Team Building of Today Coming Together While Still Being Distanced
Your team is the most important thing about your organization. It doesn’t matter what products you’ve created or innovations you’ve made in your market, without your team, your organization is dead in the water.
But it’s not enough that they are simply present. For your team to really dominate in your market, they need to work well together. They need to embody what it actually means to be a team, and they need to know one another. This is why team building is so important.
The idea of a team builder has been thrown for a loop in the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us out of the offices and into zoom calls, and it became a risk to meet up in public, no matter how badly we wanted to. As of right now, most of our entertainment venues, restaurants, and bars have opened back up to normal public use, and the outside doesn’t feel so daunting anymore. We can get right back to it, right?
Well, sort of. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still very much a concern, especially for people that might have immune disorders or have family or friends with immune disorders. In addition, COVID pushed a lot of organizations to hire people that weren’t necessarily local, placing them in fully remote positions. All these things beg the question: How can we build a team that’s still so spread out?
The Great Outdoors
In-person events are far from dead, but you should make certain considerations for the members of your team looking to remain cautious of airborne illness.
There are plenty of spots in your city that have outside seating. Many of them will also have setups that make considerations for the weather, such as heat lamps or hanging barriers to block the rain. It may take a little bit of research, but it’s research worth doing! Remember that little meet-ups like this might seem insignificant, but they can help improve efficiency and morale, as well as employee mental health.
When you’re in outdoor areas like bars/restaurants with patios, you’re statistically much less likely to transmit any kind of illness, and it may be the little bit of consideration that your team members need to make the leap to your in-person event.
It Doesn’t Matter Where You’re From
Even though you hired people from different parts of the world, you still need to do the work to make them feel like they’re part of the team. This doesn’t mean simply shipping them a box of swag with your logo on it (although nothing says, “I love you” like a branded Yeti mug). You have to authentically reach out.
Even though things are opening again, you should still strive to have as many hybrid events as possible to make sure that everyone is included. This isn’t just for the people out of town, but also for those still being cautious about their health.
Have an online cooking class hosted by the more culinary-minded of your team. Play multiplayer games that allow everyone to get involved regardless of distance. Use a service like Drizly to send some drinks to your teammates. If they don’t drink, consider giving them some credits on Uber Eats! These things feel a bit more personal, and if you meet up and enjoy the drinks or food you selected on a video call, it feels like having a good time with friends.
Get Away From It All
If you have the means, then it might be time to sweep your team off their feet! A nice retreat can be just what the doctor ordered. For the people nearby and those coming in from further away, a retreat can feel like a nice vacation from the average day-to-day goings-on.
You can use this time to not only pamper your team, but you can also have guest speakers come in and give talks about leadership, play games to boost cooperation and be transparent about what it is you want to accomplish within your organization.
This past summer, we had a company-wide retreat that we called “Connextions”, and we know that every team member is itchin’ to do it all again!
Just Be Present
This might seem like a given, but one of the best things you can do to foster togetherness and teamwork within your organization is to just check in with them and chat with them. No one is saying “throw out random words and memes into the group chat all day”, but reaching out to people you may not know very well or allowing there to be a silly channel in your chat goes a long way toward bringing people closer.
Sometimes all people will need is an outlet and a bit of a spark. We know you have those hires that you brought on for their talent AND their personalities. This is their time to shine. Create an environment where people feel okay being silly, and watch the quality of their work improve.
As everything opens back up, it’s important to remember that everything isn’t “back to normal”. As time goes on, we need to think about how businesses and people have been affected by the events of recent years and continue to be sensitive towards that as we build a new normal. These are a few suggestions that we’ve tested ourselves to great success, and we hope that by sharing them, we can help your organization come together and become something greater, all while we work on the continued process of figuring everything out in an ever-changing world.
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