Last Friday, our team had an epic 2-hour long celebration for Mednefits’ 6th year birthday party – remotely. The feedback from the team was so great, we gathered our social committee to put together their sharings and advice to inspire other teams out there! Despite our distances, we were able to feel close with one another with a new shared experience.
Here’s what we did:
If your team doesn’t have one already, consider setting up a rotating (or permanent) social committee that can work with HR to identify key dates and milestones for planned celebrations! Understand that these commitments take time outside of your team’s regular responsibilities and just like with any project, requires committed individuals to take action and ownership. Even though remote activities may require less planning, they still have their own unique logistic requirements that will need to be taken into consideration (you’ll find these at the bottom of our list). As with work, we also treat our fun seriously.
What’s the perfect mix of healthy competition with team building and education? Hosting a trivia game. Switch things up a bit from your typical trivia games. For example, we made a Mednefits Trivia Game using Kahoot, sharing fun facts from our startup adventures and milestones. Other themes can include a trivia on your top customers, key competitors, organisation’s product offerings, just to name a few.
We topped it off by providing the top 2 lucky winners of each country an online gift card. But you can structure the rewards however you like (such as rewarding time-off for personal development projects, or topping up their flexible benefits account).
In many team-centric activities, the focus seems to somehow go back to work-related topics. Break this habit and create an environment where more personal sharings can occur. Although we couldn’t express these sharings in person, the advantage of hosting the celebration remote was that our team members could share their talents in the comfort of their own home. Members of our team recorded songs on their music instruments, serenaded us with their angelic voices, and coordinated dances virtually! Sharing a side of themselves they may have been too shy to do in person.
We don’t always have the opportunity to record our corporate activities on video – but it’s never been easier to do so digitally over your preferred video conferencing tools or with your personal computer screen recording functions. Please note: it is important to gather consent from the team to do so prior to any recordings or sharing on social media, to respect the team’s privacy. Edit or preserve the full highlights of the video and keep it in the corporate vault as a fun keepsake to reflect on in the future and share highlights on social media to attract more talent.
Everyone on the team, whether they were with the team from the very beginning or recently joined, has their own story and experience to share. Aside from sharing our stories during our online party, we also captured team stories to share our #MednefitsMoments on our Instagram @Mednefits throughout the year.
For our team, this was fairly easy. Despite being scattered across four countries, we were all in similar time zones. However, this can be challenging for organisations with 5 - 12 hour time differences! This can be a challenge while still trying to keep the team cohesive without splitting into separate events. We recommend compromising by switching up time zones with each event. For example, the team decides to host at a convenient time for SEA for this corporate-wide event, then the following event can be coordinated in favour of your team’s other regions. An option would also be to set the most favourable time that would suit the majority of your team and record the activities so other members can view on their own schedules. You can encourage them to participate in the event by pre-recording segments ahead of the event.
If your teams operate in different regions, it is also very likely that they communicate in different languages. In this case, on-site translations and multilingual materials will need to be prepared in advance to promote inclusivity.
Technical difficulties are bound to arise - just ensure you have an action plan to target the different scenarios. Our social committee arranged a “dress rehearsal” in advance to discuss the play-by-play with our volunteer emcee and assign technical roles. We also played pre-recorded segments and tested them ahead of time to ensure everything went smoothly during the day of the event. Is the host familiar with the web conference functions? Who will be jumping in if the host accidentally goes offline?
Outline the structure of your online event so that your emcee or host of the online party is fully prepared and is aware of any special mentions. An emcee also adds an extra festive boost and personality to your event, defining it apart from your typical team video sessions. It is also extremely helpful guiding when to talk, as everyone tends to mute themselves at all times, not knowing when they can speak up.
Want a sneak peak of how our festivities went down? Check out our first Mednefits music video, inspired by the Lego Movie song, Everything is Awesome.
Despite these uncertain times, we can still make room for fun – especially when great accomplishments and impactful milestones are achieved.
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