Many companies are returning to the office while others are opting for fully remote or hybrid work models, leaving many leaders wondering how they can build unity across a physically divided team.
For those returning to the office, it might be awkward for employees to reconnect in an in-person setting after so long. For hybrid teams, it might be challenging to ensure that the in-office and remote employees are intermingling. For the remote workers, the same issues exist that have existed throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic.
The question remains: How can leaders promote teamwork and unity during this tumultuous time?
7 Team Building Exercises to Build Team Unity
1. Volunteer Together
Volunteering together is a socially conscious and productive way to build team unity. It allows employees to give back to their community, work together to reach a shared goal and build trust within their organization.
86% of millennial employees report that they’d take a pay cut to work for a company that shares their values. Additionally, volunteering creates something called the “helper’s high,” a term used to describe the natural happy feeling that occurs when helping others. Volunteering together can increase overall employee well-being while simultaneously creating an atmosphere of positivity and shared values.
2. Game Nights
There are nearly endless possibilities with game nights, and organizations shouldn’t limit themselves to just one. Low cost options include board games, puzzles and work-themed trivia nights. More extrovert-friendly options include escape rooms, laser tag and paintball for the whole office. Remote teams can get involved with virtual games, too.
Game nights build team unity, and it gives people something fun and exciting to do with their time.
3. Get Some Fresh Air
If the weather permits, companies should consider getting outside a little more. They can gather in a courtyard for outdoor meetings, go for walks and talk one-on-one or have entire working days spent outside in the fresh air. For remote or hybrid teams, companies can sponsor outdoor days and encourage at-home employees to share pictures from their outdoor activities.
For another option that isn’t work-centric and doesn’t require large tables and portable power sources, companies can also offer catered picnics in a local park. That way, employees can eat, socialize and soak up some rejuvenating sunshine.
4. “Moonshot” Brainstorm Sessions
“Moonshot” is a term coined by Google that describes some of their more ambitious, creative and risky ideas. Of course, there’s no reason that other organizations shouldn’t try to emulate one of the best companies to work for in the world.
Moonshot brainstorms allow employees to have fun together, creating and sharing explosive, ridiculous and maybe even unrealistic ideas, goals and projects in a judgment-free environment. First, this is just a fun activity that employees will enjoy, and second, this is also the kind of engaging activity that could unlock hidden potential and promote creativity in the workplace.
5. Scavenger Hunt in the Office
If an organization was forced to move or shut down during the pandemic, their teams might be returning to a brand-new office. But, even if the office is the same, it’s definitely been a while. A scavenger hunt is a cost-effective, fun-fueled way to get to know the new team members, reacquaint with the old ones and build team camaraderie.
For more fun and excitement, supervisors can even split the employees into teams and add prizes as incentives, including gift cards, time off or additional points for their lifestyle benefits platform.
6. Potluck/Family-Style Office Party
Creating a potluck or family-style office party is an excellent break from the norm. Companies can gather at an event space, create a theme for the cuisine or even hire a restaurant to cater. This kind of event allows people to show off their culinary skills and enables them the time and space to socialize outside of work.
For remote teams, companies can encourage employees to share and try each others’ recipes or cater meals to be delivered to all the dispersed employees.
7. Sporting Events and Concerts
Depending on the state of the pandemic and employee preferences, sporting events and concerts are excellent ways to build team unity. These types of events create positive memories that can last a lifetime. If employees associate those memories with their organization and co-workers, it will enable them to build solid and healthy relationships with their teams and employers.
Like many of the other ideas, companies can involve their virtual team members. They can be invited to watch the game or concert online and have a group chat to talk about what’s happening during the event.
Boost Team Participation by Focusing on Employee Well-Being
To further offset the challenges of navigating today’s changing work dynamics, organization leaders need to consider activities for team building. These seven team-building exercises are a great way to drive a clearer sense of team unity and identity.
Ultimately, companies need to focus on increasing employee happiness and engagement since happy employees are more apt to participate in team-building activities and more likely to stick around.
One way to do that is with customizable lifestyle benefits via Fringe’s platform. Contact our team to see what Fringe can do for your company!