We all have a mental image of what holiday team building activities entail, but some of the options might surprise you!
Team building is about taking a step back from the regular hustle of the workplace to bond with co-workers and revisit the core values of the company. An effective team building workshop is one where employees go back to work re-energized and with renewed commitment to work with each other towards achieving team goals. However, you can take your activity to the next level by integrating community service with holiday team building. Why? Because giving back to the community coupled with the holidays is a proven formula for creating something that is relevant and memorable.
Why Holiday Team Building Activities Are The Best
Holiday team building is like hitting not two, but three birds with one stone. You participate in activities that reinforce team trust and harmony, you have fun and enjoy holiday cheer (burning off some of that holiday stress), and you are able to contribute something to the community.
Team building exercises are generally geared at creating or strengthening trust, improving communication and cooperation, and shared accountability. Traditional team building workshops have participants running around with various team building games so facilitators can illustrate the dynamics of group cooperation. It is a lot of fun, but oftentimes all the participants take away is a few hearty laughs and maybe a new friend from another department.
However, group cooperation can be best leveraged while helping to build bicycles for needy kids or stuffing teddy bears together and handing them out to the company’s chosen charity at the end of the workshop. Employees will definitely take away more than short-lived fun when they see a group of firefighters walk in to receive the stuffed animals they just assembled, and there’s always a few teary eyes as a firefighter describes a recent situation where they handed out one of these stuffed animals to a distressed child.
Ideally your holiday team building is not just an event but part of a process, part of a culture of learning and giving within your organization.
There are so many different holiday team building activities that you can add to benefit special members of the community. Many companies build and give out toys and bikes to children’s hospitals or children’s organizations. Others give them to public service workers like firefighters and emergency personnel. Some organize soup kitchens – or goods to stock their shelves – while others visit animal rescue centers where they help build shelters for abandoned pets. Some companies that advocate environmental concerns organize tree planting as part of their team building activity. The possibilities are endless! The most important thing is to look at which activity best aligns with your organization’s community involvement and corporate social responsibility objectives.
A very important consideration to keep in mind is that your holiday team building activities should provide enough mental challenge to keep the pace exciting, but don’t require a great deal of physical activity as you may have team members with diminished physical capabilities. We like to structure activities to require a lot of hands involved and various skill sets which promote interaction and cooperation. And of course in this energetic, fast-paced environment, there is also a lot of room to inject fun and humor.
If you’re going to pay for a holiday party anyway, integrating holiday team building activities with community service is a great way to get the most out of your event. Get started today, and not only build your team, but contribute to building a better community and create an event for your team to remember!