I had this experience once with Team Building Activities. I go into work one Monday and there's an email in the Inbox about this subject, and I open it and read that it's the Saturday after next.
Pop Quiz: You're president of a company with a dozen or so employees and you find certain parts of the movie Office Space highly offensive and usually talk to the television when the movie is playing saying things like "That's such an exaggeration!" The real problem is:
a) The market
b) Supply-side economics
c) Your employees
d) Mike Judge
The email - gosh I wish I'd saved it - said something about how important the event was, and I believe it stated it was voluntary but then implied you weren't a good employee if you didn't attend. All in all, very reminiscent of the "flair scene" in Office Space.
Here's some thoughts:
If you own a small company, you probably work Saturdays anyway. This is a fun outing for you and a chance to do things away from the office with people who work for you - a way to get to know them better and for them to get to know you better.
To the employees, this is a day when they usually would not be working, but now have to. They're just working in a different location - one which you thought would be a lot of fun. It's not as fun for them. The work- / game-face needs to be on - on a day when usually it's off. They're giving up a day of doing-nothing-for-the-company to do something for the company. You are stealing a day from them.
It's completely different if you're hiking on a mountain trail or walking on a beach and bump into one of your employees. They're doing what they planned to do that day - all by themselves and without your help - on their day off.
So, if it's that important, schedule it for a Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday or Friday - one of those other days when important work-related stuff gets done.
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