24 Oct 2013 – Colette Johnston – Featured –
A holiday team building event is an excellent way to engage employees in motivational participation, reward them by conducting it in a fun and entertaining way, and to make it memorable by choosing “charity” as the theme. The yuletide season is, after all, a time for giving and sharing, as much as receiving.
There are many ingenuous ways to create team building activities which will not only benefit employees and management, but also other less privileged individuals. The elderly, orphans, homeless, battered women, the list is endless for opportunities that a charitable-themed team building event can engage in.
Make a Senior Smile
Corporate social responsibility plus public service equals an occasion to put team building skills already learned – communication, problem solving, trust, among others – into action. Focusing on objectives such as social consciousness, interaction with different people of varying age groups, etc., can be accomplished by spending a team building day in a senior care facility.
Helping facility residents – many of whom do not have the chance to enjoy the holidays with their families – build their own holiday tree and other decorative ornaments and trimmings can be the challenging aspect of such a team builder, if it is professionally facilitated.
There’s Teamwork in Charity
By having several employee groups team up with groups of seniors, employees get to practice teamwork and their soft skills on seniors and come up with a winning tree and various holiday crafts which could serve as gift exchanges for the seniors during the holiday season.
Prizes can be given to seniors in the form of colorful water bottles, insulated coffee mugs, leg warmers, pillows, blankets, and other items useful to them, while individualized cups could be handed out to the winning employee participants. That translates to charity given with enthusiasm and teamwork done in harmony.
The Time and the Effort Count More
Another way to do a team builder in a charitable setting is to spend that day with the disabled, specifically those wheelchair-bound individuals. The large group can be broken into teams, with the patients in several groups partnering up with the employee teams.
Helping them decorate their wheelchairs will give the patients a boost in their self-esteem, while enabling the team building participants to practice learned skills and gain new ones in the process such as innovativeness, creativity, time management, etc.
The prizes do not have to be expensive. They can be in the form of winter apparel such as socks or gloves, or practical items such as small tote bags or pill cases. Again, in activities with charitable themes, monetary compensation is the last thing on anybody’s mind. It’s really the time, effort, and giving back that count.
Make It a Joint Venture this Year
Team building during the holidays can be so much more meaningful if merged with public service. Selecting a professional team building facilitator that can help customize specific needs of employees, such as the Magnovo Training Group, will reduce the hassle of creating the agenda, objectives, other logistics that go into team building exercises and gives meeting planners more time to focus on other details.
Should employees decide on a charity-themed holiday team building event, management can do its part by pointing them in the direction of the company’s strategic charity partnership.
Instead of having a holiday party and a separate holiday team building workshop, make it a “joint venture” this year. Team building for charity gives to those who are in need and, in an altruistic exchange, charitable giving makes a difference in the lives of the employees as well.