CSU has discussed happy hours before and how there are similarities between the experiences found in undergrad. But, one thing you will find in Corporate America is the level of excitement amongst peers for going to happy hours. They do not occur all the time, so people look forward to these social events.
While everyone, generally, gets to enjoy the happy hour, the person setting up the event will see a few benefits as a result of being the organizer:
- Personal Branding. By setting up these events, people will know who you are. Having others know your name is hugely helpful in the workplace, especially when you need a helping hand in a pinch. You will be branding yourself as someone who likes to have a good time - for better or worse. This also demonstrates you are comfortable showing your colleagues your true self.
- Networking. After scheduling a happy hour, word will get out about the event. One of the original invitees will invite a friend and so on. Being the person that set up the event will lead you to many introductions to people across the company and, possibly, other companies.
- Leadership. Though it is “just a happy hour,” setting up these events displays a level of leadership. It shows that you like the people you work with and understand the value in spending time with them in driving business results. This thought leadership will be recognized by others across the company.
You may be thinking: “All of these benefits are great, but setting up a happy hour as a new employee can be difficult.” It doesn’t need to be challenging. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to setting up happy hours in no time:
- Compile a small list of colleagues (5-10 people) you are close with. They can be from your team, hiring class, fellow alumni, or any other ties you have
- Select a date. Fridays are great, but can sometimes be a challenge because it is a weekend evening, which people may want to themselves. I’ve found Thursdays to be a good choice for happy hours
- Schedule the meeting on people's calendar. When scheduling the meeting make sure the attendees know it is open and they should bring others (networking!). It is also important to note in the meeting description it is not a company sponsored event. You do not want others to get the wrong impression of your event. If you want to keep the happy hours going into the future, set it up as a recurring event each month
That’s it! It does not need to be complicated to set up a happy hour. It may start slow with only a few participants, but if you stick with it, you will gain traction, which will provide you with the benefits mentioned above.
- What is your perception of colleagues who set up happy hours?
- How can you use a happy hour to your advantage?