Happy employees are good for your bottom line. Not only are happy employees generally more productive, but their happiness collectively engenders a positive company culture, which you can leverage when acquiring new talent and new clients, and in your branding.
But it would be cynical to say that employee happiness is just about the bottom line. It’s not. Everyone has the right to happiness. Everyone has the right to work in a positive environment.
That’s why, when managers and owners ask whether stress relief is an important part of corporate culture, the answer is always a resounding “yes”. You want your employees to work hard, but you don’t want them to burn out; you don’t want their hard work to see diminishing returns, as they become more and more stressed.
That’s why, this post will assert, your company would do better to shift its focus away from the “maximum productivity” model, and toward a model that takes stress into account, actively mitigating its damaging effects.
Stress Relief in Corporate Culture
There is actually a long history of stress relief in corporate culture – although it wasn’t always the healthiest forms of relief. Take the ad agencies of 1950s New York for example, popularized in the show Mad Men – they were never far from a bottle of whisky, an unhealthy form of work stress relief. Then there were the “stress balls” popular throughout the 80s and 90s, little more a tension ball that you could take some excess frustration out on.
Nowadays, there are a multitude of approaches toward corporate wellness, from the “chill out zones” and creative centers of the kind you might find at big Silicon Valley companies, to fun teambuilding retreats that emphasize fun and activity. This post will focus on teambuilding retreats as an effective way to promote corporate wellness.
Building Stress Relief into Teambuilding Retreats
Gone are the days when corporate retreats are just an excuse for managerial grandstanding. Gone are the days when retreats revolve around speeches from the C-suite. If you are going to have a teambuilding retreat nowadays, you have to make it fun. It should still function as way for the team together, but there should be seeable emphasis on personal wellness.
The only way to do that is to leave the office where it is. The teambuilding retreat should be about letting go of the workaday stresses of the office, and engaging in an exciting activity. Why not find an axe throwing location and let everyone throw axes for an afternoon? That would be a fun way to relieve stress, and to collectively work to learn a new skill. Or why not book everyone for a cooking class together? A cooking class is a fun, hands-on learning experience that culminates in a pleasure that everyone can get behind: eating!
Whatever activity you choose, remember that it should function primarily as a way for employees to leave behind their workaday stresses. You will see improvements not only in your bottom line, but also in the happy faces walking into work each morning.