Humans are all social beings whether they are introverts or extroverts. For the last sixteen months, we have all been deprived of most physical social connections. Social connection from seeing people at work or in the grocery store doesn’t prompt bonding with your team.
In a team environment, there needs to be a balance of social engagement between team members and work connections. Now that we are experiencing some cautious freedom from the pandemic it would be nice to start planning some social team events as well. You will reap the benefits tenfold.
Some suggestions for getting your team social again:
- Have a food truck come to the office and everyone can have their lunch together outside of the office. Nothing connects people more than sharing food together. Food trucks or ice cream trucks will usually have a choice for everyone. Make it a surprise for your team and it will be even better! Let them think they have to attend a lunch meeting and then have a food truck show up. Take lots of pictures for your social media and you will really be a hero.
- Start a lunch time walking group once a week for half an hour. Not everyone will want to do this but there is nothing like accountability for exercise, plan it and watch healthy habits abound in your office. It may be that little push needed to help someone start taking better care of themselves after the pandemic.
- Plan a family hike for your team one evening or weekend day. Find some fun activities to do along the way that would be age appropriate if children are joining you. (A bubble station, a three-legged race, water balloons or an egg relay on spoons)
- Plan your holiday celebration early for your team, you may want to do it in late October or early November as peoples schedules could be busier this year as we try to make up for last year’s isolation. Let your team know the plans well in advance to help build excitement.
- If you are having a team meeting, see if you can do it in a public park or in someone’s backyard. Many teams have been having their meetings on Zoom which makes communication difficult and can stifle creative solutions. Finding ways to engage team members during a meeting instead of just dictating the content.
Once you have implemented some of these ideas or have created some other social opportunities, you will find that there is increased happiness with your team. There will be far less stress in your daily activities if your team is feeling a more balanced social connection. You will also notice that your team will feel that they are living a healthier lifestyle which will show increased engagement and team loyalty.
Since you still can’t create social spots in your offices you need to find ways for your team to connect with our new reality. Celebrate all of the wins in your practice whether big or small and this will inspire positivity with all. Everybody needs to feel lightness and joy to be most of the way through this pandemic, we need that optimism to grow and keep us safe into the fall.