Since COVID-19, improving teamwork in the workplace has become one of the main priorities for employers. H&E North hears from industry voices and reports on how event profs can capitalise.
On the back of COVID-19 the job market has been buoyant with moves and opportunities. Costing millions in staff training and recruitment, coupled with reduced profitability from a drop in collaboration through remote working, the bottom line has been severely impacted.
The pandemic saw the team building events industry expand quickly, first online, and more recently back to live, with new quirky and unusual events coming to the fore as employers find ways to mitigate the negative sides of remote work, a major challenge within remote and hybrid operations.
Good agencies got armed with great ideas and case studies to present to clients, but also needed tech knowledge too.
“Requests for business strategy events have turned into requests for fun and excitement, and giving staff a break.”
With team collaboration and communication compromised, many companies look for ways of building teamwork but also ensuring they have secure solutions that are flexible, scalable, easy to use, and accessible to every employee no matter where they are located and their nature of work. And, more than ever there is a focus on employee engagement, employee morale and retention. Many employees look for companies with a sense of community, celebrating successes and working with great co-workers to keep them happy.
Mental health issues are on everyone’s lips. Social isolation made the last two years the worst time in many people’s careers. People felt stressed, scared, and lonely.
In the same way teamwork can increase productivity and profitability, isolation and the sense of loneliness can reduce it. The purpose of team building is to foster a sense of belongingness and employee connectedness. So, if employees can’t meet in person it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t find ways to connect. Remote staff can still interact with each other and feel less alone through virtual team-building activities, which will help boost employee wellbeing, and in turn productivity.
Kate Hutchinson, Managing Director of The Secret Event Service commented: “Team building events are more important than ever in a post-COVID world. Hybrid working is the new normal which is great – but there are some downsides. Teams are missing those watercooler moments, the learning through osmosis, the bonding that naturally happens when you’re in an office for five days a week.
“So we’re seeing a real uptick in team building events that are focused heavily on building connection which is crucial to great work. We’re seeing an increase in powerful firewalking events, team countryside retreats and team wellness days”
Nathan Angus, Managing Director of Wildfire Agency thinks staff retention is vital right now. “People are missing the human interaction and community aspect of company life since remote working took hold. Those coffee break chats have gone. As we enter recession and staff shortages, retention is so important and keeping people happy in the workplace is part of that.
“Requests for business strategy events have turned into requests for fun and excitement, and giving staff a break. We are booking events with icebreakers that get everyone laughing, formats around TV shows like The Cube or Celebrity are working really well.”
Getting the team together for an away day or online event cannot be underestimated. Make sure you are ready and armed.