Question: We are a small manufacturing company based in Coleraine and want to plan an Away Day to help improve staff morale. We don't have a huge budget - what would you recommend?
Melita Williams from travel and corporate event company Bespoke Belfast
Answer: Before you decide on your activity it is important to know what you want to achieve for the day - for example, is it strengthening the relationships between internal teams, a particular motivational problem or is it simply for reward. By knowing this you will be able to structure your experience to meet your goals.
If you want to encourage certain staff members to connect with each other then choose an activity that makes them work together.
You can also include prizes in the mix to encourage team spirit. Providing every team member wins something, this will encourage healthy competition and highlight their different personalities.
Make sure you choose an activity offsite as it gives staff more freedom and will bring out other characteristics and skills.
Choose an experience that everyone can really share in, especially if you have a mixed gender workforce with age differences.
In order to make it inclusive make sure there is a level playing field that caters for all abilities.
Keep it local which will cut down on expensive travel costs; it will also be a good way to build relationships with businesses in your area and support the local economy.
A good example might be a cookery lesson as you don't need to be a culinary whizz kid to follow a recipe and it offers a fun experience with no weather constraints.
If you can brave the elements, then a photography tour is a great way to explore the countryside, while gleaning technical information on how to make the most of your camera and get the best shots.
This activity also lets you use the pictures after the event to make a 'team montage' back at the office, so you are still enjoying the benefits once the activity is over.
Overall the experience will make the staff feel rewarded for their loyalty and hard work.
The 'feel good factor' will continue when they get back to the office, improving output and profit for your business.