The end of the year is a time when employees (77%) report feeling burnt out. At the end of each year, we run a campaign to help leaders and teams ‘Make it Count.’ This final stretch can be a lot to take on, what with steep performance targets, an uncertain global context, and a holiday season that, for some, may bring more stress and isolation than joy and togetherness. This year, making it count is about prioritizing well-being and tapping into the support systems within our respective communities.
As a team, the last few weeks leading up to the holiday season are a great time to offset some of the stressors and come together to relax and connect on a personal level. Spending quality time and bonding with your team creates a space for everyone to be vulnerable, honest, and prioritize their well-being
In this article, we share five team activities that will leave your team members feeling better and more connected to one another.
1- Host a Venting Session
We've all been there. There is nothing more cathartic than a space to share how you really feel. Expressing yourself can lead to better psychological well-being and healthier connections. Whether it is releasing frustrations, or thinking out loud about challenges, we recommend creating a space for your team to let it all out.
These conversations can be held either in person or virtually, impromptu or planned, but we always recommend setting some sort of structure to ensure everyone feels heard. Ultimately, vent sessions encourage team members to have emotional support for one another and can help forge closer connections among team members.
2- Play Cosmic Conversations
If we are being honest, the company holiday party is where surface-level catch-ups happen, but we know the value of having meaningful conversations with your team. Sometimes people need a nudge toward deeper discussions and that’s where Cosmic Conversations comes in. We designed this game with prompts and activities to spark compelling conversations and help you get to know each other. Each prompt invites team members to share more about their lives and leaves them feeling more connected.
If you and your colleagues are getting together before the end of the year, we recommend playing a round or two of Cosmic Conversations. By opening up to each other on a more personal level, your team will leave the gathering with many memorable conversations.
P.S. These make for great stocking stuffers or team gifts!
3- Go for a walk
There is no shortage of data (or doctors) to tell you that physical activity enhances well-being and decreases stress. When the load of the last 11 months feels like too much to carry, and you can’t bring yourself to sit around a table anymore, we recommend going for a walk with your team. Team walks are an informal setting to connect beyond work tasks and encourage open communication, alleviate stress, and promote a healthier lifestyle. This not only contributes to your own individual well-being but also strengthens team cohesion. While on a walk, you are reducing distractions that might get in the way of deep conversations and team bonding.
Organize a walk with your team at a nearby park (did someone say Christmas Market?) or around the office premises if space allows for it. Remote teams can do this too, all you need is a phone call and some headphones to keep you connected as you get your steps in.
4- Share a Meal Together
Well-being for some is less about yoga or sound healing, and more about having some good old-fashioned fun. Studies show that teams that share meals have higher levels of emotional wellness and teamwork. It’s also a chance to change the scenery and enjoy a more laid-back environment where you can have fun conversations. (If you run out of things to say, there’s always Cosmic Conversations). Get the team together and choose a place that caters to the preferences and dietary restrictions.
5- Make it Count Together
With everything happening in the world today a lot of us feel overwhelmed and maybe even helpless. Giving back to the community and being part of something bigger than ourselves is also a way to prioritize well-being. Whether it’s setting up a fund or volunteering, giving back provides an opportunity to pause and be reminded of what Making it Count is all about - people coming together to help others. It creates positive feelings and helps everyone feel seen and supported. If you’re looking for impactful and creative ways your team can come together to do good this holiday season, check out our article.