10 workplace activities to keep employees happy

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Happy employees are productive employees, so keeping up staff morale should be high on your list of priorities.

As a manager, it can sometimes be difficult to get corporate team building activities off the ground.  But the benefits are worth it so keep at it, and soon team building games and events will become part of your workplace culture. Everyone will want to be part of your team.

Here are ten effective activities to keep your employees happy:

1. Organise yoga classes
If you work in an office and your employees are sitting at computers every day, don’t underestimate the impact yoga could have on their attitude and outlook. Yoga can help alleviate stress, calm the mind, release tension, improve brain function and lift mood. What boss wouldn’t want those outcomes?

2. Celebrate birthdays
You don’t just have to rely on business games to boost morale. Simply acknowledging special occasions can have a big impact. It shows your team that you care about them as people, not just as employees. Get everyone to sign a card, have cake once a month, or simply buy them a round of coffees each time someone in your team has a birthday.

3. Guess who?
Ask everyone to bring a childhood photo of themselves and put them all up on a board and then get everyone to put their best guesses forward on each one. It’s a bit of easy, light-hearted fun that will definitely help lift spirits, while offering plenty of humour along the way.  

4. Office Olympics

A bit of light-hearted competition never hurt anybody – and it can also help bring people closer together. Split your staff into teams and get them to compete for gold. This can be an indoor activity, using items from around the office. Indoor sports such as table tennis, darts and small games kits can offer up enough events to run a full indoor Olympics.
Alternatively an outdoor Olympics with events such as three-legged and sack races can offer more variation and remove the worry of health and safety. However, make sure you lead by example and get stuck in alongside your staff.

5. Paintball
Give your employees an opportunity to let off some steam by organising a day of paintball. Simply getting out of the office can work wonders for staff morale. Watch out though – as the boss, you’re going to be a prime target.

6. Fundraise for a good cause together
Working together to raise money for a good cause can create a real buzz in an organisation.  Ask your staff to nominate a charity to support.  You could all run a half marathon as a team, organise a bake sale or introduce casual Fridays as ways to raise money. Your company can show its support and further incentivise staff by offering to match what they raise.

7. Brighten up the office
We can’t all be Google, with their table tennis tables, video games and Lego stations, but making your office a pleasant space to be in will go a long way. Set up some informal meetings spaces, hang pictures on the wall, introduce some more free and healthy foods for staff or even get a good coffee machine. Little things that will make people happier about coming into work each day.

8. Human knot
Get your team to stand in a circle facing each other. Ask everyone to raise their right hand and hold the hand of someone standing across from them. Do the same with the left hand. And then see how long it takes for the team to untangle the human knot without breaking the circle. It’s a great way for your team to work on their problem-solving and communication skills while also having a few laughs.  

9. Office trivia
Who doesn’t love a bit of trivia? Come up with a series of questions about your workplace and put your team’s knowledge to the test. Questions can range from “what was our estimated income last financial year?” to “which member of the management team enjoys extreme knitting?”. You could even take close-up photos of items around the office for teams to identify and locate.

10. Back-to-back drawing
This is a great one to help improve communication skills within your team. Split your team into pairs and get them to sit back to back. One person in each group is given the same picture to describe to their partner, who has to draw the shape or object being described. At the end of the allotted time, compare pictures to see how different they are – and which team has the best communication skills.

Finally, don’t just reserve team building games for away days. Incorporate them into your everyday way of working, you’ll soon have a far more positive and upbeat team to manage. Have fun!

Date: 3 March 2016
Category: Business

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