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Mice Net : August 2008
corporate family days Story by Johanna Mc Kinnon Johanna McKinnon unearths some great corporate family day options that will have everyone singing from the same song sheet. F inding a healthy work-life balance has become exceedingly important for business in retaining staff, and for staff to remain loyal. For many modern day corporate executives it’s not unusual to work weekends and late nights, and in some positions you are expected to work long hours in order to get a decent end-of-year review. The downside is that if you’re constantly missing little Johnnie’s soccer game or your partner doesn’t recognise you any more it’s often comforting to know that a corporate family day may just be around the corner. Typically, a lot of businesses save corporate family days for the end of the year, and in true Christmas spirit lay on the festivities, sometimes to keep employees coming back in the New Year, but also to reward staff (and families) for their hard work. Corporate family days have become an important tool for retaining staff – you may be thinking how can one day make up for all of those long hours and weekends spent in the office? The answer is simple: If the fun day is spectacular enough it will have employees counting down the days until the next event where their kids can have fun and partners can relax and socialise. And, much like Christmas events, bigger companies are getting more competitive about hosting memorable family fun days and the all important ‘brag factor’. Dreamworld’s CEO Stephen Gregg, who has been host to many corporate family days, says the end-of-year function has become an important date on the calendar. “Twenty years ago it was enough to reward staff at the end of the year with a leg of ham and a sausage sizzle at the local park,” he says. “Today, the end-of-year function is a glittering dot on the calendar with expectations that it will be bigger, better and bolder than ever before.” This viewpoint shouldn’t be lost on event planners charged with organising these events. Forget about rolling out the barbeque and booking a jumping castle, corporate family days are now becoming more important than ever. “More and more staff want their company to cap off a busy year with a memorable event,” Mr Gregg says. “Combine this with generation Y’s emphasis on corporate culture over a job for life, and organisations feel the pinch to create a wow experience as a reward.” In an effort to inspire event planners out there who have the task of organising this year’s corporate family day we have included case studies, venue profiles and a host of activities to create a memorable event - the whole family can enjoy. mice.net 49