The impacts of COVID-19 on the global workforce have been dramatic, and it’s not surprising that employees have reported higher levels of stress and lower levels of morale. After logging off Zoom for the day following numerous back-to-back meetings, it’s not uncommon for teams as well as their leaders to feel lost in the virtual space, disconnected, and completely burnt out.
But there’s also good news: the way leaders interact with their teams and the virtual team building opportunities they provide – even when separated by distance – can make a big difference in employee mental health, morale, and sense of team community.
Create Shared Experiences
In a virtual world, employees are often working in silos without opportunity to connect and collaborate with their colleagues. Shared experiences – especially those that encourage active team communication and problem solving – can build a sense of team camaraderie.
When shared experiences include an element of team building and achievement, success can boost morale and culture. Developing a sense of “we got this!” can bond coworkers and encourage trust across teams, resulting in new wins for the workplace.
Celebrate Each Other’s Strengths
Employees presented with opportunities to connect and collaborate through virtual team building experiences can demonstrate personal strengths they might not always get to showcase in the workplace, cultivating feelings of pride and success.
Not only that, but when challenged in a new and different atmosphere and encouraged to get competitive in a risk-free environment, employees can further develop their critical thinking skills and learn to embrace their intrinsic diversity of thought.
Opportunities to celebrate team strengths and experience shared successes are crucial to team bonding and morale, providing employees with newfound respect and appreciation for those they work alongside – even at a distance – every day.
Put Fun First
Reaching business goals and targets should always be a top priority in the workplace, but when it comes to team building, fun must come first.
Sadly, “that was so much fun!” is not a phrase that’s uttered often in the workplace – especially when reflecting upon the past year. With limited ability to come together and take stress-free breaks from the endless wheel of productivity, it’s no wonder employee burnout is on the rise.
Striking a balance between work and play in the workplace is just as important as making time for relaxation outside of work. That’s why it’s also essential to provide specifically designed team building activities that naturally allow employees to demonstrate their strengths and celebrate their shared successes.
At a core level, we all need more reasons to smile, laugh, and experience joy together. Virtual team building offers the best of both worlds, giving pause to teams to celebrate each other, socialize, and relax, while also promoting team bonds and even skill building.