by Jason Richmond, CEO and Chief Culture Officer at Ideal Outcomes, Inc.
Trust, communication, and collaboration are all key elements of a healthy workplace culture, and team-building activities have long been a tried-and-tested way to foster these qualities within an organization.
Now that hybrid working is on the rise and employees don’t see each other in the workplace every day, team building is more important than ever, and virtual activities have a key part to play in strengthening connections.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best team-building ideas for hybrid teams and tips to help you make the most of them.
Making the Most of Team-building Activities
Before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at how to make the most of a team event:
- Team-building activities should be as inclusive as possible. While days away and games provide a great opportunity for people to get together in person, virtual interaction shouldn’t be an afterthought. Make sure that any online activity is truly virtual, not simply one or two people dialing in while most of the team gets together in the same physical space.
- To engage employees and ensure everyone feels comfortable, why not give them a say? Allocate a budget and ask for activity suggestions from people at all levels.
- For a team activity to work its magic, employees need to feel that it’s a valuable use of their time. So make the goals clear to bring everyone on board.
Engaging Team-building Activities
Ready to have a little fun and boost morale? Try these team activities:
Working together on a project that does something good for the community will strengthen the team’s commitment to your company values. Schedule a day for people to volunteer (helping in public gardens, preparing meals for a homeless shelter or care home, cleaning up a local park) and have everyone report back.
Alternatively, offer your skills to virtually tutor students from nearby schools or become a ‘phone pal’ and spread some joy via meaningful conversations with isolated seniors in the community.
Chocolate, coffee, cheese… even olive oil. Engaging and educational, a tasting encourages light-hearted competition as everyone tries to identify the various notes and flavors and choose their favorites. It’s always good fun, whether you gather together around the same table or send out samples in advance for an online event.
True-crime murder mystery, an audacious art heist, or a daring escape from the Arctic? There’s a wide variety of virtual escape rooms out there, with an adventure for everyone. Figuring out a non-work-related puzzle together encourages innovative thinking. It’s also an effective reminder that working as a team beats working individually, hands down. There are also online versions of escape rooms if your team can’t all be in the same place at the same time.
The Great Outdoors
The benefits of spending time in nature are well known: it reduces stress and can positively impact creativity. Schedule a time for everyone to take a walk in their local area; you could even introduce a scavenger hunt element by giving prizes for the first person to spot a particular bird, plant, or insect. Or perhaps have everyone download an app that identifies different types of plants and wildlife and share your observations later. If you’re getting together in person, make sure that any activity you choose is inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities.
An oldie but a goodie, trivia is a great way to relax and unwind while fostering team spirit, and it’s easy to do online. Make sure to include a mix of categories and challenges to make it as inclusive as possible (and maybe even reveal unexpected talents and areas of expertise). You could even ask each team to contribute a round of questions. Don’t be afraid to slip in a question or two about the company to reinforce your core values.
Build connections while raising money for a good cause by participating in a movement challenge. Ask employees to log their steps over a number of days, weeks, or even months, and encourage them to share images from their daily walks or runs to build momentum. You could even schedule a virtual stretching session at the end of each week.
It’s Time to Build Your Winning Team
Inspired to strengthen your workplace culture through team-building activities that foster community, communication, and collaboration? At Ideal Outcomes, we use a combination of resources, courses, and consulting services to help companies create a great work environment where employees are happy and motivated to work together.