26 fun ways to connect with your team

Put your stubby holders back in the draw, because this is list does NOT contain alcohol!

Yes, it’s a feel good list of ways to pump up your employee engagement, that won’t leave you with a hangover.

Some are funny, while others are serious, but any of these may contain your next team bonding moment:

1. Give your employees a voice 
First and foremost, up your employee engagement game by letting your employees give feedback and provide ideas anonymously. It will give you a chance to take a pulse on where your employees’ heads are at and what might invigorate them.

2. Weekly email newsletter/update from CEO 
Start sending out a weekly office newsletter and/or update from the CEO, depending on the set up and size of your organisation.

Our pro tip: Include a few fun, personal tidbits, like how Ben got a new puppy or Sara tried out that new restaurant and loved it to build personal connection.

3. Health conscious groups 
Doing something to promote good health and wellness is important. Can you add a small gym to your office? Offer yoga classes during lunch? Encourage daily step goals? Set number of glasses per water or number of hours of sleep challenges?

4. Listen, remember and ask
It’s important to get to know your employees on more than just a basic level—routinely ask about their family, outside life and ambitions. And follow up on your conversations.

5. Coach and push employees toward goals 
Let your employees tell you what their professional goals are, and then help them get there; i.e., if the sky was the limit … what would you love to be doing and what can we do to help you get there?

6. Block times out  
Upper management offer times when employees can come and talk over issues.

7. Ban emails for a day 
Pick a day once a quarter, once a month or whatever works for your company that bans email for the whole day. If someone has a question, then it means getting up and walking to another person’s desk.

8. CEO takes a random person to lunch once a week 
From the top salesperson to the janitor, everyone should get a turn.

9. When one of the teams wins, everyone wins
Celebrate when someone meets a sales goal or a team meets a huge deadline with not just the person, but involve the larger crew.

10. Play board games together 
Working together or against each other in games that involve strategic thinking or even random trivia knowledge can help your team on a variety of ways. Include a monopoly, chess set or other fun game to your lunch room.

11. Take a walk 
Get out of the office together and enjoy some fresh air! Walk around the block and talk about something new the other person didn’t know about each other.

11. Tipping competition 
Find out who in the office is the best footy tipper.

13. Start frustration and compliment boxes 
Making sure it’s anonymous, the boxes should allow employees to vent or encourage other co-workers. There are also many online systems that support this as well.

14. A day in the life of … 
Allow employees to try out another person’s job for a day. (Perhaps include a day of training – however importantly – get them to debrief on one thing they learnt about their experience and one thing they now appreciate about that person.

15. Celebrate personal wins 
Sure, keep the baby and wedding showers in the office conference room. But also don’t forget to celebrate other personal milestones—kicking cancer, running a marathon, adopting, shark diving (yes, I know someone who did this by choice and loved it).

16. Friday music hours 
Everyone wants to leave. Jazz up the last couple of hours by letting someone DJ every week the last 2 hours of the week.

17. Start a learning club 
Rotate who on the team shares a book, article or movie or even a video or worksheet that relates to the work your organization does, new skills or inspiring message.

18. Random holiday? Throw a party
Google random holidays and use the list to pick a few times of the year to allow staff to plan a connected party.

19. Encourage volunteering 
Allow employees to complete some volunteer hours during the work day.

20. Let someone else lead the weekly meeting 
Each person on the team gets a chance to run the team status meeting each week. See how they handle the agenda and running through the schedule. Might be a chance to look for up-and-coming leaders.

21. Be flexible
Does someone need to pick up kids from school? Care for an aging parent? Moving? Consider allowing employees more time to work from home, job share and other methods for achieving a good work-life balance.

22. Skip a task 
Let someone get out of their most hated task. Perhaps someone else on the team will enjoy it (Even if it is for one week)!

23. Showcase cooking skills 
Employees pick a week and bring in their favorite treat or snack to share with the team. Do you have any budding MasterChefs?

24. Perks for healthy choices 
Incentives for achieving step goals for losing 5 kg or giving up smoking could result in a tangible perk, like tickets to a show or a gift card as voted by the team.

25. Don’t plan the holiday party…
Let the employees. (Don’t worry, you can still have the final call on budget!)

26. Have more fun! 
More than just happy hours, this suggestion means doing something like office ice cream outings, Fun Friday (donuts? Mochas for all? Lunch movie?) and more.

Which ones do you do? Or do you have any other things you do?