The owner said they will be required to spend a weekend at the home of the one of the new employees (in a neighboring state), and that they will all be sleeping "on the floor." It is evidently a low-budget attempt at team-building, precipitated by a high level of employee unrest due to the negative fallout of adding so many people so quickly. (Actually, I'm being kind - it's a regular soap opera in that office!)
In any event, my friend and others there are absolutely opposed to spending an entire weekend with their co-workers against their wills, much less having to sleep in the same room together - on the floor! How can they voice their opinions without getting labeled as non-team-players?
You can't. You must put up with the stupidity that management occasionally engages in. I've built sand castles, gone white-water rafting, competed in sack races, and even golfed in the name of team building. In some places, they have people really engaging in life-threatening stuff like hang gliding and rock climbing on real rocks!
One time a few years ago, the chairman decided it would be good for everybody to split into teams and get dropped into Death Valley with nothing but canteens and a compass to get them home. One team got lost and a female manager, out of water and suffering from heat stroke, fainted by the roadside. Her team mates had a meeting and determined that it would be better for the Team if they left her there in the middle of the desert with nothing more than a little of their water and a hat to shield her from the sun. They had no cell phones. So they left her there and after a couple of hours a car went by and picked her up, took her back to the resort.
She got a huge sunburn and a totally disgusting feeling about the people she was being forced to work with that was only partially offset by the special Award for Fortitude she got at the closing night dinner. Six months later, she went to another company.
My guess is that this summer camp arrangement will hurt morale more than it will help. A calm discussion with the senior officer may have some effect. Suggest paint ball! A lot of management jerks like paint ball as a means of working off aggression and building a group of people who loves and hates each other in equal measure.
But in the end, you're going to have to do it. When you go, by the way, make sure to sleep in your business clothing. Nobody says you have to disgrace yourself in addition to being part of this silly exercise. And nobody wants to see you in your pajamas.
Last updated December 20 2007: 1:13 PM ET