Here we go again! In the UK we are back into our third national lockdown, but we know that this time the end is in sight. As we all struggle back into homeschooling and juggling, a reminder that being connected to each other, and building our community resilience is so critical to get us through this next few months.
We want our employees to feel more connected and engaged. “Conditions for engagement includes factors like relationships with co-workers (77% importance given by employees)…(https://teambuildinghero.com/virtual-team-building/#employee-engagement).”
Here are a couple of ideas that I have used with teams. They worked well, increased connection and took less than 30 minutes:
- Personal quizzes: Our teams asked for submissions from everyone: favourite films, songs etc., . Each team member sends their favourite to the “quiz master” and then we do a team quiz. You play the song/movie and each team member has to match the person with the song (or film). The added bit we didn’t factor for was you got a better understanding and some hidden insight into the teams and added areas for connection and discussion. We also ended up with a great team playlist at the end.
- Morning check-ins: At the very beginning of the first lockdown, our team met each day, sometimes for only 5-10 minutes. And we asked everyone how they were feeling, on a scale from 1-10. They could just say a score, or they could share why or they could not participate, all were ok. This allowed them to let others know how they were feeling, and how they might be that day. We know that when we are allowed to experience our negative emotions, rather than pretending they don’t exist, we are more able to work through them. Giving your team time and space to let everyone know where and to really listen to each other creates a great team connection when we need it most.
- Virtual Coffee Break-out Rooms: A whole company initiative. Create random zoom rooms (or similar on other platforms) where you can mix people from different departments, recreate those “water cooler/lunch room moments”. Give everyone 30 minutes to grab a beverage of their choice and mingle with other colleagues. The only rules – don’t talk about work!
- Pecha Kucha: You can do the standard 20 x 20, but I like to do a bit differently. 10 slides, 1 minute per slide. Each person in the team creates 10 slides/images about themselves/their lives and has one minute to present to the rest of the team. This is an excellent way to learn more about your colleagues, and tends to deepen understanding as well as finding often hidden shared interests. You can read more about the Pecha Kucha here.
- Set Clear Intention and Guidelines: Daily or weekly, set the intention, expectation and guidelines for work that period. Make sure everyone has the resources they need to achieve those goals, and let them know what they can say “NO” to. Over the past year our teams and lives have been under extraordinary pressure. Many of our clients share that the competing pressures of “do more with less” when they have even less to give is one of their biggest challenges. Teams need to know which of the “A” priorities are “the most A”. As a team leader we can set clear intentions, guidelines and priorities so our teams can prevent overwhelm. By giving clear priorities, and letting people know what they can STOP doing, we free up room for them to achieve their goals. In times of stress and extreme pressure, not having to decide what to do first, can be a huge support.