How to Turn Your Staff Socials Around When They’re Not Social

When your staff socials aren’t social

Staff socials are one of the most important events in any organization. They're a great way to build morale, strengthen relationships and create a positive work environment. But when your staff socials aren't going according to plan, it can be very disheartening.

Whether you're dealing with lackluster attendance or awkward conversations that just don't seem to take off, this blog post will explore some tips on how to turn things around. From creating the perfect social ambiance to introducing activities that encourage meaningful conversations – let's explore the key tactics you need for successful staff socials.

Why are Staff Socials Important?

A staff social is a party or gathering that an employer typically organizes for their employees. It is an opportunity for coworkers to socialize outside of work and build relationships. Unfortunately, sometimes staff socials can be less than social.

The importance of staff socials cannot be understated. It provides an opportunity for employees to bond with one another outside of work, which can lead to a more positive work environment. Additionally, they can also be a great way to increase morale and build team spirit.

When done correctly, staff socials can be a fun and effective way to improve communication and relationships within the workplace. However, they can quickly become dull and unengaging if they are not well-planned or executed. If any of such situations arise, there are a few things you can do to turn things around.

Make sure you plan activities that will appeal to your employees. If you know that your team enjoys getting together for drinks after work, then plan accordingly. Alternatively, if you have a group of employees who love to play sports, consider organizing a staff social at a local bowling alley or miniature golf course.

Ensure that there is enough food and drink available for everyone. No one wants to attend a dry event where they're left feeling hungry. Make sure to cater to any dietary restrictions as well so that everyone feels included.

Try to create an environment where employees feel comfortable mingling. This may mean setting up some furniture in an open space so people can chat or providing icebreaker games for people to play. Whatever you do, just ascertain that your employees can interact with each other in

How to Identify a Problem With Staff Socials

Identifying a problem with staff socials can be difficult when they're not working as intended. However, there are a few key indicators that something may be wrong. First, consider whether the socials are well-organized and well-attended. If the attendance is low, it may be a sign that employees aren't interested in attending or don't see the value in doing so.  

Additionally, take a look at the types of activities that are being offered. If they're not varied or engaging, employees may not find them enjoyable. Also, think about the overall atmosphere of the socials. If they tend to be tense or uncomfortable, it could be a sign that employees are uncomfortable socializing with each other. If you notice any of these problems, it's crucial to take action to improve the situation.

What are the Key Strategies to Turn Staff Socials Around?

Make it optional: Not everyone is a social butterfly, so don't make attendance at staff socials mandatory. This will only make people uncomfortable and less likely to want to attend. Keep the atmosphere of your staff socials casual and relaxed. This will help people feel more comfortable and allow them to let loose and have fun.

Change the location: If your staff socials are always held in the same place, try changing the location. This can help to create a new and more exciting atmosphere. Also, try shaking things up a bit. Instead of just having drinks and small talk, try adding in some games or activities. It can help break the ice and get people to interact.

Encourage mingling: One way to ensure your staff is more social is to Encourage mingling. It can be done by putting together name tags or seating people next to someone they don't know.

Set a time limit: Staff socials can often drag on for too long, making people bored and antsy. To avoid this, set a time limit for the event. This will help to keep things moving and ensure that people don't get bored.

Icebreaker Ideas To Get Conversations Started

When it comes to staff socials, the key is to get everyone involved and talking. To do this, you need some good icebreaker ideas to get the conversations started. Here are a few ideas:

  • Ask everyone to share their favorite memory from working at the company.
  • Go around the room & have everyone share one thing they're looking forward to in the upcoming year.
  • Play a game like "Two Truths and a Lie," where everyone shares two actual facts about themselves and one false fact, and then others have to guess the lie.
  • Have everyone write down three things they've always wanted to do, put them in a hat, and then have people draw random items and share them with the group.
  • Ask people to share something they're passionate about outside of work.

Games And Activities To Keep Everyone Engaged

When it comes to staff socials, have plenty of activities and opportunities for employees to interact with one another. One impactful way to do this is to have themed socials with different activities at each one. 

For example, you could have a potluck dinner party social, a game night Social, or even a movie night social. Whatever you do, just make sure that there is opportunity for employees to mingle and get to know one another. When it comes to staff socials, the key is to keep everyone engaged. Here are some games and activities that will do just that:

  • Themed scavenger hunts: This is a great way to get all moving and interacting with each other. Pick a theme (e.g., movie quotes, famous authors, etc.) and create a list of items for your team to find. The first team to find all the things wins.
  • Minute to Win It: This classic game show is a great way to get everyone laughing and working together. Create a series of simple challenges that can be completed in one minute or less. The team with the most points at the end wins.
  • Trivia: A trivia night is always a hit! You can either create your own trivia questions or use an existing trivia game (e.g., Trivial Pursuit, Jeopardy!, etc.). Divide your group into teams and see who knows the most about random topics.
  • Charades: This classic game is always a hit, no matter what age group you are playing with. Divide your group into teams and have each team take turns acting out different words or phrases. The team with the most points at the end wins.


Checklist  For Making A Staff Social Successful

  • Make sure to plan your staff socials well in advance. 
  • Choose a fun, festive theme that will get everyone in the spirit of celebration.
  • Send out invitations early and follow up with reminders closer to the event date.
  • Plan activities that will encourage mingling and conversation among attendees.
  • Make sure plenty of food and drink is available and that it is easily accessible for all guests. 
  • Don't forget to clean up afterward. A messy venue can really put a damper on the fun vibe you're trying to create.

Best Practices to Make Staff Socials Fun

When it comes to staff socials, the best way to make them fun is by following some simple best practices. 

  • It's crucial to pick a venue that's comfortable and conducive to socializing. A bar or restaurant is always a good choice, as long as it's not too loud or crowded.
  • Another key best practice is to provide enough food and drink for everyone. Make sure there are plenty of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options available so that everyone can stay hydrated and fueled throughout the night.
  • One of the important best practices for making staff socials fun is simply encouraging people to interact. This can be done by organizing fun icebreaker games or activities or by simply encouraging people to mingle and chat with one another. 
  • Another important best practice is to make sure that the staff socials are open to all employees. This helps to ensure that everyone feels included and that no one feels left out.


Pro Tip:  Ensure to have a good mix of activities so that there is something for everyone. Make sure to follow up after the staff socials. This can be as simple as emailing or holding a short debriefing meeting. This helps ensure that everyone has a good time and allows you to collect feedback so that you can continue to improve the staff socials moving forward.


Final Thought

When your staff socials are not social, it can be frustrating. You may feel you are the only one who wants to talk to people or that everyone is just standing around awkwardly. To get the conversation flowing, encourage your employees to come up with conversation starters.

Also, when you are arranging your subsequent work socially, try and remember that alcohol in abundant amounts will be an easy crowd-pleaser, but at the same time, it will alienate some of your colleagues. Workplaces need to be welcoming for all their employees, so why would work socials be any different?

It may be a bit harder to organize, but if you want your socials to be social for all employees, they need to be more than just an alcohol-fuelled night out. Ensure that everyone feels included in the activities and conversations during staff socials. No one wants to feel left out or like they don't belong. By following these tips, you can turn your staff socials around to be more enjoyable for everyone involved.

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