Why Team Building Should be Job #1 in the Post-COVID Return to Work

The practice of corporate team building has been around for almost a century. But it’s never been more critical than today, as businesses struggle with the “new normal” of the post-COVID economy. Here’s why.

Although business is constantly evolving, rarely has so much changed in such a short time in terms of human resources. The word “unprecedented” has been thrown around a lot recently, but in terms of the speed and scope of change in the workplace, that word fits what enterprises face today.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of posts aimed at helping you get and keep employees on the same page as COVID recedes and the new normal takes shape.

Team building encompasses a wide range of activities, from uplifting programs and fun charitable CSR events to impactful training and professional development workshops. And there are virtual events like game shows and escape rooms to bring your team together. Here are six reasons why team building is more important than ever in the post-COVID work world.

To Welcome and Onboard New Employees

Many organizations have experienced significant turnover during the pandemic, as new employees have come on board to replace those who have retired or left to pursue other opportunities.

Fun team building activities are a great way to welcome new staff and introduce them to others and play a crucial role in new employee orientation.

Beyond the benefit of getting acquainted with team members enjoyably, team building provides practical benefits in making new employees more productive, faster.

To Adapt to a Different Type of Workforce

The pandemic accelerated retirement plans for many workers. According to NPR, roughly two million more workers retired over the past two years than would otherwise have been expected.

In addition, with schools and daycare facilities closed during much of the pandemic and only now (tentatively, in many places) reopening, young mothers have been forced out of the workforce in disproportionately large numbers. Though that trend will reverse itself at some point (hopefully soon!), it’s still impacting the structure of the workforce today.

Together, these changes mean that your organization may have not only new workers but different types of workers: more young workers, fewer older workers, and more people at ages in between re-entering the workforce or changing jobs.

Team building programs are not only great for welcoming new workers but also for positively impacting the morale of existing employees and making them more comfortable, more quickly, with their new coworkers.

To Support Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Most workplaces are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of race and ethnicity. Diversity is valuable in surfacing better ideas by bringing together a broader range of perspectives.

Team building activities focused on diversity, inclusion, and culture help organizations maximize the productivity and benefits of a diverse workplace while helping everyone understand each other better, so they feel comfortable working together.

To Make the New Structure of Work Function More Effectively

The pandemic forced millions of workers out of their offices to work from home or other remote locations. Over time, many workers have grown comfortable working remotely. And many employers have concluded that they can maintain (or increase) productivity while reducing real estate needs by not having all of their employees on-site every day.

Team building increases employee engagement, which can be a challenge when workers aren’t physically together. It helps ensure that employees are working together effectively as a team, no matter where they are.

What’s more, because our team building programs can be delivered in-person, virtually, or as hybrid team events, they can fit the structure of your workplace—whatever that structure may be.

To Help Upskill Your New (and Existing) Team

Team building programs focused on professional development and leadership skills are an engaging and enjoyable way for workers to expand their knowledge and understanding and ultimately do their jobs better.

These programs are helpful in bringing new employees up to speed faster as well as enhancing the abilities of your current staff.

To Do Well by Doing Good

Employees today are looking for more than just a paycheck. They want to work for organizations that have a larger purpose, give back to the community, and provide a sense of contributing to the greater good.

That’s why the majority of In-Person engagements we managed last year were charitable CSR programs, including Build-a-Wheelchair, Bike Build Donation, Build-a-Guitar, Donation Nation, Project Alzheimer’s, STEM Backpacks for Kids, Fostering Hope, and Kids Rock! Other CSR events include Bear and Blankets, Charity Game Show, We Care For Schools, and Operation Military Care.

Whether delivered in-person or as hybrid events, these programs are fun; they develop teamwork skills; they enhance employee engagement; they provide the opportunity to support a great cause in your local community.

Look for more posts in the weeks ahead about specific aspects of why team building is more important than ever and the many ways it can help your teams work better and collaborate more effectively in the post-COVID workplace.