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Company events

How events can help companies retain talent

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Written by

Melanie Griffiths

Content Lead

As our Content Lead with 10 years experience in content creation, chances are Melanie's had something to do with most things you read on the platform.

A long-standing team member, she's been with Togather since the company's early days and can be found eating her way through London's food markets at the weekend.

Published on Mon 12 February 2024

With MIT research revealing that toxic work culture was the top reason for people leaving their roles, creating a positive company culture has never been more important. One way to do that is to invest in internal company events. We've done some digging into why events are so important and the positive impact they can have on your team.

People care about company events

We’re not suggesting that throwing regular events is the only way to create a thriving and effective company culture, but the fact that 79% of employees state that they look forward to internal company events clearly shows the impact that regular events can have on a company’s morale and overall culture.

Company culture is ultimately about making people happy, and events are fundamentally better at generating happiness than material benefits are (according to this study from the University of Colorado), while regular social events are proven to lead to both better mental and physical health.

Long tables with people sitting drinking and chatting

Why are events so important?

It’s a constantly repeated HR message that teams that get on well socially are teams that work well professionally together. This poll showed that teams with higher levels of social interaction will be 21% more engaged and productive, and a study from the SHRM showed that 67% of HR professionals agree that fostering strong social connections is essential to a high performance culture.

With hybrid working here to stay and 37% of employees saying they would look to leave their roles if they became fully office-based, many companies are doubling down on the need to keep teams socially engaged. They are right to: according to a government report, virtual and hybrid work can lead to ‘employees feeling more disconnected from their work organisations and miss socialising and interacting with colleagues’.

To find that middle ground between maintaining hybrid happiness and fostering social connections, regular internal events can be a vital bridge, enabling employees to build strong, natural relationships outside of the working environment. According to this survey, 79% of people believe that the relationship building at face-to-face events cannot be replicated elsewhere while 47% of people actively looking for a new role cite a lack of company culture a the major reason for doing so

Teams that play together...

Events are fundamentally a great way to increase social bonds within your team and it now seems extraordinary just how outdated the phrase ‘I’m here to work, not make friends’ is. For new employees who are just getting to know the business and the team, the process of building new social connections can feel long and slow, especially in a hybrid setting. Regular events provide opportunities to form connections both with their immediate teams and with the wider company – which should translate into better performance at work.

Celebrate your team

As we mentioned earlier, recognition is particularly important to Gen-Z and Millennials employees but the impact certainly isn’t limited to those groups. A staggering 69% of workers said they’d work harder if they felt appreciated by their organisations.

Praise and appreciation can go a long way to recognising good work, but in the same way it’s important to have a party to celebrate a birthday, it’s vital that your company marks great work with celebrations.

Events are a particularly good way of celebrating team projects or cross- departmental work. For example, bringing a taco truck to your office following a successful product launch, or hosting a cocktail and canapé evening for a team that hits its quarterly targets. Not only will help the team feel recognised for its achievements, but will also further improve the social cohesion within the team and inspire them to go and repeat those achievements. A little incentive goes a long way!

Employees regard recognition as more important than promotions or pay when it comes to drivers of good work, while employees who feel recognised are 2.6x more likely to drive innovation and bring new ideas forward and twice as willing to go above and beyond to make great work happen.

If you're stuck for ideas for what kind of events your company could throw, we've got a list of 12 months of event ideas. And if budgeting is a concern, check out our H2 budgeting guide. If you're looking for some help, we'd love to help you plan an epic calendar of events with suppliers to blow your team away.