On-Off Group’s Virtual Team-Building Experience with Build Impact
How does a Virtual Team-Building work?
Virtual team-building involves the use of video calling to enable teams to engage over group activities. It's essentially taking activities from traditional physical team building — mixed with some ‘game night’ activities you would play with your friends — and adapting it to an online setting. This works best with a Facilitator and can be done by nominating someone in the team to lead or by bringing in an external company to take on the role.
As On-Off Group specializes in facilitating Design Thinking and UX workshops, they understand the power of expert facilitation. I believe for them it was a no-brainer to bring Build Impact in to lead their virtual team-building.
We're trying to make OOG a better place to work and ensure that our work has a positive impact on our lives. [In response to a ‘Happiness Survey’ we held], we started the team-building sessions to cultivate stronger coworker relationships. We also held training for better resilience and mental health.
— Jaycel Martin, Office Manager
Benefits of Virtual Team-Building
Virtual team-building suits companies who do not have an office base and their team work remotely. It also works for teams working from different office locations or with employees based abroad. With remote work, employees may find it hard to engage with each other socially. There may not be time to socially connect outside of work tasks— all the more, if the work is demanding, employees do not have the time to prepare and plan for social bonding.
Bringing in a team-building facilitator who can plan sessions ensures that social activities are in the company’s agenda. The sessions help team members get to know each other more, albeit physically displaced from one another. This increased connection with colleagues gives members a sense of belonging which can lead to increased job satisfaction, as well as performance.
Why Virtual Team-Building is vital during quarantine
The need for social interaction amongst team members is all the more important during the pandemic. Many of us are still adjusting to the new ways of working from home. Employees who are not used to working in a virtual setting may find that they miss that interaction with colleagues. These team building activities give them the opportunity to take a step back from their tasks and socialise.
Employees working from home are sometimes putting in more hours due to the reduced commute— they may also be isolated and under great stress. Being able to have non-work related sessions can ease that tension as the team takes the time to appreciate each other.
How were the sessions run?
In preparation for the sessions, we had a discovery call with Phil Smithson, CEO of On-Off Group. We needed to understand what areas they wanted developed and the style/tone of the sessions. We tailor-made the programme based on the discovery call and the specific needs they wanted to focus on.
Rather than having day long events - which is typical in traditional team building - we at Build Impact prefer having short sessions (less than 1 hour) on a weekly basis. We agreed to hold a session once a week over a five week period. Each session began with a fun group game and an interactive activity to encourage openness between employees.
Over the 5 week programme, we facilitated simple fun games and the team members got to draw their passions and hobbies. In between the group sessions we gave the teams ‘homework’. This involved team members interacting through creative one-on-one sessions, further building relationships outside of the group activities. Most of the activities were documented through a shared Google Sheet tracker called a ‘Team Pack’.
The purpose of the team pack is to share and exchange info between the participants. The second and most important part is for other team members to put in writing what they appreciate about each other. Every team member has to have written on everyone’s individual tabs.
Building On-Off Group’s Social Impact
Aside from building camaraderie between employees, it’s also our priority to incorporate social impact in our programmes. We are very passionate about supporting local communities and encouraging our clients to do the same. We believe that employees who work together for a bigger cause are more motivated to achieve. After getting a consensus from the teams, here are some of the non-profit organisations we suggested:
As an example, Likhaan Center needed supplies for one of their clinics in QC. They provided us a list of items they needed e.g. cleaning supplies, towels, gloves, face shields, alcohol etc.
We are now in the process of working with other organisations like Upskills who nurture students living in 3rd generation severe poverty. Our goal is to provide virtual mentoring/coaching for the students in areas of their life that they need support (e.g. career advice). We will be coordinating these activities with On-Off Group going forward.
What were the outcomes?
At the end of the last session, we asked the team if they could share one thing they learnt from the programme and some of the responses included:
“We should do this way more often.”
“We found out things from our colleagues we never knew about.”
“The sessions have helped us bond more as a team.”
One of the objectives during the initial discovery session was to try to develop stronger co-working relationships. From the feedback we received, I can confidently say that we could say we achieved that goal. The team at On Off Group was a pleasure to work with — they were friendly and enthusiastic about joining the games which led to a better overall experience.
About Build Impact
The name is a combination of ‘Team-Building’ and ‘Social Impact’. We are passionate about making work life fun for people and we think that starts with building relationships with co-workers. We are also passionate about supporting non-profits and providing social impact. Our remote facilitating services help us to make an impact and reach these goals.
If you would like to get your remote team working more closely, please email or call us. We can set up a free 30 minute discovery call to discuss your team needs.
Contact: Greg Valencia of Build Impact at firstname.lastname@example.org