How to Make Employees Feel Connected – A COVID Re-launch Strategy
There is substantial research that says when employees feel connected, they are more productive (link). I think we’ve all experienced positive and negative workplace environments and understand, first hand, how critical a positive atmosphere is to performance and success.
Many employers & team leaders are asking:
- How can we help our employees feel connected?
- How can we create emotional and social equity that not only builds a great workplace dynamic but also generates amazing results?
- But how do we connect our people, despite the disconnect we’ve faced due to COVID?
COVID Has Changed Everything
It has become part of our daily life and COVID-19 has affected everything. The way people live their lives is different and we have all been forced to adjust to a new normal. This change has impacted people very differently; some are comfortable and others have found it difficult.
Without question, the more an employee feels connected and part of a team, the higher their resilience and ability to adapt. During this time, it is critical employers and leaders provide adequate support and team bonding for teams returning to work.
Our new reality includes working from home, working part-time in the office and part-time remotely, working in an office where social interactions are controlled and monitored, constant hand washing and sanitizing.
Oh, and masks too.
It is vital for employers to recognize the pressure and stress their employees are experiencing and how it is affecting their health, happiness and well being.
So, What Can You Do?
One great way an employer can help their teams is to get them out of their current work environment and provide opportunities for them to reconnect and have fun. Offer activities that are engaging and a little different than their regular work tasks.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Connecting People Has to be More Intentional than Ever.
Get Outside. During the lock-down, many people were in their houses, on their screens and not able to be as social as they were used to. Right now, people want to get outside and have the chance to connect with others.
Organize a Challenge. It’s proven when a team has to accomplish a goal or overcome a challenge, they grow closer together and build trust. While outside, create an opportunity for your team to work together:
- Scavenger Hunts
- Short & silly ‘Minute to Win It’ Games
Fun Communication. High functioning teams know how to communicate. Effective communication, however, provides an open door for accountability between team members. There are lots of fun ways to learn how to communicate effectively:
- Obstacle Courses
- The Perfect Square; wearing a blindfold, or with eyes closed, the group must pick up a rope and create a PERFECT square. Sounds simple? Give it a try!
Organizations and Programs Can Help Team Bonding
There are a number of organizations and programs designed to facilitate these kinds of activities. However, not all team leaders are trained and equipped to manage this part of the team building journey.
NexLevel and Red Lodge Ropes Course were specifically created to address these needs and provide expert team building and development facilitation. This is what we do; we help teams have fun and connect, building a foundation for team excellence.
Red Lodge Ropes Course – A High Ropes Experience
Red Lodge Ropes Course checks all the boxes;
- It’s outdoors
- It creates challenges teams have to overcome together, and
- It encourages fun communication between the team members; a great learning experience
The Red Lodge Ropes Course is a local Alberta company that excels in creating team building and team bonding experiences. Not only is there an extensive high ropes course and many ground activity elements, but we also have team building professionals that create and facilitate programs specifically for you and your team.
What does this mean for me?
It means we can take a look at the specific team bonding and team building needs of your team and tailor a program exclusively for you.
Our discovery assessment is a tool we use to specifically build the experience you need for your team.
Click Here to get a custom-built quote from our discovery assessment, a custom-designed team-building program, and a professionally facilitated team bonding experience for your team.
What’s the Difference Between Team Bonding and Team Building?
The catch-phrase, team building, is one that is over used and not completely understood. We like to break it down into three main subcategories that are sequential and build on each other:
- Team bonding
- Team building
- Team development
There are steps in the development and “coming together” of a team. It’s not a one size fits all approach. Different teams have different needs and our program is designed to identify these differences and provide custom solutions to help teams succeed.
- Team Bonding
- Team bonding is generally more social and designed to facilitate a relational connection.
- It is meant for teams that need to reconnect and increase their relational connections rather than being focused on an end goal
- Low facilitation requirement.
- Team Building
- Team Building is a more intentional opportunity for a group to experience real learning and connection.
- There is a specific outcome and a specific achievement with team debriefs.
- Includes expert facilitation.
- Team Development
- Team Development is an ongoing training series that focuses on long term team cohesiveness and excellence. This is not a one-time event, but rather an intentionally designed pathway for team development and evolution.
- Includes science-based team training modules.
- Facilitated by an Advanced Certified Facilitator and progress is tracked and monitored.
- Team Bonding
What This All Means
As businesses continue to relaunch and need to shift and adjust how they work, the people inside those teams need bonding and connection. The social and relational aspects of your team is paramount.
If your team needs to reconnect, we can help facilitate activities and programs that will be fun, safe and support your journey to team excellence.