Rebuilding workforce bonds amid COVID

With a large percentage of our workforce now occupying their home, managers and company leaders are challenged with finding ways to keep synergy and momentum. What some have worked on for years is now on the brink of collapse. Finding opportunities for members of staff to collaborate meaningfully is now a matter of survival.

Today, we focus our attention of five remote virtual exercises that are fun and will meaningfully engage employees:

1. Create a virtual workplace choir

Surely you have heard the expression: We cannot all talk together, but we can sing together. Music is the language of the soul. It speaks to all of us and is universal. A workplace virtual choir has proven quite powerful in bringing COVID-19 affected workers back together.

Select music that works for the largest share of team members, and invest in a musical track. Use your editing team or someone with the skills to pull together the individual voices. Pull out the nicer voices and create a beautiful rendition of music that everyone loves.

2. Home scavenger hunts

Nothing beats running around your home and yard looking for random inanimate objects. The moderator calls for the items and gives everyone 60 seconds to find it in the house or yard. It is also a good way to get the children and other family members involved. The message of being resourceful, and quickly using what you have to accomplish a task, is what you will draw on as you engage your team members in this fun exercise.

3. Best design competition

Perhaps it is time to refresh the company logo, vision, mission and value statements. Why not make it a competition and have everyone share their ideas virtually? For the sake of goodwill and fair evaluation, independent assessors/judges could give feedback to the submissions.

I am certain this will prove a worthy exercise, as employees will be forced to research and take deep dives into the company. The learning will continue as others share their thoughts and ideas for the future direction of the company and business.

4. Take your team on a virtual vacation

Explore the magical islands of The Bahamas with pictures and real virtual experiences. You only need contacts in some of the islands who are prepared to help your team members explore and uncover some of these treasures.

Technology has so blessed us that we could be in any cave in Acklins; on the Glass Window Bridge in Eleuthera; or the candy-striped lighthouse in Elbow Cay from our very homes. It is domestic tourism in its safest form. Employees are learning and having a great time doing so.

5. Baby picture reveal party

Here is an hour-long exercise for teams needing to bond or reconnect. A short story about birth and childhood should be collected for each employee with a baby picture. In one collective virtual space, employees will hear the inspiring stories and guess who the pictures and stories belong to. This should reveal how similar our experiences are and how, despite our differences, we are very much the same.

6. Virtual Cooking/gardening session

Nothing beats a good amateur cooking show live and direct for your staff. Have each employee share their favourite recipe (keep it healthy), and encourage others to purchase items in preparation for the cooking expedition. Have the champion employee prepared to take people into their kitchen. Walk everyone through the preparation of a tasty and healthy dish. Should be fun.

7. Workplace trivia day

Jackboxgames, QuizUp, Kahoot and scores of other virtual game applications have been created for this very purpose. In work spaces where content knowledge is high priority, and people are expected to know, retain and learn a lot, it is always important to create fun learning opportunities. Have your human resources team create fun trivia and quizzes to keep everyone sharp and engaged.

We are all hanging under the COVID-19 cloud together. Let us make the best of it. Let us make the most of it.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@coralwave.com.


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