CEO to CEO: The Best Staff Outing Ever

Looking for a unique way to help staff get out from behind their cubicle walls and engaging with one another in a nonwork environment? These CEOs dish on some of their favorite staff outings of all time.

What was the best staff outing you've ever had at your association?

At ABC I have a wonderful team. This year I signed my entire team up for private improv comedy lessons. Besides it being a great team-building activity, improv taught us to communicate and become better listeners. We did three two-hour sessions capped off with a live performance by the comedy troupe. It was a great experience.

—Scott Crosby, president and CEO, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., San Diego Chapter, San Diego

We held a lunch that featured a contest. The week before, three teams of staff packed and shipped a box across country that included folders, handouts, books, a keyboard, a glass ornament, and one raw egg. We shipped to a member who put a return label on the boxes and shipped them back unopened. At the lunch we opened them to see which eggs survived the journey and the condition of all the other materials in the box.

—Randy Swing, Ph.D., executive director, Association for Institutional Research, Tallahassee, Florida

With a desire to give back to the community, the entire Canadian Bar Association staff spent a day at a community housing project. The staff painted the public areas of a four-story building, washed the windows, and cleaned up the landscaping, giving the housing project a fresh, new look. A barbecue lunch was put on by a local paint store, and the local city counselor and the head of the community housing authority attended to thank the CBA staff.

—John D.V. Hoyles, CAE, CEO, Canadian Bar Association, Ottawa

The best staff outing I ever was part of was a team-level event. Our team of seven or eight walked down to the Tidal Basin and rented two paddle boats for an hour. We had a great time! One boat got to the far side of the Tidal Basin only to realize they were pedaling against the wind on the way back, but they worked together and made it in time. We walked back to the office tired, happy, and well-bonded.

—Andrea Rutledge, CAE, executive director, National Architectural Accrediting Board, Washington, DC