With so many organizations working remotely or in a hybrid capacity, it can be difficult to remain connected to your team. Here at Maricopa Corporate College, we have a particularly close-knit team: we’re known for hosting parties for our team’s major milestones (like graduations and weddings), enjoying Lake Day together, planning gender reveals, celebrating birthdays with
Jenga or cornhole, bringing in bagel trays, hosting potlucks, etc. For us, it’s important that we stay connected and engaged as a team, especially since we haven’t seen one another in person in over six months.
So how are we keeping our team’s traditions alive in the age of virtual meetings? We re-evaluated the way our meetings were conducted.
We recently converted our weekly update meetings into biweekly updates, supplemented with biweekly #HappyChats.
#HappyChats are our team’s way of staying connected, catching up on our “water cooler chat” (as we like to call it), playing games, hosting team-building exercises, and more. With #HappyChats, each department takes turns running the meeting and organizing a fun activity for the rest of the team.
Our first team to host a #HappyChats meeting was our marketing department, who wanted to create the feel of in-person
connections while making the most of the virtual environment. Check out our marketing team’s planning process below for an inside look at how they made Superhero Day happen.
A theme can be anything: tacos, superheroes, cars, game night, sports, 90s, etc. There really isn’t a shortage of themes available, and the theme itself is not really what matters. How you use the theme and bring in smaller details is what your team will really care about. For Superhero Day, for instance, our marketing team not only asked everyone to wear superhero t-shirts or costumes, but even created superhero-related virtual backgrounds for everyone to use. This was ideal for creating an inclusive environment, where everyone could participate as a superhero, even if they didn’t own a costume or related t-shirt.
Activities can range from how-to demonstrations to videos to trivia games to bingo and more! The sky is the limit when it comes to hosting virtual activities, but be sure that whatever activity you choose, it aligns with your theme. Our marketing team used the
Kahoot! platform to create a trivia game that was related to the quarantine and superheroes. Some questions included:
Each question tied back to the superhero theme, however, with a photo of a famous comic book scene or superhero. Kahoot!, in particular, is a fun platform, as it offers answer choices in a variety of shapes and colors, which helped to contribute to the superhero theme.
Our marketing team kicked off the meeting with a superhero theme song from the Incredibles and asked our team to come up with a superhero name or desired super power. Answers ranged from time travel to flying to the ultimate project management superpowers (this was our team’s favorite answer) and superhero names included:
Paying attention to the details can make or break your theme. Even if your theme is something simple like tacos, you'll want to consider various different details that relate to your event. You can ask people to make their favorite taco and eat it during the meeting. People can dress up in a taco costume or share their favorite taco recipe. You can even host a how-to demonstration on making the best taco. Although these details may seem like a lot of work, they can help take your meeting (or event) to the next level.
A great way to make your meeting or event completely unique is to make it personal to your team and avoid “cookie cutter” details. To achieve this level of personalization, our marketing team created Quarantine Superhero certificates to thank the MCOR team for their success during the quarantine and tie the quarantine trivia game into the superhero theme.
While our certificates included pictures of our team members, you can create a personal certificate, invite, general admission ticket, or other fun document in platforms like Canva for free (or relatively cheap). The best part? You don’t even need to worry about printing costs! Just download the file and email it to your team.
If creating documents isn’t your thing, you can do something fun by shipping cookies to each team member or having tacos delivered to your team the day of the event. These options cost a little more money, of course, but add a nice touch that will make your team feel appreciated. You can also do fun, personalized posts on social media or write a heartfelt thank you note for each
team member. Remember: just stick to the theme, think outside the box, and have a good time!
Want more ideas on how to keep your team happy and engaged during times of stress? Check out our Impact Breakfast Webinar: Staying Stress-Free and Happy in Today’s Workplace!