From workshops and games to trivia and employee recognition moments, what are the team-building ideas that actually work? How can you incorporate them naturally into your culture? 

In today’s Ten Spot webinar, The 5 Best Team-Building Activities that Your Employees Will Love, we uncovered five of the top virtual activities that teams enjoy. In this post, we’ve recapped the insights and advice shared by Ten Spot’s co-founder and Chief Brand Officer, Sammy Courtright. 

Hailing from Australia, Sammy Courtright is the co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Ten Spot, an all-in-one platform that helps companies connect, engage, and manage remote and on-site employees. When COVID hit, Sammy learned that customers were facing a similar issue: how do we ensure employees feel like they work for the same company when they are not in the same place?

Read on and we’ll take you through the top five tried and tested virtual activities that engage and connect your teams. If you prefer to watch the recording, view it here.

Breaking the Ice

Most HR and People Ops leaders are faced with a new challenge: workforces are distributed (accelerated by COVID-19) and it’s difficult to connect and engage employees. This is echoed as 71 percent of employees today say their company infrequently or very infrequently offers opportunities to engage with colleagues socially virtually during COVID-19.

Today, we’re talking about the best team-building activities. The definition of team building is a collective term for various types of activities used to enhance social relations or interpersonal relations, set clear goals, role clarification and problem solving. 

In the workplace, team-building activities help:

  • Boost productivity, wellbeing and focus
  • Reduce burnout and missed workdays
  • Create connections that unite a distributed workforce
  • Reduce attrition rates and the costs of replacing talent
  • Create positive sentiment through a much stronger culture

Let's look at five of the best virtual team-building activities:

#1: Crush-It’s

A crush-it is an employee recognition activity, and you would either nominate one employee or an entire department to crush on. It’s important to always explain why you have a crush on that particular employee or department, and try to bring it back to your company values. 

If you’re a sales-led organization, it is very easy to crush on teams that are bringing in revenue, or whose results are easily visible, but the purpose is to celebrate the big and small wins–and diversify your crushes. 

Ask your colleagues who you should crush on and why. You will learn a ton about your colleagues’ work responsibilities and the types of tasks they are accountable for.

Tip: Always encourage people to crush on colleagues outside of their departments 

#2: Peer-to-Peer learning

This is a wonderful way to recognize team members and have them teach the rest of the company or just their department their skills. Everyone benefits from peer to peer learning. The mentor gets a time to shine, to plan, prepare and present on a topic and the mentees can potentially learn a new skill. 

Try to rotate speakers because a great way to get variety is to have departments nominate who should teach, what subject and why. Topics can be: how to get high performing marketing email campaigns, how to make a cold call, the basics of TikTok, What is coding?

Tip: These sessions should be 30 mins max. This should be digestible amounts of information for people to process. If people find it too intimidating to host solo, perhaps have a department run learning session and people can submit their questions in advance.

#3: Ice Breakers

These can either be done to kick off meetings or as a stand-alone meeting itself. The idea is to keep it short and sweet and ideally, the questions are non-work related. Remember, you are trying to get to know your colleagues. Asking them about their most recent work project might not get the same enthusiasm as asking ‘where the best pizza slice’

Great questions have been: what was your first job? What was the first concert you attended? All-time favorite movie? Notice that these are not yes/no questions. They require thought.

Tip: In our research, we’ve seen that some people like to prepare their responses to icebreakers. So send the questions in advance so you remove less of the guesswork. Plus you avoid um’s and ah’s. 

#4: Trivia

We all know what trivia is but the most important suggestion is the length of a trivia session. Keep it to 30 minutes max. Although this is a fun, team building exercise, it is still an event that is related to work. It is a great way to kick off a meeting. 

We also suggest random grouping so people meet new faces. And if you go with groups, have the groups create their own group name.

Tip: It is always fun when a couple of the questions are company or employee-related. If you plan to host a trivia session before a meeting, perhaps a few of the trivia questions are centered around that meeting topic? 

#5: Show and Tell

I know this sounds like a Kindergarten exercise but these are one of our most popular team building activities. It gives employees a chance to talk about things that interest them or their take on a particular project or objective.

You can structure it two ways. Either dedicate an entire meeting to Show n’ Tell-rotate through employees one by one - or have one employee present their show n’ tell before a meeting to spark further dialogue.

If you want to run a non-work related Show and Tell the highest-rated topics have been around the idea of ‘what inspires you’? Employees will screenshare a picture of what inspires them. Another popular topic is ‘what would be your last meal’. We’ve had customers pull up menus, pictures, reviews, google maps. People take it seriously.

Tip: keep it to two minutes per person. This should be short and sweet.

10 Best Ways to Implement Team-Building Activities

  1. Set goals and objectives
  2. Select your platform
  3. Research what exists
  4. Build your program
  5. Coordinate guest speakers and schedules
  6. Do a technology test-run
  7. Pre-promote with calendar invites
  8. Post-promote
  9. Measure and analyze
  10. Repeat

We want to hear what has worked for you and more importantly, what hasn’t worked. Drop us a note with your best team-building activities, questions or comments!

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