In order to have a successful and productive team, it is important to unite your employees by working on their strengths and weaknesses as well as boosting their morale. Having a strong workplace culture has become a main concern for businesses, so as a manager, it is your job to help make this happen. The most successful team building activities can not only help your team get stronger and closer, but it can also help them get away from the monotony of work. A team that communicates effectively and is on the same page while being positive and having great energy are the main parts of building your company culture. If you are not sure how to build your team to improve your company culture, here are some fun and creative ideas.
At Dominion, we have a VTO (Volunteer Time Off) policy. Who doesn’t want to get paid to leave the office and do something good for the community? Giving your employees time to leave the office and volunteer can do wonders to their morale and productivity. Here at Dominion we have a Volunteer Committee, where members look for volunteer opportunities in our community and are in charge of organizing them. In the past, we have volunteered to help spring cleanup at a local park, put together lunch bags for Meals on Wheels, work the gardens at Benjamin’s Hope, and many more. Not only is volunteering rewarding for your employees, but it also improves your company’s public image as it shows that you care about your community and love giving back.
Give Your Office a Makeover
Unless you are working in one of the world’s coolest office, such as Google and Airbnb, it is likely that your office space could use a makeover. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars in this, simply adding some live plants here and there, or even painting a wall can make a big difference. The workplace is where your employees spend about 90% of their time, so it can get boring pretty easily. You can use the office makeover as an opportunity to learn more about your employees. Where do they prefer to work? Do they prefer stand up desks? Do you need to set aside a “quiet room”? Recently Dominion expanded and we added a new room to our office! The room is filled with stand up desks, a cozy corner with couches and pillows, and a loosely enforced “no talking” policy that provides a quiet space for anyone who wants to get away from the general hubbub of office life. No meetings are allowed to be held in there, and nobody should be playing loud music or even talking to each other if possible. We decided to add this room because we have an open office space, where basically everyone can hear each other talking. This started affecting some members of our team who prefer a quiet environment to do their work. Now, they can go into the quiet room and continue being productive! Remember, a big budget is not necessary for a makeover. Keep it simple and use your creativity. Add some colorful pillows, put up motivational posters, or simply allowing your employees to decorate their own workspace can be a good start.
Challenge Your Employees With Games
Whether this is done outside or inside, challenges are always a good way to build up your team. Like I mentioned before, getting out of the office once in awhile can give your employees a break, boosting their morale in return. Physical activities release endorphins, which are helpful to combat stress and improve happiness. Organize a kickball game, or a company walk, or even a scavenger hunt around the city!
Mental challenges are as helpful and satisfying as physical ones. Sometimes you just need a break from what you are working on and work on something else instead. Last year I had a word search calendar on my desk and I remember every day my team and I would take a break from what we were working on and do a word search puzzle. We would even make it a competition to see who finished first! It was a great way to give our brains a “break” from work, but still, keep our brains stimulated. Another great way to challenge your employees mentally is by problem-solving. This is a good opportunity for your employees to work together as a team, and even interact with people they don’t usually interact with.
Holidays are Here - Make It a Competition
Everyone likes a little competition, and this can even be a part of your makeover, at least temporarily. Although this activity is not necessarily “work-related”, it still encourages teamwork! Ask each department to do their best to decorate their workspace in a holiday theme, and offer a prize to the department who does the best job! A couple years ago, we had a Christmas decorating contest, where each employee got to decorate their cubicle. It was fun seeing how creative everyone can be, and it makes the workplace feel more “homey”.
There are many other ways to build your team and improve your company’s culture. Remember to always think outside the box, be creative, and ask your employees for opinions and feedback. You will start noticing that every small change you make will affect every employee, and in the long run, it will have an effect on the whole company! Now that holiday season is here, get creative and plan some fun activities such as potlucks, decorating competitions, and secret Santa!
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