5 post-lockdown team-building activities
Here are some activity ideas to strengthen your team after that long pandemic-imposed lockdown.
Zoom, Teams and other video platforms enabled thousands of teams to continue working during the pandemic. Some were able to maintain the same level of collaboration while others saw their relationships falter. It’s time to get back on track now that lockdown is over.
1. Laying the groundwork
Before starting to organize a team building activity, observe your employees to get an idea of their state of mind:
- How do they interact?
- Do they seem happy to be back at work?
- Is there adequate collaboration?
- Do they eat together?
- Do they have lively, animated discussions?
- Is old camaraderie on display?
Kickstart a conversation and let them voice how they were feeling during those long months in lockdown.
Approach the return to work as if you’re building a new team. Show that you’re ready to establish a new team dynamic.
Talk about the values you hold dear and discuss your group’s work dynamic so that everyone can find their place.
Communicate a vision your employees will want to achieve together.
2. Sounding out the troops
Have you considered booking a round of golf but many detest the sport? That would be good to know before making plans.
Find out what your employees like.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the financial situation of many organizations. Make sure you have the means to avoid disappointment before offering to take your employees on a paid activity.
3. Choosing the right activity
It is important to choose the right activity to do together to ensure its success, both in terms of everyone’s personal satisfaction and achieving overall objectives.
There are many potential team-building activities. Some are offered by specialized companies, but you can also create your own.
Here’s some ideas you could do:
- Sporting activities
- Volunteering activities
- Skills development activities
- Foot rally
- Social events – including the infamous happy hour!
Dragon boating is one option for the more competitive souls who are willing to give their all to reach the finish line.
This sport may appear more physically demanding but remains accessible to all as everybody rows to the best of their ability. As a bonus, this activity promotes coordination among team members.
For a successful outing:
- Plan friendly competitions.
- Blend work teams.
- Build mixed teams.
- Name teams.
- Create categories and hand out medals or prizes to the winners: fastest team, slowest team, funniest team, etc.
- Wrap up the day with a picnic.
Do you have limited funds? A bike tour of your city is an interesting choice:
- Pick an unusual route to get people talking.
- Does everybody have a bike? Some companies rent them.
The pandemic has shone a light on the plight of the disadvantaged and driven many to get involved to make a difference. Awareness of this issue is growing.
Why not organize an activity where you can do good deeds as a team.
- Prepare and distribute meals to those in need.
- Put together an amateur choir and offer to perform in a seniors’ residence.
- Offer your services to repair playground equipment in an impoverished neighbourhood. Then organize a party for neighbourhood kids to rediscover their refreshed playground. A project to delight young and old.
- Sign up for a tree-planting event to beautify city neighbourhoods.
- Clean up riverbanks.
- For the handier among us: volunteer with an organization that builds homes for families in need. Some groups that manage such projects also offer an opportunity to participate in an adventure.
Skills development activities
Arrange a cooking event so your employees can learn to work well and communicate better with one other.
Pick healthy recipes. Have you heard the saying, “a healthy mind in a healthy body”?
If your team includes people from various cultures, ask them each to share a traditional recipe.
Taste dishes together after everything is prepared and share your memories of them. Everyone will learn a bit more about their co-workers, which will surely help them to bond.
Is there a sense of too many cooks in the kitchen? We predict it’ll be just the opposite.
Good walking shoes, comfortable clothes, a desire to get outdoors—Is all you need to participate in a foot rally and see your city in a new light.
Everyone has to pool their general knowledge and use their wits to solve riddles or decipher treasure maps.
Follow up an activity with a group meal where you can share your discoveries.
Good ‘ole happy hour is a sure-fire way to build rapport among team members. Tongues loosen, people relax and voilà! A festive atmosphere comes to life.
Are your employees the active type? Pick a place where they can play pool or darts.
Are you over noisy bars? Other possibilities do exist:
- Potluck with co-workers
- Picnic in the park
- Private beer or wine tasting
And why not invite your team members over for a BBQ?
Think about planning more team-building events if your activity served its purpose, lifted lagging team spirits and energized your employees. Bonds need to be continually nurtured among the members of a work group.