You’ve been working hard at upskilling your staff all year. But as 2018 comes to a close, it might be time to take a more festive approach. How can you do that? By investing in fun team bonding activities.
Among its benefits, team building has been known to increase employee morale and develop skills like communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution. Of course, it’s a great way to create a strong culture of collaboration, too. But coming up with fun company activities for the festive season isn’t always easy, especially when your employees are culturally and religiously diverse.
So, while putting on Santa hats and hanging Christmas trinkets around the office might seem like a festive idea, there’s always a risk of alienating employees who don’t celebrate Christmas. Don’t worry! Here are 5 corporate team building ideas you can use so that all your employees can enjoy a little festive spirit this season.
Corporate team building ideas for diverse teams
There are lots of activities you can use with your staff. Here are 5 of the most popular ones, that will surely include all your team members.
1. Have a potluck dinner
In simple terms, a potluck can be a fun work event where attendees bring food to be shared with everyone. Ditch the fancy restaurant reservation this year and encourage employees to contribute a dish of their choice instead.
Consider adopting a cultural theme where each employee or team recreates a dish that’s unique to their ethnicity or religion. Whether Christmas turkey, Hanukkah latkes or Diwali mithai, use the opportunity to get employees indulging in a taste sensation while also learning about each other.
The great thing about a potluck is that it’s more than just food and a party. This activity offers employees the opportunity to share and learn about each other on a deeper level. This, in turn, contributes towards a diverse, thriving and culturally accepting company.
2. Ongoing festive activities
Sometimes holiday fun doesn’t need to be commemorated by one big event, but rather a sequence of smaller icebreakers that help keep the festive cheer alive. So, consider planning inexpensive microevents that contribute towards team bonding.
Some fun company event ideas include:
- Office trivia contests that follow a specific theme. For example, you could ask questions about people or achievements within the company or industry in 2018.
- Communal snack stations that include a spread of holiday favorites, such as hot cocoa, mince pies, and cookies.
- Gameboard stations, which encourage informal bonding and teamwork as employees from any department can work together (or compete) to win a game.
- Holiday-themed quizzes and videos on your LMS platform. This can also be an effective way to build a festive corporate culture for remote teams.
3. Volunteer work
If you’re looking for team bonding ideas that make a real impact, consider a charitable contribution instead of an office party. Volunteer work not only shows the world that your company cares, but is also a means of increasing teamwork engagement.
Volunteering can be place-based or skill-based: it just depends on what you want to achieve. Place-based volunteering might involve employees helping out at a soup kitchen, hospital or housing development. On the other hand, skill-based volunteering gives employees the opportunity to use their creative and professional skills to help a non-profit organization with anything from web development to marketing and budgeting.
An alternative to volunteering time or skills is offering physical possessions that employees (or the office) have no use for anymore. Whether this includes a clothing drive for your local orphanage, food drive for an animal shelter, or stationary drive for an underprivileged school, a lot can be accomplished when a team works together.
4. White elephant gift exchange
White elephant gift exchange is a gift swapping activity that beats the, frankly, worn-out Secret Santa. This fun bonding activity promises to both delight and entertain employees of all ages and cultures. So, how does it work?
All gifts are placed in a central position before the first person is elected to choose and open one of the parcels. On subsequent turns, each person has the opportunity to choose if they would either like to unwrap a new gift or “steal” someone else’s. The result is copious amounts of fun and laughter!
Although the tradition is for employees to contribute a wrapped gift that is strange, funny and downright impractical, you can put your own spin on this in whichever way you choose. You could make the gift themed. For example, employees could bring a wrapped jar of their favorite homemade or bought cookies. This makes the gift-giving more personal and conversational.
5. Ugly holiday sweater day
Unstylish as they are, ugly holiday sweaters spark a lot of laughter and cheer over the festive season. So, why not bring that positive energy into the office? Take this opportunity to celebrate the bold, daring and ugly with a day dedicated to bad taste.
To capture the sweater magic, consider hiring a photo booth for the day. Outfit it with fun props and accessories, and then get posing. Of course, the highlight of any holiday sweater party is the fashion show. During this event, employees are called upon to select the tackiest and most unaesthetic of all sweaters to win a prize.
Understandably, not all employees may own a holiday sweater. So, encourage them to try any item of ridiculous attire in a competition aimed at looking foolish, anyway. This could make for an interesting conversation starter and spark your employees’ curiosity about a piece of clothing.
This festive season, start putting into effect some corporate team building ideas, and get your team playing, laughing and bonding. If you have any special way your staff celebrate the holidays in, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. In the meantime, Happy Holidays from our team to yours!
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