The Value of Staff Events



Staff events provide staff time away from solitary work and the opportunity for people to know one another, preferably across departments and organization levels. Staff events is a tool that minimizes the problem from and the need to go through Tuckman’s  stages of group development.

As an organizational development tool, it is transparent. They are well remembered years  after the intervention is completed. They have the power of setting the mood, for example of ending the year and starting a new year. They also have the power of emphasizing a theme.

End Objectives

There are commercial objectives to running a staff event:

  • We want departments to work or collaborate together because in real life work processes cut across departments. Friendly relations and dialogue is the key to working together.
  • We want staff to be able to talk freely to their bosses without inhibitions because (a) that is how problems are able to surface (b) that is how ideas for exploration and learning arises
  • We want the management team let their guards down, be themselves and talk to staff, not act like they do at HOD meeting where everyone is trying the best to get the attention and win marks form the big boss.

Conducive Conditions Preferable

For staff events to be a valuable instrument in engaging staff, the basics preferably should be there:

  • The leadership positions are filled by the right personalities.
  • The employee benefit scheme and physical workplace has done away with differing standards that separate people.

OD Intervention Principles

An OD intervention takes advantage of predictable human behaviors to change behaviors. Some of the key principles related to

  • People always talk over food, especially if they can walk around in a small area
  • Games acts as the ice breaker and for those at the lower levels of the organization to tell those at the top level what to do.
  • Random groupings break silos between departments; introduce strangers; and allow the bosses to let their hair down.
  • Group prize is for dinner or an outing for the random group to get together casually to talk helps everyone in the group to know each other a little better.

Format for Organizing the Event

Here is one process or organizing the event:

  • Get a cross departments committee together.
  • Fix a date and time for the event; have a theme; decide on the group activities.
  • Develop a budget and get the approval.
  • Distribute the roles.
  • Send the invitations to guests and judges.
  • Reece and book the venue, get ready the food and the prizes.
  • Write to vendors for sponsorship of prizes.
  • Group the participants and communicate about it.
  • Prepare for the activities.
  • Decorate the venue, if required.
  • Dress the part, as required.
  • Prepare the script and nominate the emcee.
  • Check the set-up
  • Give the emcee the cue to start. Get the boss (sponsor) to say a word before the event start.
  • Let the emcee control the activities and do the close.
  • Clean up.
  • Record the expenditures. Debrief the committee and go through the learning points.

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