Team bonding activities are a good way to increase employee engagement, collaboration, and morale.
They become especially effectual when your employees are returning to the workplace after more than a year of living through intermittent lockdowns due to a global pandemic.
A lot may have changed in your workplace in the meantime. You may have hired new staff remotely who’d be meeting their colleagues in person for the first time.
Your employees may have achieved personal or professional milestones they haven’t had the chance to celebrate with their co-workers.
Some of your staff may still be working from home and missing out on the sense of community that comes from working together in a physical office.
Whether you are managing an office-based team or a hybrid workforce, team bonding activities help co-workers learn more about each other and make personal connections.
A positive work environment is critical to reducing employee turnover and increasing productivity.
What are some things to keep in mind when planning a team activity?
Fix your budget
Be clear on your budget before you start planning. Small businesses have been hard-hit by the pandemic. Not everyone may have the budget for offsite retreats. There are plenty of pocket-friendly indoor and outdoor team activities that you could opt for instead.
Know your goals
Pick your activity based on your team bonding goals. Are you trying to reduce pandemic fatigue by planning a fun outing? Do you have a relatively new team, and you’d like that they get to know each other better? Are you trying to improve team collaboration and reduce tension?
Read the room
It is just as important to find out what your employees like and would enjoy doing as a group. For instance, escape rooms or mini golf, though popular, may not be everybody’s cup of tea.
It may be a good idea to send out a staff survey. You can provide multiple date and activity options and go with the decision of the majority.
Set up a social committee
You could ask staff members to volunteer to serve on the workplace social committee, which can take care of organizing team events.
What are some budget-friendly indoor and outdoor activities?
A paint night is a group painting party. All participants get individual easels, paints, and canvases to work on. They also have the option to work together on a group masterpiece.
Depending on the size of your team, you can either book a paint night at a local paint-and-sip studio or host one in your office cafeteria.
All team members write their names down on sheets of paper. The sheets are passed around. Everyone notes down a trait or quality they like about the person whose name is on the sheet.
For example: Derrick is a terrific copywriter. Or Casey is full of great ideas.
At the end of the game, everyone gets back their sheet of paper filled with compliments from their co-workers.
Board games night and trivia quizzes are other pocket-friendly ways you can get your team to interact and have fun.
A group cooking or baking class is a fun way for your staff to bond informally while learning a new skill. A mixology class or chocolate or wine tasting are other entertaining culinary group activity options. Such an activity, however, may be a bit expensive. This will also depend on the size of your team and the activity you pick.
Bringing your team together for a volunteer project is an excellent way to build collaboration and morale. The pandemic has been hard on everyone. Giving back to the community will help you and your staff feel positive. Volunteering has mental health benefits as well. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and social isolation.
When it comes to volunteer projects, there are plenty of options to choose from. Your staff could team up to prepare, pack and deliver meals at a homeless shelter, organize a clean up of a local park or beach, set up a bake sale for a charity, or volunteer at an animal shelter.
A social outing is the classic way to bond. You could organize a team lunch or go for an evening of bowling or pool and dinner. A karaoke night at a bar, BBQ and volleyball at the beach or even a simple picnic in the park are some other options.
If there are many sports enthusiasts on your team, there is no better way to bond than by attending a league sporting game together.
If that isn’t the case, you could also book a group bike tour of your city. It would be a fun way to explore new and old areas of your city with your co-workers. Going for a group dance class (K-pop, Jazz, Contemporary or Bollywood dance) is also something fun to try if it interests your employees.
If you are looking for remote team bonding ideas, please refer to our blog: COVID-19 & Remote Work: 10 Team Bonding Games to Play.
Do you need help reopening your business safely?
To build a safe and COVID-secure workplace post-lockdown, you must have appropriate policies in place. Our experts can help you develop company policies as well as with any other HR, health and safety, or employment advice you need. To learn more, call an expert today at 1 (833) 247-3652.