The best office teams have employees with diverse skill sets and backgrounds who approach things differently and have very different world-views.
However, this can have a flip side. When diverse people come together, it can be challenging to get them to work as one and get things done. This is what makes teamwork genuinely challenging. But if you can bridge the gaps, your team can work wonders together.
When all the members of a team are aligned and share a common goal, teamwork becomes easy and smooth. People work hard to do their bit and use their unique strengths to accomplish their parts. Seamless teamwork can improve productivity, reporting, boost company growth, and talent retention.
However, when teams are not aligned, it all falls to dust- people work at cross-purposes, there is no communication, the individual becomes more important than the collective, and chaos ensues.
So, whether you would like to admit it or not, teamwork is essential to the success of a business and the retention of quality talent.
However, with everyone working remotely, teamwork has become even more of a challenge. How do you get people to work together when they do not even see each other regularly?
Nobody said that getting people to work as a team was easy. Team building has always been a challenge- COVID or not!
Best Activities to Build Strong Team Spirit (including employee gifting ideas)
Pre-COVID team-building activities were fun and the sky was the limit. However, with the current constraints of working from home, you have to get innovative about engaging your teams and bringing them together even though they are working remotely.
It’s not as difficult as you think it is. Besides, necessity is the mother of invention. There are fun and not so complicated ways to boost morale and build relationships. We have picked out some popular activities that are fun to organize and do, easy to reward, and effective at building team-work.
Fun and games are, yes, fun, but it is better to promote in-depth activities that facilitate cooperation in the long-term.
That said, here are a few effective ways to improve and increase teamwork among your remote employees and help them to function smoothly.
1. Recognize team performance
Many companies conduct team-building activities to strengthen teamwork in their organizations. However, in the end, collaboration has to be applied to their professional performance.
One activity you could consider is pitching teams against each other to complete a company project. Specify the parameters that their performance will be judged on -efficiency, swiftness, support for each other, etc. Reward the best team performance at the end of the project.
Incentives are more effective with small teams, when the tasks are complex, and when the rewards are impartial.
Recognizing and honoring the best teamwork can not only help you get your projects done swiftly and efficiently, but it can also:
- Improve team performance
- Increase job satisfaction
- Boost pride in their work
- Boost happiness
- Facilitate friendly and healthy competition (which generally results in a better performance outcome)
- And of course, builds team culture
Your employees will find ways to get the job done with the least friction and the most efficiency.
Feedback, praise, recognition, and rewards can make an effective team-building strategy. One of the best ways of rewarding and recognizing is through gifts- they can be given within any stratum of the office hierarchy for quality service, and teamwork. They also do not cause negative competition in the office. More on gifts later!
2. Start a book or movie club
Starting a book club or a movie club is an excellent way to get your employees to bond.
All you have to do is pick a novella or a short book or film every few weeks and let your employees discuss it.
This will enable people to understand their colleagues more deeply, as well as their thought processes, and their personal preferences.
But that is not all! It will help your employees to:
- Acquire new perspectives
- Work outside their comfort zone
- Learn new skills and gain new knowledge
- Inculcate reading habits (in the case of books)
- Improve their communication skills
- Get over shyness
- Promote cultural awareness
- Expand their minds
Book and movie clubs serve multiple purposes; they will also help your employees unwind, help them bond as a team, get to know each other better, as well as learn. You could reward the teams/employees with the best book/movie reviews.
Since remote workers are at higher risk of loneliness — which can affect productivity and morale —a club can keep your employees focussed, their minds occupied, and loneliness at bay.
3. Throw a fitness challenge
Since most people are still working from home, they are stuck indoors with little or no exercise and sometimes lousy nutrition.
As we all know, there are many benefits from exercising and eating healthy:
- It helps memory and thinking directly as well as indirectly
- It releases chemicals in the brain that help the brain cells remain healthy
- Improves mood
- Improves sleep
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Inculcates healthy habits
All of these will help your employees remain healthy and therefore perform better at work.
So, why not have a competition for your teams and encourage them to stay healthy with good nutrition or a fitness challenge?
You can make it simple by rewarding the collective with the greatest number of steps, or a pre-decided number of calories. There are many ways to do this fun, team-building activity- feel free to see what works for your teams.
A couple of possible gifts for fitness enthusiastic employees could be these trendy fitness bands, which are a fun and interesting way to keep fit even while working. Or this cool mini massager that will drive away the aches and pains after a good work-out.
Employee Gifting Tips: Do not forget the end reward
One of the primary motivations for group activity and stellar performance is the reward at the end of it.
Yeah, there has to be an instant incentive because your employees will feel like all their effort is naught if there is no reward.
Gifts are the best way to reward a team-building activity. This is because they are more economical than cash rewards; they accomplish the task of motivating, and in our case, they are a breeze to give.
Yup, our Eva, the gifting assistant can handle it all for you!
All you would have to do is log in and specify how much you want to spend, and Eva will do the rest.
Eva, the AI chatbot will get to know your employees a little better and send them the most delightful, trendy, and personalized gifts from its extensive catalog that is constantly updated. It will even include a handwritten note to your employees appreciating them for their great team performances.
And they will love you even more for it because it is exciting to look forward to in this unexciting COVID-19 situation.
Letting your remote teams know about the gifts at the start of the challenge will motivate them to do even better.
Be creative and receptive to employee suggestions when it comes to your team-building exercises. After all, they need to be fun! You can test the waters and check what works and what does not. There are many ways to get your employees involved and excited about team-work.
Find the activities that suit your organization and your teams. And most importantly, do not forget to reward and recognize good performance.
However you choose to do this, we hope that you can help your employees work as a team in 2021.