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How to Shine at the Company Picnic

Often work activities take place, away from brick and mortar buildings. The company sponsored picnic is a business event. Workplace etiquette still applies. The company picnic is not just a chance to eat and show your sport prowess.

Company Picnic

It should be treated as a work event.  Nowhere is this more important than the at the company picnic.  Picnics suggest relaxation and fun.  Don’t do too much of either. The picnic is not the time to become cavalier about your decorum.  How you conduct yourself, and how your family conducts themselves can help or derail your career.

Your goal for any company event should be to make sure your reputation remains intact.

Here are some tips to make the company picnic an event to look forward to.


Attend the event

  • Resist the urge to skip the event.
  • Arrive no later than 30 mins after the start time.  Stay awhile at least an hour.  You want to be seen.
  • Managers should expect to spend most of the day. Showing up shows that you are a team player.
  • Please, no uninvited guests.  You are not the host.

Dress to impress

  • Gentlemen:
  • A picnic doesn’t mean sloppy.  Khakis or jeans for men.  Graphic tees are a no-no at the company picnic.  Round neck colored shirts, collared shirts, or polo shirts are always safe.  Stay away from grey, it shows sweat.
  •  Yard shoes flip flops and grungy tennis shoes are not allowed at the company picnic and if you must show your feet, please get a pedicure first.
  • Ladies:
  • A picnic doesn’t mean club or cocktail attire.  Ladies, shorts appropriate for music videos are not to be worn to the company picnic.  Bermuda shorts, capris, walking shorts and conservative sundresses are a much safer choice.
  •   Backless, halter tops, tops that expose your midriff, are not good choices.
  • Playing games is traditionally a component of most company picnics.
  •  Wearing flip flops, four inch wedges and heels of any size make you unavailable to participate.
  •   Join in. Team play is good team building for companies.  Be a part of the activities.  Remember participation is required.  Don’t be an on looker.
  • Professional women need to remember that showing too much skin may impact your credibility.
  • Your reputation needs to remain intact.   Make sure your clothing fits properly, is not worn, stained or dirty.
  • Visuals leave a lasting impression.

Prepare your family

  • Let them know the conduct that you expect.  Encourage your children to participate in the games and activities.
  • Your family’s social skills will be on display.  Picnics still require manners.  Learning to wait their turn, saying thank you and please, and playing fairly will increase your professional image.
  • Introduce your family. Make sure your children know how to shake hands.  Teaching children to shake hands allows them to control their personal space.


  • The company picnic is a great networking opportunity. Introduce yourself to colleagues you don’t know.   Volunteer, play the games.  Refrain from shop talk.
  • Join in.  Team play is good team building for companies.  Be a part of the activities.  Remember participation is required.  Don’t be an on looker.

Don’t Forget

Someone is listening

  • Everyone from C-level to custodial staff will be present.  Some topics are always taboo regardless of the setting.  Politics, religion, sex, your health, your parent’s health, money problems and tasteless jokes are never appropriate.
  • Avoid gossip and negativity.

Someone is watching

  • Avoid alcohol. Avoiding alcohol will help you maintain appropriate boundaries, both verbal and physical.
  • Stay in the moment.  Avoid using your cell phone at the picnic.

Someone is taking attendance

  • Make sure that key personnel know that you are present.
  • Thank the organizers.  Send a thank you note.

Have fun!


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