Hosting a Successful Bring your Kid to Work Day
Making room for family while finding ways to support your co-workers at every stage.
by Sarah Koller, SHRM-CP. People Operations Manager @ GoCo - July 27th, 2019
We have a blanket of our CEO’s headshot hanging on one of our walls - why we have it is still unknown to me, but because of it, one of his daughters assumed we made blankets at GoCo.
Another time, we had a company offsite at an arcade and our CTO’s son thought his dad ran an arcade business.
We started to see a pattern here, so we thought maybe it was a good time for our children to come visit us and learn what their parents do at the office every day.
This summer we hosted our very first “Little GoCoNut Day,” our own version of “bring your kid to work" day.
The caveat, I do not have children.
I once taught Sunday school to first graders and had to clarify that they could go down the hall to use the bathroom by themselves. Now we were going to bring 15 children into the office, ages 3 months to high school. What could go wrong? I called in some lifelines - our marketing team.
We decided on a schedule, planned out the events, ordered food and swag, and hoped for the best.
To learn about the activities we had and see some cute pics of our kiddos, you can see this post.
I joked that we had two camps for the day - those who were super excited to have children in the office, and those who decided to work from home.
It is important to take care of all your employees, so if you are planning an event in the office you also need to think through options that help those who have tasks to complete. This is something I promise to do better next year.
We’re pretty sure parents enjoyed bringing their children to the office. We even invited other family members to come over and tried to make everyone feel included; from t-shirts and presents to the various dietary restrictions, there were activities and things for everyone to do.
Tips for planning:
Send a save the date far in advance, so people get it on their calendars and radar.
Offer options for those who don’t want to participate. (Again, to-do-better list)
Have multiple activities going on at once - per children's attention span, it is better to have different things happening simultaneously so they are entertained at all times.
Cater to all the ages you have attending.
Outline everything and send out an agenda at least the day before.
Get matching T-shirts for everyone. The goal is inclusion, so don’t limit any swag or activities to just those participating with children.
Feed people! A full stomach makes for a happy heart.
In all seriousness, even for those who don’t have children, events like these begin to foster a supportive and inclusive environment.
At GoCo, we emphasize that family and home are important and we’re working to establish programs and policies that prove it.
Find what means the most to you and continue to encourage and support these values. I can’t wait to hear what you come up with. Comment or email me to share!
You can also learn more about our Little GoCoNuts day in this post.