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Susan M. Heathfield

Celebrate Work and Family Month

By October 27, 2008

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October is National Work and Family Month. In another fall event that makes sense for employees and their families, my husband and I attended a tailgate party at the company on Saturday.

The organizers cooked grilled meats and attendees brought sides to share and their drink of choice. We supplied a heated tent and several big screen TVs so families could watch the Michigan State vs. University of Michigan game that was held this year in the opponentís city (that would be my Alma Mater, by the way). And, MSU won, which probably delighted our staff.

Our staff canít control when the big two play, but during Halloween week, when large numbers of employees bring their kids into work in costume to trick or treat on Wednesday, another day at the office is hard to sell. No matter how fun, when itís also raining, dreary, and cold, itís easy to just decide to stay home.

So, I think our organizers were a bit disappointed in the turnout, and hopefully game day will be shiny and not on top of Halloween next year. But, tailgating is a great, low cost fall activity to schedule for employees and their families. Trick or treating is, too. My husband and I try to support them all; I did draw the line at ice skating a couple of years ago. I canít afford a serious injury. But our young staff and their children had a blast.

Iím a proponent of work sponsored activities for these reasons. Activities:

  • build positive employee morale,
  • demonstrate that we care about our employees and their families (which we do),
  • lessen the mystique typically attributed to titles and job responsibilities in a company, and
  • build teamwork and friendships among coworkers.

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