When all 25 New York City-based team members of the ZogLife office worked remotely for nearly two months while their workspace underwent a refresh, the team used it as an opportunity to experiment.
The experts have spoken: Play is more than just fun and games. But as HR professionals and people leaders, how can we be strategic in using play to engage your coworkers? How can we design experiences that make employees excited to raise their hand and jump in the game?
Topics: Office Culture, Play, Team Building, Event Planning, Play at Work, Corporate Event Planning, Company Retreats, Ideas, Employee Engagement, Fun at Work, Connection, Culture, Employee Experience, Company Culture, Tips, Human Resources, diversity and inclusion, company events, Employee Appreciation, Fun, Play Personalities, Stuart Brown
Let’s get one thing straight: Play isn’t just kid stuff. There’s a science to how we play, and it affects our lives in important ways—from how we work to what we find fulfilling. In fact, some social scientists suggest play might be the most important work we do.
Topics: Office Culture, Play, Team, Play at Work, Work Life Balance, Fun at Work, Work Culture, Connection, Culture, Employee Experience, Community, Company, Company Culture, Sports, Tips, Games, March Madness, Basketball, NCAA Tournament
Welcome to Leaders In Play! We interview people who take having FUN at work very seriously. We know, it seems like a crazy concept, but incorporating Play At Work has been proven to improve employee engagement, creativity, recruitment, retention, and provide countless other benefits that help create healthy company culture. Read on to learn more about our featured leader and their definition of Play, both in and out of the workplace.
Topics: Office Culture, Event Planning, Play at Work, Work Culture, Connection, Culture, Employee Experience, Company, Company Culture, Leadership, Human Resources, company events, Employee Recognition, Games, Interview, Leaders In Play
As a kid, did you buy those pharmacy-branded Valentine’s Day Cards with cheesy sayings like “Just speeding by with Valentine 'Hi'”?
I don’t usually care much for these designated holidays. But National Girls & Women in Sports Day? You got me there. I’ll play.
We’ve all been there. We’re exhausted, finally finished working a 12 hour day and just want to get home in time for the Bachelor before someone ruins the episode for you on Facebook. You finally board the subway after not being able to fit on the first two because, although people are screaming it in your ear, people won’t actually MOVE IN! You’re hungry, cranky, and sweating more than you do when you go to the gym to take selfies of yourself “working out. #motivationmonday” And then there’s that one person who becomes the final straw. The passenger that gives you that last push of inspiration you needed to make that ultimate decision of “that’s it — i’m getting married and moving to Westchester.” We understand and we are right there with you. So let’s take a moment to honor those who inspire us…
Core values have received more attention in the past year than ever before. More companies are recognizing that improving their office culture is a strategy that leads to sustainable success and at the center of a company’s culture are the core values in which they truly believe.
I was 22 years old. It was my first job post college. I already missed the camaraderie of college and playing intramural sports, but this was my first real job (and a tough one at that — at global consulting firm Mercer). I needed to focus 100% on work. Make a good impression. Show them how committed I was. Didn’t I?
The most common question we get from new clients is “Do you have any tips to create teams for our upcoming company event?” Yes, yes we do.
Below are our team creation guidelines to use the next time you’re creating teams for your upcoming company event:
- While numbers matter, visibility matters more
Despite what research says, there’s no magic number for optimal team size. A Fortune study listed 4.6 as the ideal group size, but we’re not sure what happened to the other .4 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The main point is this: create teams where everyone gets a chance to know everyone else’s name.
Depending on the dynamics of a group, this may be ten people, or it may be thirty people. Create a space where everyone has a voice and can be seen.
2. Mix it up
Company events are the perfect time for your employees to get to know people they may not normally have the chance to work. The graphic designer is no longer “just that guy who sits at that table” and the CEO may become a relatable team player. Deliberately placing employees on teams with people they may not know allows for new connections and expanded networks across the company.
3. Assign roles
Have you ever been asked to make a decision in a group, though there was no clear leader in the room? When in this situation, it often starts with silence until one person steps up and proposes a direction. The conversation takes many turns, though ultimately may lead to a final decision. In this instance, a leader naturally arises.
When you have less time for a company event, we suggest designating a leader for each team so that the leader can bring clarity, direction and organization to the team. Our challenge to you is assign the captain role to people who are seeking new leadership opportunities. It’s a chance for them to shine and test out their leadership skills.
You may also want to assign other roles such as a scribe or a co-captain, depending on the activity and dynamics of the group.
4. Create a team name and a social contract
This is when the fun kicks in. Once teams are announced, ask each team to come up with a team name based on what the team shares — either in experience, interests, or fun facts. This helps teammates to get to know each other and identify differences as well as commonalities. An example of this is all members of the team may have a summer vacation planned and may have a shared loved of cats. In this instance, the team may name themselves the “travelling cats”. Admittedly, not the strongest example, though try it out and let us know how what you come up with!
In addition to a team name, we encourage you to create a way of working together. Ask teams to commit to five principles they will commit to while being on a team. Examples of these can be, “We will be on time” or “We will high five each other after every activity.” Once all five commitments are written down, ask each team member to sign the contract to put the social contract in place. Note: the team contract can also be used outside of company events and for any team you put in place within your organization.
According to this article from Wharton, the most important part of creating a team is outlining who are we, what are we going to do and how are we going to do it? — the team name and team social contract is one way to live into this.
Are you ready to create teams that impact employees beyond just your day of event? Do you have other tips? Leave comments below!
The Zog Culture Business supports organizations by increasing morale and collaboration, and enhances the employee experience by creating connections and camaraderie. We offer Field Days and Company events, In-Office Programming, and Private Tournaments. Learn more by visiting our site or email Danny@ZogSports.com to inquire about bringing Zog to your office.