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Why I Love Company Outings


The annual AG Salesworks summer outing took place this past Friday, and as expected it didn't disappoint. We didn't do anything complicated this year, we just rented a campsite with a volleyball court, a few grills and a beach about a minute walk away. After a full day I drove home exhausted thinking back on all the days’ events. What I recognized is that it only reaffirms to me the importance of events like this. 

I can remember back 6-7 years ago when AG was in its infancy. Our version of the summer outing would involve the 10 of us taking an afternoon off, driving down to our president's house and kicking back for barbeque and some bonding. At that time we got to know each other very well being cooped up all day in our 800 square foot office space with no A/C. The bond that existed back then was reminiscent of my days as youngster in Winthrop living in a triple decker with 17 Italian Aunts/Uncles and cousins. You loved your family members, but there were also times where we were overwhelmed by the urge to strangle each other trying to co-exist in close quarters.

As the business has grown over the years and with the addition of a little one to the Ferrara clan, it has become increasingly more difficult for me to dedicate time to getting to know every individual within the organization. Granted I spend 45-50 hrs a week with them so I have a pretty good understanding of the standard stuff - where they live/do they have kids/ where they went to college etc.. But I find events like these to be the best opportunity to really focus my effort in getting to know my organization. For example... the person in marketing who you may regularly cross paths with but exchange nothing more than a "how was the weekend?" before you have to quickly head off to the next meeting. What you may not already know is that you have a good amount of common interests..skiing, underwater basket weaving, ancient Chinese culture.. the list could go on.

I'm also realist. I understand that as we've grown I'm not necessarily going to have the bond that existed back in the early years of AG as we sweated our days out (literally & figuratively) in a small office with no A/C. What has become evident to me as a manager - especially in the teleprospecting world - is that you can't allow yourself, or your employees, to just trudge into work, bang away at the phones and just go home. We all need to bring our personality to work with long as it's for the most part work appropriate.

Now maybe not all of us love the summer outing. I can distinctly recall dreading the thought of having to go when working at a couple of my previous employers. When I did go, it generally gave me a refreshed perspective on the organization and a better understanding of what made my colleagues tick. Having that one-on-one time outside of the stiff corporate setting allowed me to let the guard down a bit and as a result made the idea of going back to work on Monday somewhat pleasant because I was more comfortable being myself.

So for your summer outing this year let your hair down a bit (not too much). Think of it as a time to hit the reset button - get yourself refreshed and use it as a chance to REALLY get to know the people you end up spending more time with than your family.


A variation on the "outing" that I've used successfully is the monthly informal, "bring in a pizza" lunch. This is where we all sit around and share both personal and business stuff. 
In addition to getting to know my employees better, it eliminated the need for a company grapevine because we we're always sharing the gossip while filling our faces. 
Works will with smaller companies.
Posted @ Thursday, August 12, 2023 5:32 PM by Brian Jeffrey
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