At a time when every business expense has to be appraised in terms of return on investment, team-building activities may not yet be part of your ways of doing things. This being said, they have many positive impacts that have been clearly demonstrated.
As my colleague mentions in one of her posts on team-building, Forbes magazine even points out how team-building activities are the best investment a company can make to foster the well-being of its employees. Team-building kindles team spirit and enhances employee communication, motivation and engagement.
Social involvement promotes human contact by uniting a group around a common project. What’s more, the act of giving is both gratifying and motivating. Generosity has even been found to be good for your health.
Organizing team-building activities that also allow for social involvement is a great opportunity for combining the best of both worlds.
1. Plant trees
Planting trees helps the environment by reducing air pollution and purifying the atmosphere. It is a physically demanding activity, and is therefore ideal for those who want to get moving, get outdoors and take on a challenge!
Did you know that meeting a challenge as a team increases the team’s overall strength and its members’ sense of belonging?
A post I enjoyed in the Harvard Business Review tells of how the secret to building resilience is to make it a “team sport” as opposed to an individual affair. According to the author, facing challenges together is the best way to strengthen relationships and boost resilience.
💡 That’s why organizing team-building activities where your team faces a challenge of any kind is great for teamwork.
2. Pick up garbage
From parks and waterfronts to department store parking lots, many places tend to be littered with garbage.
Getting together to clean up these premises is great for the environment. And it requires little equipment: simply bring along garbage bags, buckets, gloves and a vehicle for disposing of the waste at the end.
We at Agendrix have gone on garbage-collecting missions and found that it sparked our interest in community involvement and motivated us to create our Care collective. Many organizations have waste collection as their mission. In the Eastern Townships, we were able to do our team-building activity through Action Saint-François.
💡 Rallying together to help the environment is really rewarding since you can directly see the results of your actions in the form of all of the garbage you clean up.
3. Cook a meal for underprivileged people
Do your employees include a few passionate cooks? Combine business with pleasure and take advantage of their talent by preparing a meal for the underprivileged.
This kind of “meals on wheels” puts you in direct contact with the most vulnerable members of your community. Human contact is a key aspect of volunteer involvement, but not all activities allow for this.
There are several ways to carry out this type of team-building activity. At Agendrix, we have collaborated with two organizations that provide weekly meals to people in need, in addition to donating to support food purchases.
💡 A variation would be to prepare box lunches with food available in grocery stores, and to travel around the city, visiting parks and places with homeless people, to offer them a meal.
4. Organize a fundraising campaign
There are many opportunities for organizing a fundraising campaign, and many different types of needs you can respond to. Ideally, you should choose a cause that appeals to your team members and pull together to raise donations.
A fundraising campaign can be an exciting challenge and even spark friendly competition among your employees. During our participation in Movember 2021, Agendrix offered a prize for whoever would collect the most donations. Let me tell you that it didn’t take much to awaken the competitive spirit in some participants!
However, before you embark on a fundraising campaign, make sure you have interested team members who are comfortable asking for support from the people around them. Otherwise, this kind of activity will become a burden.
💡 Healthy competition is a great motivator and often leads to even better results. Children aren’t the only ones who get fired up at the prospect of earning a reward or winning a contest!
5. Deliver food baskets
Food baskets are handed out at various times of the year through a number of community organizations. This being said, the period of greatest need is often the holiday season.
Organizations need help at multiple stages, such as preparing the baskets, distributing them to people in need, handling requests, etc.
The Agendrix team took part in food basket distribution in collaboration with the Rock Guertin Foundation during the 2021 holiday season. It was incredibly rewarding seeing the smiles on the faces of the people who came to collect their baskets.
💡 Distributing food baskets is a festive, joyful, and sometimes moving experience. This is a team-building activity where your team will truly feel that they are giving back and that their involvement is having an impact.
6. Take part in a fundraising race
Fundraising races are opportunities to participate in a team sport activity while doing something positive for a cause.
There are countless opportunities to participate in races put on by organizations and foundations. Again, the key is simply to pick a cause that resonates with you.
Sports are an unbeatable team-building activity, as they promote health, foster healthy lifestyle habits, and allow us to collectively take on a challenge where we can encourage and be proud of one another.
These kinds of activities have two components: the fundraising and the race itself. The day of the race is just the tip of the iceberg, because as soon as your team knows it will be participating, you can start training and preparation sessions. This prerequisite drums up excitement around the activity, in addition to the day itself, which is very festive and enjoyable.
💡 Fundraising races can take many forms, from short races (5 km) to longer races (10 km), half and full marathons, and even downhill skiing or cycling races, for example.
7. Organize a card-making campaign for isolated individuals
A card-making campaign is very easy to set up and requires little time of your employees. Seniors’ residences, long-term care facilities and hospital in-patient floors tend to be home to more isolated people. Whatever the group your team chooses, assign a number of greeting cards to be made per employee, making sure to educate your team members about the cause.
Then go and hand out the greeting cards at a festive time of year, such as Christmas, Easter, or the beginning of summer.
💡 This team-building activity stimulates creativity and directly cheers up many people who live in solitude. Card-making tip: Divide up the tasks by asking your “artists” to create the drawings and your “altruists” to write personalized messages.
8. Give Christmas gifts to children in need
Similar to the greeting card campaign, a Christmas gift campaign for underprivileged children requires varying amounts of time from your team.
This type of involvement has significant benefits for everyone concerned.
Several variations are possible… Simply discuss them beforehand as a team! You can buy new toys, or make or reuse toys and games. It’s up to you!
💡 You can also work together with an organization such as Leucan. Many organizations launch these types of campaigns a little before the holidays.
Enjoying the many benefits of team-building
Team-building is critical to your organization’s well-being. If you think you’ve already done all the conventional activities, these 8 ideas are clearly for you. In addition to giving your employees the opportunity to give to others, you will be contributing to a cause and assisting people who need a helping hand. If you don’t have a community involvement committee at your organization, your best bet is to partner with local community organizations, as they already have a structure in place to help pursue your ambitions.