It is no question that the pandemic has altered countless factors in our day to day lives. One of the most prominent is how we work and stay connected with our team. While we once could enter the office and be greeted with Hellos, Good Mornings, and chit-chat throughout the day, we now are connecting only through meetings behind screens or targeted outreach via technology. We have lost the privilege of the water cooler talk that left employees feeling connected and up to date with personal matters, elevating the co-working relationship to a friendship.
As part of the culture team here at FAULHABER, we recognized the importance of team bonding while we continued to work from home. From coaching sessions, to virtual bar carts, to an in-person physically distant summer party, we have navigated the world that is work from home.
Using our recent culture events as a guide, we share tips on how to make your team feel connected:
Ditch the corporate talk
When doing bonding activities, the last things the team wants to talk about are deadlines and to-do lists. This is time separate from work. Encourage chit chat among the team and prompt the conversation with simple questions, such as if anyone has any fun weekend plans, who watched the latest episode of <insert cringey reality TV show here>, and if anyone has tried any amazing recipes lately.
Make it a theme
Everyone loves a theme! From face masks to tie-dye, we have had many themed virtual bar carts and the team has thoroughly loved participating – and laughing at themselves! Not everyone will participate, but that is ok. The idea is to bring people together in a fun environment.
There isn’t a one size fits all template for team bonding. Some may enjoy frequent activities while others may get annoyed. Do a pulse check with your team and adjust as needed.
Don’t be afraid to spend some money on culture events. During our physically distant summer staff party, we bought everyone personal-sized pizza (so they could enjoy food with peace of mind), bought tie-dye gear, and brought drinks and snacks for everyone to enjoy. Investing in your team shows them how much you appreciate their hard work, it will only make them stronger and happier.
Remember a happy and connected team improves company morale and strengthens communication. If you aren’t on the culture team, don’t be afraid to send suggestions of fun bonding ideas their way. If you haven’t connected with a team member lately, reach out and check in on how their week is going! Small actions can go a long way.