As we approach the year anniversary of social distancing, it is a great time to evaluate what’s working and what’s not when it comes to working from home. Especially when it comes to company culture and team bonding time, there are positives and negatives to consider.
Not having to commute or get dressed up from the waist down is nice, but lack of communication with co-workers in face-to-face meetings can make you feel disconnected. Workplace and personal stress are way up across the board, and more executives and HR leaders are looking for ways to relieve it.
Here are the top three most common virtual team building mistakes you should avoid:
1. Not having a plan or agenda for the event.
This should go without saying, but how many events have you been to in the last year when you weren’t sure why you were there, who else was attending, or what the purpose of the event was?
Open events with no agenda are common, but they rarely create the networking you would hope. Open happy hours might sound like a nice way to let the organic conversation happen, but in our experience, they leave a lot to be desired. Some people are shy. Only one person can speak at a time, and often attendance isn’t required so only the regular outgoing people show up. Instead, plan an event where everyone can participate; they know what is happening, and there is something to do. Team bonding happens when you accomplish a challenge together!
2. Not requiring leadership buy-in or required attendance.
Again, this common mistake can derail events quickly. Having the leadership skip the event, poor attendance, and a lack of commitment to making it a priority will kill your event before it even starts. Many organizations see culture, team bonding, and recreational meetings as frivolous, or at best, a lower priority than the core business initiatives.
When the leadership is not committed to the event, no one else will be. Salespeople have client calls, customer service must check the ticket board, and other meetings get scheduled over this “optional” team-building event. Instead, have the leadership make it mandatory, schedule it during work hours, and assign the leadership roles where they can mix with the teams as equal participants.
3. Not making it fun and easy to participate.
Many event planners try to ask too much of their participants too soon. They try to force fun or overcomplicate the activities to the point that the team feels like they have homework to do. If there is a big prize on the line it can add too much pressure and lead to competition, instead of bonding. Or, it is just plain boring!
Instead, make sure you keep your event light. Don’t ask too much of your participants other than they turn their cameras on and commit to having fun. Make sure the agenda is inclusive to everyone. Start with instructions and make sure everyone knows how to play. Save the complicated or more risky activities towards the end when everyone has lowered their defensive walls.
Virtual Game Shows can solve all three problems!
The reason we love game shows so much is they provide a fun, engaging, and low-risk agenda for your virtual Team Connecting event. (We use the term “Team Connecting” instead of “team building” because the latter has so many antiquated things associated with it.)
You can put the leadership and departments on different teams. The game shows are very easy to play. We facilitate escalating challenges that start with simple individual challenges but end with everyone on the team collaborating on the most difficult questions.
It might seem crazy, but it is that simple. We’ll even help you get the leadership buy-in to connect your team in a comfortable, high-energy way with little-to-no effort on your end.
Just give us a call and let us plan a fun and effective event for you!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to a live human at 619-976-4746!
Written by Mike Montague
About the Author
Mike is a virtual game show host at Grin Events and an award-winning public speaker and entertainer. He has performed for over 2,000 audiences as an educator, keynote speaker, radio on-air personality, karaoke host, game show host, and DJ, where he opened for Billy Idol and Frankie Valli in Kansas City. He also hosts two popular podcasts and was a co-author of LinkedIn The Sandler Way. Connect with him on LinkedIn.