So you want to improve team morale during a multi-year, global pandemic? No pressure.
Almost every company we work with is struggling to navigate how (or if!) they’ll return to “normal” in 2022. But we’ve also seen companies introduce surprising perks and grow morale. Those companies consistently acknowledged:
- change is emotional
- everything is made or broken by communication
- and generosity and kindness go a very long way in retaining your best employees
Team building ideas for 2022
Here are some creative ways to safely (and cheaply) grow team morale during the long tail of the pandemic:
- Free! Create Slack channels like “question of the day”, “currently reading/watching”, “parents”, and “cuteness” that encourage people to find fellowship.
- Free! Embrace the chaos of roommates, families, and pets at home – ask to meet the voices you hear in the background.
- Free! Don’t force people to be on video. People are grieving and Zoom fatigue is real, especially for women.
- Mail actual letters of encouragement or thanks.
- Free! Create team-wide meeting-free zones during the week.
- Free! Give the team impromptu afternoons off.
- Allow staff to expense monthly professional home cleaning and internet to keep their work environment clean and productive.
- Free! Look back as a team… pull up creative, campaigns, and plans from a year ago and appreciate how much you’ve grown. Repeat every quarter.
- Host outdoor picnic lunches and happy hours. Include families. Accept that in-person events won’t fit some folks’ risk budgets.
- Free! Take a week off to recharge. Adobe takes two company-wide, week-long breaks each year, in addition to unlimited PTO and holidays.
- Free! Volunteer as a team and do good work together.
- Send thoughtful care packages in lieu of boozy holiday parties.
- Free! Lead from the front by only sending emails and Slacks during working hours.
- Free! Be generous with flexible working hours, sick days, personal days, and bereavement leaves.
- Give generous bonuses and raises to the folks you’d hate to replace. Money talks.
How to get started? Pick out some realistic starter ideas, then ask the team to help you brainstorm, hone, and prioritize. Champion bigger asks with HR and implement one every quarter. Good luck!
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