Once upon a time, workers came for a job and stayed for a career, which made retention rather easy for employers. It wasn’t uncommon for baby boomer and gen-x workers to spend their entire work life with just a couple of employers. Today, millennials are the most populous generation in the workforce, outnumbering baby boomers by over three million, and they operate quite differently than their predecessors.

Whereas previous generations found the task of searching and applying for a new job, learning a new manager and tasks, and fitting in with new coworkers a daunting task, millennials aren’t afraid of such changes and efforts to professionally advance themselves. They demand employee engagement and employee recognition, and they aren’t afraid to job hop until they find that perfect fit. If your company isn’t offering that path, then you’re likely losing a significant amount of invaluable workers to more astute competitors.

My college roommate is a perfect example of the millennial worker’s mindset. She found her “dream job” immediately after graduation. Despite college debt, purchasing her first home, and other debts, she informed her boss she was quitting her job because she felt unengaged in almost every aspect of it. She’s only been there two years, and it’s a position that the company will dedicate thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to refill.

The Education Advisory board recently found that millennials change jobs up to 20 times in their professional careers, which is twice as much as the average baby boomer employee. A Forbes article highlighted how less than 30 percent of millennial workers plan to stay with their job for at least five years, and 74 percent plan to quit their jobs within the next three years. So, what has today’s workforce so fickle, and what can employers do to solve the retention problem? Let’s explore.

Show Me The Value, Not The Ping-Pong Table 

Cofounder and CEO of Podium Eric Rea thinks the problem centers on employee engagement factors, which is a thought that echoed exactly what the roommate reasoned as she decided to quit her job. Studies show that millennials don’t just want a paycheck. Instead, they feel the need to be connected to their professional role and its worldly impact. Today’s workers want to be challenged, fulfilled, engaged, and be free to explore innovative ideas and concepts that make a difference.

The disconnect between what millennial workers want and are getting professionally is demonstrated by a Clutch study that found up to 40 percent of millennials were seeking alternative job opportunities because they felt disengaged and unfulfilled in their current work situation. BambooHR Director Cassie Whitlock says that employers must create compelling opportunities and experiences to retain millennial workers in today’s job marketplace.

Those retention efforts don’t equate to a smorgasbord of free snacks, gaming tables, PTO extravaganzas, and other ‘fun’ company culture tactics. Such might’ve been the way to the hearts of the tech boom employees working at Facebook and such, but it simply doesn’t translate to the bulk of the millennial workforce seeking a more meaningful company culture in the job marketplace as a whole.

Employers Must Earn, Not Bribe, Workforce Retention 

Kodiak Cakes senior communications manager Allison Brown, a millennial herself, explains how long-term loyalty from millennial workers must be earned, not bought and bribed. Her ideal company sets a clear growth path and empowers workers to follow it. This, she explains, is how she can know where she’s working is helping her achieve her professional goals.

An Instructure survey finding that up to 90 percent of millennials are looking to grow their careers within their current employment and that training and development opportunities would deter them from seeking alternative employment opportunities backs up Brown’s take on why candy-coated benefits just don’t cut it with the bulk of today’s workforce. Workers are no longer content with being stagnant in the same position. They want to learn advanced skill sets and to clearly see opportunities for growth and advancement upon their horizons.

The days of distracting workers from career goals with sideline fun and games are done. This is a workforce laser focused on results. Rea is ensuring the growth demand of Podium’s workforce, which happens to be 80 percent millennials, is met via educational and advancement opportunities structured around public speaking, mentorship, building personal brand, career advancement, innovative thinking, and so forth.

Other companies are following a similar path to attract and retain a professionally hungry, eager, and agile millennial workforce. From educational reimbursement to promoting internal hires first, managers are starting to aim at the right employee recognition and employment engagement efforts to more successfully align employee goals with employer benefits so that millennials can stay, develop, and succeed within their company.

Forget The Free Diet Vanilla Coke And Give Your Workforce Growth Opportunities 

As mentioned above, millennials value knowing they’re being productive both in their own careers and from a worldly perspective. This is growth, and a huge part of the equation is receiving quality feedback from management. One study found that 72 percent of millennial workers who received regular managerial feedback were more satisfied and fulfilled by their job. That’s a huge HR productivity point.

Note that the keyword above is regular. Many companies start new hires off with routine assessments and feedback sessions, but, as the worker shows proficiency, the feedback dwindles to become less frequent to nonexistent. This recipe leaves all workers free to ponder if their work is valuable, good, or even matters. Now, this doesn’t mean that managers should be micromanaging or overly involved in day-to-day tasks, but frequent guidance and constructive feedback are critical points in keeping workers from feeling devalued, mediocre, and unimportant and thus seeking employment in a more positive environment.

In fact, many millennial workers say that they actually crave constructive criticism from direct supervisors and managers to feel empowered to continually improve in their own roles and avoid employment-stifling stagnation. So what’s the perfect balance between micromanaging and quality feedback?

According to Qualtrics, workers should generally have weekly feedback opportunities from management. Do keep in mind this should be adjusted based on management style, the pace and significance of the company’s industry, and the comfort expressed by various team members.

The main takeaway here is for companies to develop their own hybrid feedback model that supplements traditional formal annual reviews. More in-depth discussions about long-term goals and overall performance can be reserved for the semi-annual/ annual reviews. Meanwhile, HR professionals and managers can initiate an ‘in the moment’ feedback system to address daily, weekly, and monthly productivity so that workers aren’t left to wonder about performance and value.

Change Your Company Culture To Attract And Retain Today’s Workforce 

Seeing how millennials have changed the dynamics of employment behaviors, gen-x workers aren’t exactly following the long-term employment footsteps of the baby boomer generation. Today’s workforce is unapologetic and fearless about seeking the best employment that offers them meaningful advancement within the big picture of life, not trivial perks like ping pong and free sodas. They’re fickle, and that leaves a huge workforce sustainability problem for managers.

The bottom line is that to attract and retain today’s workforce HR managers and directors must be focused on adding real value to the work environment by ensuring their workforce stays engaged, finds fulfillment, has advancement and growth opportunities, and receives the feedback and measures to know it all matters. Otherwise, these high-value employees will seek those big picture benefits elsewhere, and you’ll be left wasting countless resources and losing precious productivity as you continually refill positions left vacant by workers who’ve moved on to help advance your competitor’s business.

Do you want to know more about how to initiate a positive company culture to attract and retain valuable employees? Nectar offers a suite of products to implement employee recognition, perks, and purse surveys to bring meaningful changes to both your company and its workforce.

Build a culture people are proud of without breaking the bank

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Company Core Values: The 7 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid

{{ excerpt(`With the world shifting more towards remote workforces, the importance of company core values to achieve organizational alignment has never been greater. Directly proportional to that is the challenge of effectively integrating these values in a virtual work environment. Soon, organizations will no longer be able to get away with just “checking the box” when it comes to core values. To build a highly-productive culture that stands the test of uncertainty, an organization must correctly place core values at the foundation.<div data-empty="true"><br></div>How can you make company values more meaningful and impactful? Here are the 7 most common mistakes to avoid and how to fix them:<strong><br><h2>1. Values aren’t actionable</h2></strong>Integrity, quality, excellence.. Do any of these sound familiar? Not to throw shade, but core values like these are not going to get the job done. They are too vague and don’t drive behavior. A recent <a href="https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/195491/few-employees-believe-company-values.aspx" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Gallup study</a> showed that only 23% of employees strongly agree that they can apply their organization’s values to their work everyday. Company values should be the backbone of everyday decision-making. Think of company values as a map or GPS. Every time an employee comes to a fork in the road, they should be able to call on a core value to help guide their decision to move in the right direction. For example, one of Facebook’s early core values was “move fast and break things”. This core value is in the form of a statement and helps inform action. It tells employees “we value speed over perfection and if you’re ever in a situation where there is a choice between the two, always choose speed”. Actionable core values always present a trade-off between two good things like speed or perfection. Generic core values aren’t very helpful because they’re usually no-brainers. Employees aren’t usually asking, “When faced with a choice between honesty or dishonesty, which one should I choose?”<strong><br></strong><h2><strong>2. Too many values</strong></h2>There’s a theory in psychology called “the Magic number 7 (plus or minus 2)”. This theory states that most adults can store between 5-9 items in their short-term memory. In order for people to understand your values and then be able to communicate them, it is vital that they remember what they are. If you have more than 9 company values, you aren’t doing your staff any favors. No matter how many you have, it might be a good idea to create an acronym out of your core values to make them easier to remember. <strong><br><h2>3. Values are an afterthought</h2></strong>Oftentimes core values are viewed by leadership as a box that needs to be checked. If they aren’t seen as strategic priority, your organization won’t put in the effort to create and communicate actionable values that will drive productive behavior. This can have an overall massive impact on your organization’s culture and bottom line. HR and People Ops leaders aren’t in charge of creating company values but they should definitely be pushing the management team to prioritize the creation, communication and measurement of them. By not being deliberate about embedding core values into an organization’s culture, “accidental” values surface and a huge opportunity is missed. <strong><br><h2>4. Values are under-communicated&nbsp;</h2></strong>Posting company values on the office wall is not enough (especially if you have a remote workforce). This shouldn’t be a one-time event. To truly embed core values into your culture, it takes consistent action. You must find ways to promote your values in all forms of communication. This includes newsletters, Slack messages or channels, emails, town hall meetings etc. They should be seen so often that everybody knows what they are AND what it looks like to live them. <strong><br><h2>5. Values aren’t baked into hiring &amp; onboarding</h2></strong>Piggybacking off the previous point, company values need to be communicated frequently and consistently. This is especially important when it comes to hiring and onboarding new employees. If you’re not giving proper weight to core values when someone is joining the company, they will see that as a sign that core values really aren’t that important to you. Your core values should be touted and marketed to prospective hires. Finding people who align well with these values will increase the likelihood of a good hire and save you headaches down the road. Find ways to weave your core values into onboarding and training. A great place to start is to create a “Culture Code” or “Culture Manifesto” - some slides that list your company’s core values and give examples of them in action. Here are some famous examples from <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Netflix</a> and <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/HubSpot/the-hubspot-culture-code-creating-a-company-we-love" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">HubSpot</a> - but don’t be overwhelmed, these are evolving documents so just start with something really basic and go from there. <strong><br><h2>6. Lack of value-based recognition&nbsp;</h2></strong>The best way to make core values a living, breathing part of your organization’s culture is to create a value-based recognition program. By focusing all your recognition and reward efforts around core values, you are helping employees identify the personification of these values. Recognition is no longer given for just going “above and beyond” but is tied on a deeper level to company values, thus reinforcing them. This creates a virtuous cycle of positive, productive behaviors and a more focused workforce.&nbsp;<h2><strong>7. Lack of measurement</strong></h2>Hopefully by now we can agree that core values are a vital element of an organization’s culture and that they can have an undeniable impact on the numbers that matter. To do it right, lots of effort and resources are dedicated to the integration of these values in the workforce. Imagine putting tons of work into something and not knowing what the results or outcomes are - this is how the majority of companies operate. They have no way to quantify which core values are being embraced most and which ones could use some attention. In a world where data is king, it is more important than ever to figure out how to capture and visualize this type of data to better inform your cultural decisions. Digital recognition and rewards platforms can help track and measure core value data to give you valuable insights. They allow employees to give each other shout-outs when core values are being displayed and each shout-out is tagged with a value. The tags allow this data to be tracked so you can view analytics to understand how your core values breakdown over time and on organizational, team or individual levels.`) }} ...

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What Motivates Employees to Stay

{{ excerpt(`<span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Employee turnover is at an all-time high in the modern workforce. Employees are demanding more and more freedom (thanks millennials) and the number of remote workers has nearly doubled in the last few years. What all this means for companies is that it is harder and harder to stand out in every moving workplace. The trends are shifting from candidates attempting to stand out to businesses needed to sell themselves to candidates in order to succeed. So, what are the things that help employee retention? How can employers capture their target audience? Here is a list of things that motivate employees to stay at their companies:</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>#1 It’s Not Money – Employee Engagement</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>In a recent Harvard Business Study, it was found that the number one reason that employees remain at their jobs is that they are engaged. Employee engagement matters! This is the era of options. Gone are the days of slogging through the snow uphill to work, both ways. Now if an employee is not engaged money is not enough to retain them because someone else will pay them. Skilled labor is readily available and so are job positions. Employee engagement is now more pressing than the number on the direct deposit slip, and according to another recent study, only 32% of the modern workforce is engaged.&nbsp;</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>How to Have High Employee Engagement?</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Invest, invest, invest. We aren’t talking about just buying ping-pong tables and stocking the breakroom (still not a bad idea). Invest in your employee’s future. Train them to be better at their jobs, provide them with a pathway to success, and make sure that your companies values tie in with their personal values and vision. A company without values is like a chicken with its head cut-off. Employees need to buy in to the vision in order to be engaged and find success in their work.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>#2 Still Not Money – Feeling Valued</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Guess what? People want to feel valued and recognized. That should not be a shock to any HR team in any section of the world. Employee’s wanting to feel respected for their work and know that their managers and teammates appreciate them. Employees who receive this kind of daily peer-to-peer recognition are more likely to not only be engaged but also to feel appreciated. Employee recognition is one of the hardest things for companies to implement and maintain at a healthy level.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>How to Set Up a Good Employee Recognition Program?</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Let the experts handle it. Lots of companies have tried using things like post-it notes, marbles in a jar, redeemable tickets at work, and other ways to show appreciation. Most programs like this are either under-utilized or ineffective. There are lots of options for employee recognition platforms. Nectar HR is one of these. It is a free employee engagement program that works for recognition, perks, rewards, and employee feedback. Finding a cost-effective way to engage employees is key to creating a great workplace culture and retaining employees.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>#3 Work-life integration</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>This is one of the latest company culture buzzwords. It used to be a matter of finding the appropriate work-life balance, but more and more employees are wanting to feel that they are known and appreciated on a personal level. Treating employees on a personal level encourages an emotional connection between employees and company. This promotes employee retention and employee engagement. By establishing an emotional connection between employee and company you provide a powerful reason beyond monetary compensation for remaining at a company rather than look for a better situation.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>The old strategies of spot bonuses and employee of the month are quickly losing their effectiveness as far as recognition goes. High employee turnover can be very costly and time consuming to try and replace people. Taking advantage of employee engagement programs builds loyalty and retention in the workplace.&nbsp;</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>Quick Recap:</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Money is a secondary cause of employees staying. In order to have a high retention rate companies need the following three things:</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>#1 Employee Engagement</strong></span><strong><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>#2 Feel Valued</span><br></strong><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'><strong>#3 Work-Life Integration</strong></span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>With these three things in place employee retention will spike and turnover will drop. Creating a company culture doesn’t have to be difficult. With programs like Nectar HR it is easy to set up a quick recognition program that allows for peer-to-peer recognition and more traditional top-down recognition. Boost your employee retention in this new environment of quick turnover. Moving away from traditional methods is the key to surviving and saving money in this new age of business.</span><br><br><span style='font-size:16px;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;'>Find out more at <a href="http://www.nectarhr.com">www.nectarhr.com</a></span>`) }} ...

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45 Fun and Exciting Employee Engagement Activities Dished Up Courtesy of SnackNation

{{ excerpt(`With more than 70 percent of employees reporting that they feel disengaged at work, it's the job of managers, directors and HR staff to figure out how to relight their fire.<div data-empty="true"><br></div>What rewards could incentivize them? What activities could bring them closer to their co-workers and make them part of a dynamic, enthusiastic team?<div data-empty="true"><br></div><a href="http://snacknation.com" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">SnackNation</a> has put together a list of teambuilding exercises that might just do the trick. They're all fun, creative pursuits that encourage collaboration and communication, so they're ideal for shaking the cobwebs off your staff. Let's dish them up and examine some of the ways that you can improve workplace engagement!<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>1. Board Games</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Everyone loves to crush souls at Monopoly, so break out the board games for an energetic team gathering. There might be a bit of bloodshed, but it'll be worth it for landing Park Place.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>2. Ice Cream Breaks</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Studies have shown that you can increase productivity at the office by giving people more breaks instead of less. What better way to take a breather than with an ice cream truck?<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>3. Scavenger Hunt</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Putting your team in an unfamiliar environment is one of the secrets to a good bonding experience. When no one knows what's going on, everyone has to work together to accomplish a common goal. Scavenger hunts are great for this!<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>4. Karaoke</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>There's a reason why karaoke is a classic team-building activity. It's hard <em>not</em> to feel closer to someone after you've heard them butchering "We Will Rock You," especially if you provided the pounding feet to go along with it.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>5. Sports Events</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Some people can't tell a football from a foosball, but they probably won't mind attending a game on the company's dime. Even if they have no interest in sports, they'll enjoy the stadium food and the chance to kick back with their co-workers.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>6. Beach Bonanza</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Hit the beach for your next team activity. One of the benefits of getting out of the office is being able to see people as fun individuals rather than stuffy, rule-following suits, so go ahead and cheat at that sandcastle competition. It's for a good cause.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>7. Dodgeball</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>There's a reason why dodgeball is such a popular game. Everyone can play it, so it's very inclusive, and you can swap out hard helium balls for foam balls or beanbags if you're worried about injuries. Everybody wins!<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>8. Diversity Day</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Diversity days have gotten a bad reputation because of shows like <em>The Office</em>, but as long as you're not Michael Scott, you should be able to organize a rich and rewarding cultural exchange for your department.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>9. Question Friday</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>"Question Friday" is exactly what it sounds like. Every Friday, you pose a question to your team and let them run with it. You might be surprised at the kinds of debates that you inspire with a simple query.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>10. Rooftop Retreat</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Don't hold a party in a drab little conference room. Usher everyone onto the roof so that you can share food, drink, music and games under a gloriously open sky.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>11. Go-Karting</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Unleash your inner child with a race around the go-kart track. You might even allow your staff to bring their children and turn the whole thing into a fun, family-friendly event.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>12. Recreation Room</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Do you have a place where your workers can decompress? The break room might be too crowded or too full of weird microwave smells. You can create a much better environment by setting aside a recreation room filled with books, games, darts and ping pong tables.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>13. All-Hands Meetings</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>All-hands meetings will keep people in the loop about the company while also supporting and encouraging a constant flow of communication. Don't put them off until the end of the year. Make them a regular occurrence.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>14. Escape Rooms</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Escape rooms are so much fun that they don't even feel like the complex, critical-thinking and problem-solving activities that they are. Your team will build new skills together and thank you for the challenge!<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>15. Own It Day</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Own It Day is when everyone is allowed to pitch an idea to the boss regardless of their position in the company. It's a great way to remind your team that every voice matters.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>16. Virtual Reality</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>You don't need to buy fancy equipment to hold a virtual reality exercise. Companies like Team Building VR will provide everything that you need, and the end result will be eye-bogglingly awesome.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>17. Printmaking Class</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Informative and entertaining, a printmaking class will encourage your staff to exercise their creative muscles while also giving you the chance to do something together as a group.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>18. Dance or Martial Arts Lessons</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>You might need to run this one through the HR handbook since it's so physical, but if your staff is game, a salsa lesson or karate demonstration will be a fun way to kick-start a new quarter at the company.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>19. Movie Night</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Despite the name, you can have movie night at any time of day. Just lower the blinds, kick up your feet and pass around the popcorn. <em>Legally Blonde</em> is waiting for you.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>20. Epic Introductions</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Bring out the fog machine. Blast some of the greatest hits from metal bands. It's time to welcome your new hire, and the more extravagant that you get, the more that your team will bond together over your goofiness.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>21. Education Day</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>"Education Day" is when everyone spends the day learning something new. Not only will it stimulate the mind, but it will also generate debate and discussion when people share their new knowledge with others.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong><br>22. Group Exercise</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>You don't have to wear tights and workout bandanas. Just get everyone together for a quick set of jumping jacks while playing something cheesy like "Eye of the Tiger." It'll get the blood pumping before everyone hits their computers again.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>23. Viral Videos</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>What's the latest meme going around? Instead of trying to squash it in company memos, get everyone together to re-create it. People will bond very quickly over Gangnam Style or the Harlem Shake.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>24. Type Fight</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>A "type fight" is a head-to-head battle where two opposing artists create their own versions of the same typefaces. It makes a great team activity since it's quick, easy, fun and free. You might even get a new corporate font out of it!<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>25. Group Hike</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>You don't have to be physically present in the office to engage in teambuilding exercises. Take a stroll through the park and let everyone soak up some sun as you discuss what's going on with your latest project.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>26. Nerf Turf</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Nerf battles are a staple of trendy start-ups, but they can be hosted by businesses of all types. What kind of monster doesn't love getting hit in the face with a neon-colored projectile?<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>27. A Vow of Silence</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Conduct a project in complete silence. Have your team communicate with cues, gestures, eye contact and general body language. They'll learn a lot about each other that way.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>38. Peer Recognition Program</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and a peer recognition program can really improve morale around the office. As a bonus, better morale means better productivity.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>29. Adventure Club</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Nothing will bring a group together like a hair-raising, heart-stopping adventure, so if you have physically active staffers, look into fun outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. Their benefits can be both physical <em>and</em>psychological.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>30. Variety Show</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Do you have any film buffs on your team? Is anyone taking an improv class? Let them host their own variety show for the amusement of their co-workers. If nothing else, you might get the chance to use those old tomatoes in the break room fridge.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>31. Sprint Week</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>A sprint week involves everyone dropping all of their projects to focus on a single, solvable problem as a group. It's a chance to clear away some of your bureaucratic backlog, and it'll promote team unity and job satisfaction as well.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>32. Suggestion Box</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>If you're running out of ideas for employee activities, let your employees make their own itinerary. You can even turn it into an office party where everyone gets together to eat snacks, read suggestions and decide on their next shared experience.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong><br>33. Culture Jams</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Culture jams are basically open forums where workers can express themselves about non-work topics. They're a chance for people to really get to know one another on a deeper, more meaningful level.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>34. Lunchtime Fun</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Do you still have that Monopoly board? Break it out over a large communal lunch. As long as you don't mind queso on the cards, it should be a nice, lively time.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>35. Mountain Climbing</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Everest might be a little outside of your comfort zone, but climbing a local cliff will give your team the same kind of rush. When you're all looking down at the same sunset, you'll realize that it was a great idea.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>36. Shared Lunches</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>No one will turn down a free lunch, but instead of just handing someone a gift card and calling it a day, send out two people from different departments for a shared lunch. Let them form an unexpected friendship.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>37. Business Simulation</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Put your team to the test with a business simulation. They'll be free to make mistakes, try new things and figure out how to work together without any of the pressure of a real-world project.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>38. Team Building Kits</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>If you're pressed for time when it comes to organizing group activities, consider buying an official Team Building Kit. They're centered around fun activities like "solve a murder" and "escape from an alien planet," and everything that you need is right in the box!<div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong><br>39. Criss-Cross Brainstorming</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>The next time that you're having a problem, bring together an eclectic group of people to solve it. Pull them from different floors; make sure that they have different specialties. See if their unique perspectives can combine into a single solution.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong><br>40. Sensei Session</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Sensei sessions are demonstrations or presentations by some kind of expert. You don't have to hire boring, business-related lecturers. You can bring in any cook, clown, magician or juggler who knows what they're doing and is willing to share their secrets.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>41. Team Notes</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Team notes are observations on your staff that you jot down during meetings and conferences. They can help you determine which of your workers need a little boost to reach their full potential.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>42. The Buddy System</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>This is more of a systematic change than a one-time event, but if you're looking for new things to try with your team, consider starting a buddy system. It can really improve communication around the office.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>43. Indoor Sky Diving</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>You might not be able to convince your workers to jump out of a real plane, but indoor sky diving can be just as exciting. It's risk-free as well, so you won't have to worry about liability.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>44. Circle of Appreciation</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>If you aren't quite ready to launch a full-scale peer recognition program, consider a simple "circle of appreciation." Gather your team and have everyone say something nice about the person on their left. It's a quick and easy feel-good exercise for any type of team.<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div><strong>45. Cocktails</strong><div data-empty="true"><br></div>Never underestimate the power of a mojito. Happy hour is one of the oldest employee activities in the book, but there's a reason why it's such an enduring one. People always have a blast when they can cut loose!<div data-empty="true"><br></div><div data-empty="true"><br></div>These are just a few team-building exercises that can foster more harmony and synergy in your workplace. Disengaged employees don't have to stay that way, so don't write them off. Bring them back into the fold with fun group activities.`) }} ...

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