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How to use events to encourage employee teamwork

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SmallBusiness.com How-tos are step-by-step instructions for specific small business tasks. They are created and edited by readers like you. You can help edit this How-to or you can create your own. Find more How-tos at the SmallBusiness.com How-to Hub.

Introduction

The daily tasks of running a small business keep many entrepreneurs too busy to think about creative ways to build good relations among employees. Oftentimes, between meeting deadlines, satisfying customers and keeping a close eye on the company's bottom line, small business owners forget how important it is to foster good relationships within their enterprise.

Ways to build employee relations year round

Fall: Once cooler temperatures set in, consider getting your team together to tackle a project that will help needy families in your community prepare for the cold winter months. Contact Habitat for Humanity to find out how your business can help build a house for a family in need, or organize a clothing drive to provide winter clothes for the homeless. Whether you give up a Saturday to hammer nails and hang drywall or host a fundraiser to help finance a similar project, working together in the community will give employees the chance to learn more about one another.

Winter: Throwing a holiday party isn't the only thing you can do to build morale during the winter months -- but it's a good start. To help your team beat the winter blues, close a few hours early on a Friday and foot the bill for a fun night on the town. Whether your team wants to go ice skating, catch a movie or grab cocktails at a local hotspot, they'll appreciate the chance to take off early and get to know each other outside the office.

Spring: Once it starts to warm up outside, your employees will welcome the chance to get outside. Volunteer with a beautification committee in the community and spend a day picking up litter and cleaning up streams and parks near your office -- just don't forget to treat employees to a meal or other fun activity after their hard work. Spring is also a great time to head out of town for an outdoor adventure. Consider taking employees on a whitewater rafting trip, a weekend getaway in the mountains or a day hike at a national park.

Summer: Summer is the perfect time for cookouts, baseball games or even a day at the lake. Invite employees to your house for a laid-back afternoon of grilling out and playing games, or rent a boat at a nearby lake and take your team out for a fun, relaxing Saturday on the water.

Conclusion

For many employees, a highlight of working at a small business is having the opportunity to make friends with co-workers. Whether you coordinate volunteer opportunities for your team or simply provide a fun activity outside the office every few months, you're sure to build strong relationships between your employees.