Employees have grown more accustomed to working from home and are still readjusting to working away from a sociable office-based environment.
Yet, while this may suit some staff members, it can be fairly overwhelming for others – especially those who became used to working in a shared office space with a supportive team in place. As such, it’s important to remember that not all employees are the same. The coronavirus pandemic will have affected everyone differently, significantly impacting the mental health and morale of certain employees, but not others.
To get all of your employees back onside more quickly, business managers are still adapting to Covid-induced changes by adopting new techniques to help staff transition to ‘normal’ (office-based) and new hybrid work-from-home patterns of working.
With Christmas and New Year celebrations just around the corner, it’s therefore a good time to rethink your business operations and focus on your staff’s wellbeing by arranging a few team-based activities to help strengthen a previously tight-knit team.
Listed here are some unifying activities to boost your team’s morale and benefit your business’ overall performance.
Go on a Christmas team lunch
With bars and restaurants still open over the festive period, why not make the most of this by arranging a team lunch for you and your employees? While it may sound counterintuitive, even a small team lunch or work fundraiser can make a big difference to both employee morale and productivity.
A highly effective way to help employees loosen up and chat informally outside of work, team lunches can help significantly boost employee morale, providing staff members with an opportunity to escape their work for an hour or two.
This, in turn, can not only keep a range of mental health issues like burnout and anxiety at bay, but it could also help improve staff turnover rates; without giving back to your staff in some way, they will be much more likely to source alternative work and work a lot less productively.
Looking ahead, whether you choose to go on a pub lunch once a month or decide to adopt a more spontaneous hybrid working-type approach to make your catch up meetings slightly more informal, providing your employees with the time and space to get reacquainted with each other could pay dividends moving forward.
Host a team activities day
Rather than dealing with the monotony of the office (remote or at home) every day, give you and your colleagues something to look forward to by organising a team day out.
Whether it be axe throwing, go-karting, clay pigeon shooting, rifle shooting or pottery making, there are a whole host of team-building activities you and your team can do to get away from work and have a bit of fun.
Plus, team-building activities like these are easy to turn into a friendly bit of competition, separating all the employees up into a few teams before allowing them to go head-to-head against each other.
Organise a golf trip
While things may be open again, some social distancing still remains in place, as such, you’ll need to arrange your team-based activities around the pandemic, so that they still abide by the government’s latest guidelines.
One such activity which is a proven method to improve business relationships is golf. A sport as old as time, organising a round or two of golf at your local course can be a great way of boosting employee morale while getting some fresh air at the same time.
After all, golf can not only offer a number of unexpected health benefits you may not know about, but it can also be a great way of invoking a sense of friendly competition between your members of staff. And, being an outside sport, you won’t need to wear your face masks the entire time either. Talk about a win-win.
Get back into volunteering
Many studies have shown that volunteering can be a great way of diminishing stress, increasing happiness levels and providing a sense of purpose – all highly important traits to have when trying to boost employee morale.
So, with this in mind, it could be worth identifying a charity for you and your workplace to volunteer on behalf of, organising a few fundraisers for your staff to get behind.
Whether it be giving back to a charity through the work your company does, setting up a fundraiser sports event with a few local businesses, or simply arranging an in-office bake sale, volunteering as a team will not only help strengthen bonds between new and old employees, but it will also allow you to actively give something back to the wider community. Now, what’s not to like about that?
Head out on a scavenger hunt
Since everyone has been working from home for so long now, why not consider reminding yourself of your childhood days by arranging a scavenger hunt for you and your colleagues?
Wherever your office is based – whether it be in a town, city or small suburban village – it can be a lot of fun scattering clues around, challenging your team to split into groups and compiling a checklist of tasks for them to complete.
This bit of friendly competition between colleagues can be a great exercise for team building, encouraging staff to work with one another, but it can also enable staff to get to know each other better, establish better relationships and, ultimately, restore morale.
What’s more, you could always organise a celebratory drink or dinner to take place after the hunt, taking group photos and handing out prizes to the team that won.
Run an after-work games night or virtual quiz
What better way is there to embrace the digital working age than by arranging an online quiz highlighting some of the key business events throughout it. As such, organising a themed quiz is a great way to do exactly that, providing employees with an opportunity to not only catch up with one another with drinks on the side, but also test how well your team knows its company.
While on the topic of having a few celebratory drinks, organising an after-work games night can be another great way for you to catch up with your colleagues in an environment outside of work. Whether it be hosted down the pub, at a specific venue or simply at the office itself, in a similar way to hosting a scavenger hunt, running a games night will invoke a fun sense of competition between you and your colleagues, allowing you to enjoy a wide variety of activities together.
From poker nights to chess tournaments to board game contests, you could even help incentivise your colleagues to attend by turning the night into more of a fundraiser, with the overall winner taking home a prize of some kind – whether it be an extra days’ worth of holiday or a bit of extra cash.
Take the Myers-Briggs assessment
If you’re looking for a slightly cheeky way to get to know your colleagues a bit better, why not delve into understanding their psychological traits by asking everyone to complete the Myers-Briggs Personality Test?
Whether your workplace is mainly made up of extroverts, introverts, feelers, thinkers, judgers or perceivers, taking this test will allow you to get to know each team member on a deeper individual level, making it easier to learn which team members share more in common with each other.
As a result of this, colleagues will then be able to quickly work out who they share similar personality traits with, potentially helping create better and longer-lasting work relationships with one another.
The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on the mental health of employees like never before. So, now they are back in the office, it’s more important than ever to get them up to speed quickly and improve their working morale.
The key thing to remember is to prioritise each team member’s input. There would be no point, for example, hosting a team day full of activities you know certain employees will hate. Discuss with each team member what they would enjoy doing and then act on this information. This way, you will not only help them feel like their opinion has been valued but you will also be able to build up a clearer picture of which team-based activities are more appropriate for your workplace.
Thankfully, as the ideas listed above should now prove, boosting employee morale with activities and more social functions can be a lot easier than you might think, especially during the festive season. Therefore, while it may seem like an expensive outlay on the face of it, the rewards you could get from establishing a more productive workforce will be worth it in the end, helping you and your small business get back to working as efficiently as ever.