When leaders understand the importance of celebrating teams and organizational values, important messages resonate beyond an “event.” There are many opportunities to bring people together to underscore that your business is about people and values, not just work and the bottom line.
We’re in a time of heightened pressure to recruit and retain happy, committed employees and this big-picture thinking is critical. Here are a wide variety of ways you can incorporate “celebrating teams and organizational values” into your workplace. We hope this sparks inspiration for gifts of connection, belonging and shared joy.
Give the Gift of Connection
- Welcome new employees with a memorable first impression. Schedule coffee or lunch with the head of the company on their first day at work.
- Plan a field trip to tour the facilities of a supplier or client, so staff can learn more about partner businesses while strengthening team relationships.
- Organize casual group activities before, during or after work – walking, frisbee, lawn games (like Spikeball, pictured above), badminton, softball.
- Bring teams together over food! 60% of employees say they feel more valued and appreciated when employers provide meals. A few ideas:
- Coordinate a series of in-person and virtual lunches to build relationships between unfamiliar teams. Deliver meals or send prepaid grocery certificates in advance to remote employees.
- Cater monthly “Ask Me Anything” hybrid lunches, featuring a series of senior leaders.
- Host virtual cooking lessons. Hire a pro chef or ask talented employees to teach their favorite recipes, while participants follow along or just watch all the action.
Give the Gift of Belonging
“Belonging” is more than a buzzword. It’s building a culture where people feel welcome to be themselves and thrive. It takes work to foster a sense of belonging and worth every ounce of effort. Here are some ideas to help as you plan periodic events where employees are free to mingle and strengthen team relationships.
- Create a “peer hero” recognition program, where anyone can recommend a deserving colleague or team at any time. Each quarter, publish a “recognition roll call” to share nominee stories. Then, everyone votes for the winner of a high-value prize.
- Involve everyone in long-term organizational planning. Host a quarterly meeting where leaders discuss key issues and the road ahead. Solicit staff ideas and feedback to build trust, enthusiasm and buy-in.
- Actively invite and encourage people to participate in a variety of activities — and consistently ask for new ideas from everyone.
- Audit what kinds of programs and activities exist with a lens of diversity and inclusion.
Give the Gift of Shared Joy
Friendships and unique bonds are created when people find joy and happiness with each other. We aren’t talking about “forced fun”, but embracing ways to bring people together beyond work-related meetings. Here are some ideas:
- To foster camaraderie, plan an online scavenger hunt or board game tournament. Build on digital versions of Monopoly or Settlers of Catan, or design your own Trivial Pursuit game based on company history and employee facts.
- Host in-person and/or digital activities that bring people together to share common interests in real-time.
- Watch parties for popular movies or tv shows
- Game-day spectator huddles
- Book clubs
- Help your team bond through engaging digital games from specialized services like JAM, which offers a variety of popular options like Escape Rooms, Office Olympics, and Jeoparty!
- Looking for an engaging virtual event or team-building experience, but overwhelmed by all the options? Let an online concierge help you make the best pick. For example, a guide can help you navigate the vast collection of virtual events at reELIVATE.
- Connect(or reconnect) offsite for face-to-face group activities:
When celebrating teams and organizational values, remember that there is a larger message. Let your actions speak louder than words: YOU BELONG HERE. We care about you! We are a team and we are stronger together.
For more ideas, download The Big List of Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas — FREE!
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