Company picnics are a way to achieve integration of employees in a fun atmosphere. They help in fostering a team spirit in the company employees and most importantly, prove to be a refreshing break from work. Company picnics are an occasion to get all the employees together and give them an opportunity to interact informally. No company picnic is complete without some exciting games. They serve as a break from monotony, act as stress busters and give the employees a chance to switch off from work for some time.
Games like football, softball or volleyball are some of the best options for company picnic games. You could make arrangements for miniature golf or basketball depending on the availability of space. If you are going to have exhausting sports like football or volleyball, keep them during the first half of the day. After lunch, you could have something less tiring like golf or foosball.
Make provisions for entertainment facilities like a DJ, musicians, a magician, face painting, tattooing and activities like bingo, jumping gym or pinball. You could arrange for a tarot reader, astrologer or palmist. If you are going to a resort, they may offer video gaming. Schedule the activities wisely. It is advisable to have a magic show after lunch. Music or dance can be kept for the evening. Tarot reading and the like or face painting and tattoo booths can be kept open throughout the day.
For the Kids
If you have invited the employees along with their families, plan some games for kids too. You could include fun activities like pony rides, face painting and tattooing for kids, video games and also races or one-minute games for children. Minute to win it kind of games attract people of all age groups and kids are no exception. Running races, sack races, word games, tug of war, balloon toss, among other kids games can be included. It's a good idea to plan a scavenger hunt. For this, you should know the location really well. Have a photo booth set up at the venue. Employees can avail of this with their family or peers.
In case of a company picnic where employees are accompanied by their families, make provisions for babysitting if you can. You don't want employees or their partners to remain busy with their kids throughout the day.
Organize water activities if the picnic venue has the facilities needed. Keep a comfortable slot; preferably, afternoon or early evening for water games. Arrange for a miniature water polo or waboba! A dunking booth is sure to be fun. Plan activities like dropping colored balls or balloons in water and having the participants fetch them, or having teams hunt for a treasure placed underwater. Have water sports like boating or rafting if the venue allows. Take the needful water safety measures.
Team Building Games
Company picnics are the best time for conducting team building activities. One of the basic purposes of picnic games is to bring together the employees and foster a team spirit in them. Hence it is best to organize team building activities. You could have in-house enthusiasts plan these or arrange for a third-party event planner who would do that for you. You could look up for games in corporate team building activities. Divide the group into teams and have a quizzing session, give them brainteasers and riddles to solve, ask company trivia. Games like these foster a team spirit and also test the employees' problem-solving abilities. Have them play mine field, a trust-building game where employees are divided into pairs. In each pair, one person is blindfolded. He has to walk along a predetermined path following the instructions of his partner. Arrange for interactive games that foster team communication.
Start with easy games like charades and know-eachother-better kind of games. Introduce physical activities a little later. Make the employees comfortable before you start the team activities. It may not be a great idea to explicitly refer to these games as 'team building activities'. Let the building of team spirit be a side effect of the whole idea of picnicking together.
Other Fun Games
You could plan a fishpond session. If taken in the right spirit, it will only add fun. Avoid mockery or gross humor and ensure that everyone enjoys the activity. Games like pass the parcel, tug-of-war and treasure hunt are all-time favorites. Put the travel time to good use by conducting fun activities while traveling to the picnic spot. It takes greater effort to pep up a bored group of people. So let the spirits be high right from the moment your company picnic begins!
Though games are an important part of picnics, they are not enough. To add to the enjoyment, do not forget to make arrangements for good food. Remember to cater to the needs of people of different ages and from varied backgrounds. Plan the picnic games in such a way that everyone coming for the picnic is able to participate. Carry a first aid box and other safety gear (as required). Instruct the employees to wear comfortable clothes and footwear and to carry an extra pair of these, especially so if water activities are involved. Take maximum care to avoid any mishaps during the trip.
Company picnics are occasions to get the employees together and give them a break from work. Picnic games should not be restricted to the enthusiastic few. They should engage everyone, young and old, to take part and have fun.