The PR industry may well be perceived by the majority as an industry which is not shy of seeing staff enjoying life together outside of work. Afterwork drinks and lunching with close knit colleagues may well spring to mind, but it is rare that the full office will come out together for some much needed ‘out-of-office’ time.

Now socialising should not be ‘forced’ upon anyone, but if you give the team the autonomy to organise a nice day out, then the likelihood is that they will all turn up, have fun and form an emotional connection with not only their colleagues, but the company too.

So that is exactly what we did, here at MWWPR, for this year’s summer party, where we ate, cycled and learnt how to make cocktails! These things matter for employee retention, and here are three reasons why:

  1. It is a time to reward staff

It’s a great time to get together as a group and reflect on what has been achieved in the year and celebrate everyone’s successes. We love our food, so enjoying some nice breakfast with mimosas and some Spanish tapas at Barrafina certainly helped reward us in the way we know best. However, rewarding should not just be at a year’s end. Doing so at the halfway point helps to keep staff focused; something that’s important for a fast growing business like MWWPR which is always wanting to promote its positive workplace culture.

  1. You go through the emotions together

Nothing brings people closer than a shared experience, and especially a challenging one! In the work context, this can only go so far. However, at our summer party, the pedibus activity was certainly an emotive experience! This involved cycling as two large groups during the prime commuting time around Bank and London Bridge which meant that it wasn’t so much joy that was felt, but more fear and surprise! That said, if feeling like tourists in our hometown made us laugh at the end of it all, then all is good in the form of team-bonding.

  1. Providing a sense of empowerment

Brainstorms, media sell-ins and strategy building. These are all common activities that require us to work together. Cocktail making at TT Liquor in Shoreditch? Less so. However, by being put into teams to perform something unusual, the likelihood of a star performer coming through from a less-assuming rank is high. The younger staff outshone the older generation with their Manhattan and Martini cocktail-making skills giving a sense of empowerment to them. Translating that confidence into the workplace means that everyone, regardless of level, can be heard, can lead and therefore excel.

So next time you have a social gathering with work, don’t underestimate its value in bringing colleagues together and for the benefit of a better workplace. Throw in some curveballs too. We conducted some MWWPR award categories for staff such as “The Biggest PR Bragger” and “Foot-in-Mouth” to add a surprising twist to the day and made sure we laughed together, even if it might have been at each other!

Let the countdown for the MWWPR Christmas Party commence…