Employee engagement has become the key to ensuring the consistent growth and success of an organization. An engaged workforce is known to be more loyal and productive and less prone to absenteeism as compared to a disengaged workforce. Hence, it is not surprising that organizations today are seeking new ways and methods to enhance employee engagement. In this context, team building activities are gaining much popularity as they enable employees to mingle and have fun with their coworkers. This, in turn, helps in boosting employee engagement and ensures greater happiness and satisfaction of the workforce. However, before learning about the best team-building activities for enhancing employee engagement, it is important to learn how the two concepts are related.
Team building and employee engagement – understanding the linkage
Employee engagement can be defined as the level of emotional attachment that employees feel towards their job, organization and their teams. Engagement is important as it influences the willingness of the employees to learn and perform at work. It is also clear that their relationships with their coworkers form an important aspect of employee engagement. However, building strong relationships with co-workers is not something that can be achieved overnight. Both the employees and the management have to invest a considerable amount of time and effort into developing strong and lasting relationships between the members of the workforce, based on mutual trust. This is where team-building activities can come into play as they help organizations to achieve this objective in an effective manner.
How team building activities can help?
The key objective of team building activities is to get the employees out if their professional shells and make it easier for them to interact with their coworkers in an informal environment. These activities help to improve communication between coworkers and establish a sense of trust between them. They foster better collaboration and coordination between groups of employees and help them to develop effective team skills. They understand the benefits of working together to solve problems and overcome challenges. Most importantly, these activities help to create a sense of belonging, safety, and comfort among employees when they are around their co-workers. All these factors contribute towards improving the overall engagement level of employees.
Best team building activities to boost engagement
Team building activities need to be organized taking into consideration difference in the personalities of employees. It needs to foster teamwork in a fun-filled and interesting manner rather than being perceived as something that employees are being forced into. Discussed below are a few best ideas for such activities that can ensure better engagement:
- Organize intra-office competitions
Intra-office competitions are considered to be the most effective team-building exercise for almost every organization. With the wide range of options to choose from, such competitions are easy to organize on a regular basis with maximum employee participation. Whether it is a football competition between teams from different teams or departments or a karaoke competition, these activities motivate employees to be a part of something that is not strictly work-related.
- Arrange adventure outings
Another team-building activity that is becoming quite popular with organizations is adventure outings. The management arranges for entire groups of employees to spend time at a resort or camp where they can participate in different games and activities. The informal and relaxed atmosphere helps to strengthen interpersonal relationships between employees. In addition, the various group activities offered at these destinations provides an opportunity to encourage team building in a fulfilled, exciting and purposeful manner. A good example is a corporate trip to a nature camp where employees can enjoy activities like trekking, camping, rappelling, and much more.
- Plan a charity event
Providing employees with an opportunity to do something that good for society is a great way to help them bond with one another. This is especially true when the organization already contributes to a social cause and makes its employees willing participants for the same. This can prove to be a win-win situation for both the employees and organizations as it helps coworkers bond over a good cause while creating corporate goodwill. For example, organizations can work with charitable organizations that are committed to adult literacy and environment preservation.
- Invest in creative happy hours
A happy hour may not necessarily mean going out for drinks with the entire team, although the results might be much better. Making the employees feel detached from their work sometimes can boost employee motivation in a significant manner. The happy hours could comprise anything and everything that helps the employees enjoy and enable them to interact with each other without worrying about work-related issues and challenges. This can include activities such as informal lunch outing, a movie outing or even a cocktail creation course.
Selecting the right team-building activities is important to employee engagement and ultimately the success of a business. The above ideas can be used as a guide, but organizations should always experiment with other ideas as well.