Social consciousness is more prominent than ever before, with many individuals expressing their desire to work for a company that gives back – while team building events continue to remain important to the success of nearly every company and organization.
Team building activities have an extensive list of benefits. A few of the most relevant include improving trust and communication between co-workers and increasing morale and employee retention. Even Richard Branson, the world-renowned business magnate and entrepreneur extraordinaire, agrees that community building can help grow your business and boost relationships, health, and morale for all of your employees.
An employee team building event can be taken one step further by giving the entire activity a ‘feel good’ objective. Adding a philanthropic aspect to your team building event will allow you to give back, and enable your employees to feel a sense of pride at working for an organization that connects with and gives back to the community.
There are many ways in which you can give back to your community through your next team building event. Here are some easy-to-execute examples:
1. Sports Teams or Walking / Running Events
One of the most popular community-oriented team building activities is a sports-related (or walking / running) event. Many companies organize their employees into a team – such as a softball, basketball, or volleyball team – to participate in a charity sports tournament. Motionball, a not-for-profit organization that raises money for the Special Olympics, is a great example. The money raised through participating in these events is then given to the charity. Running/walking events are another common way to raise money for charity. Even employees that don’t feel like competing athletically can get involved and have fun by seeking out pledges, filling up water bottles and simply cheering on their team members.
2. Food Events
Another very respectable community-oriented team-building activity is a food event. This is simply a broad term for any activity in which people help feed others less fortunate than themselves. Volunteering at a local mission or food bank is a great way to do this. Chances are that there is also a local charity in your city that needs all the help that it can get raising money for food or collecting donated food for the needy. You could even organize an office / community food drive yourself. Better yet, neither of these two activities requires long hours of effort – a handful per employee will suffice – and both are easy to set up and get rolling.
3. Raising Money
Though it is not a team-building event in the traditional sense of the word, fundraising for a charity is a great way to unite your employees and boost their morale while helping out others. Your employees can organize fundraising activities and events. You can choose to donate to a particular charity that your team members are passionate about, or you can choose one related to the industry your organization is involved in. You can even donate products or services related to your company to those who normally wouldn’t be able to receive them.
4. Scavenger Hunts & Puzzles
Though they are not necessarily thought of as traditional team building events like fundraising, charity sports, or food banks, scavenger hunts or puzzles can actually be a great way to get your team outside, solve a problem or task, and have fun. Another example is a puzzle or building event, where employees split into teams and are tasked with solving a challenge or building a bicycle which is then donated to kids from United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters or Boys & Girls Club. In the scavenger hunt example, you can even add a bit of a ‘feel good’ community feel to the mix by holding your scavenger hunt event for a charity in much the same way as the above-mentioned sports or running / walking events. You might even consider opening up the scavenger hunt to local community members – especially children – to get even more people involved.
Using MapDash to Give Back
Using MapDash offers an even greater advantage when it comes to combining philanthropy and team building activities. Not only do you have the benefit of engaging your team members in a fun way and encouraging healthy competition, but you have access to analytics and decision-making metrics once the activity has wrapped up. Here are a few examples of how to incorporate MapDash into your charitable team-building event:
- Neighbourhood clean-up: Use MapDash to send people to various locations around the city to clean up graffiti, trash, local parks, etc.
- Food events: Use MapDash to drive individuals to grocery stores around the city. Donate the purchases to the food bank or a family in need.
- All-out scavenger hunt: Get creative and do it all! Use MapDash to encourage participants to solve challenges with a purpose. One challenge could be drive individuals to a shelter to sort clothing, then to a soup kitchen to serve food, and then to a park to build a bike.
Part of the reason that so many team building activities fail is because they have no real purpose, no real goal. Employees often resist participation when they feel they are just being herded into an activity that wastes time and has no real benefits. By combining your next team building event with philanthropy, you can provide your employees with a cause to rally around, increasing morale throughout the activity and pushing them to do their very best. Giving back to your community with your next team building event is a great way to help those in need while also improving the skills and morale of your employees.