee family outings? What are some of the best ones you’ve attended or planned? What sorts of benefits have they created among your staff? Let us know!