Whether your team is onsite, virtual or hybrid, fostering stronger workplace connections outside of day-to-day tasks and meetings can increase employee engagement and lead to better outcomes, according to research by Gallup.
We recently surveyed our team to understand how they feel about connections at work and were blown away by the results: 75% of our team responded to the survey, and the consensus was clear: they’re looking for more ways to get to know each other. One of our most surprising learnings? While larger company events are always a hit, our team asked for more opportunities to gather in small groups so they can build connections beyond their core group.
If you’re looking for ideas to bring people together, here are ten in-person and virtual activities to consider.
Speed icebreakers can be hosted both in-person or virtually using break-out rooms to facilitate virtual networking.
Tip: Use trivia as a vehicle to help your teams get to know each other. In the past, we’ve hosted trivia where team members all share fun facts about themselves and colleagues put their knowledge to the test. It’s a fun way to get to know each other with some friendly competition!
If you’d like to try it with your own team, you can facilitate trivia using Zoom polls or online platforms like Kahoot.
Once you have a solid list, create a speaker series featuring internal experts and external guests to create space for your team to learn together on a regular basis. Some teams might enjoy attending these events monthly while others may find that quarterly sessions are a better cadence. Be flexible and tailor it to your team. Tip: Make sure to book time for team reflection after each session. Team members can build connections and rapport by sharing key takeaways with one another.
What’s important is that team time is intentional. Make space to talk about life beyond work. For our team, that often means discussing current events, trending tv shows and books, or sharing fun facts and upcoming plans.
If this is something you’re interested in leading, start by setting up these chats with each of your team members and at the end encourage them to do the same with one another. Building relationships online isn’t impossible, it simply requires intentional efforts.