As we get closer to the end of year, the rates of COVID-19 cases don’t look to be dropping in South Africa. This is worrying but it is an entity we have united together to overcome throughout 2020. What may be more scary and lurking in the shadows is a complete disconnect of office culture and team alignment. This is a serious ‘con’ attributed to working remotely for over 7 months. Not to negate the ‘pros’ of remote working, with which there are plenty, we just feel at Humanity – The Employee Experience Company, you cannot replace face-to-face. Firstly, it won’t pixelate. Secondly, we are all humans who need that real life connection to collaborate creatively and empathise with one another.
With that in mind, an end of year function might be the perfect opportunity to bring the team all together in person (obviously respecting the highest PPE standards) to close a year that has been anything but human.
Below we outline some of the reasons why a company year end function is now more important than ever. And an even better idea when organised by us, the culture experts.
1. Reconnect your teams and company culture for an optimistic 2021
Social distancing has taken its toll on the working world. In addition to the technical complications that come with working from home, it is also important to consider the psychological impacts. Give your workforce something to smile about, and look forward to in the new year with an end of year designed to inject energy into your team to push past 2020.
2. Accelerate collaboration, creativity and problem-solving
2020 has not been an easy time, the best thing you can do is close it off with an end of year function that looks to the future with optimism. That’s why Humanity proposes bringing your team together to share a moment again, in real life. Go beyond just the basic booze at a bar, and partake in activities designed to drive collaboration, creativity and curiosity.
Your workforce is your most important asset. With the months of disconnection they have not been adequately stimulated to solve real work problems. We bring the element of a year end function that actually makes it impactful, money well spent, that combines both the “fun aspect” but more so brings meaning and “aha light bulb” moments through activities that will get your workforce to use teamwork as a key component. These activities will help them to develop new skills to help them adapt and overcome any challenges thrown their way with a positive, kick-ass attitude.
3. Let people reveal their dynamic personality.
Being stuck at home is limiting in many ways. Without a communal office space, employees might feel that they have no way to showcase their true identities. We have all effectively become faces on a screen restricted to pixels on a 13 x 5 inch box. All employees crave human interaction, human touch, human conversations unstifled by poor internet connection and 40 minute windows.
Companies have undoubtedly seen real results from their staff during this period. There have been fewer distractions in the workplace – due to there being no workplace. However, this can have some serious problems when the only thing everyone sees from each other is work output, the company environment can begin to feel impersonal. This can ultimately prevent people from getting invested in the business’s success. A relaxed function will give people the space to just be people. Let them feel that they are not just productivity output machines. But rather like, “Sue in Accounting, with 2 children and a love for crime novels” or, “Themba in Sales, with a love for Karaoke and a dream to finish a marathon.”
Humanity wants your team to reconnect at this end of year function in a human way. We have specific activities ready to stimulate conversation with a series of questions. The idea here is to create harmony between employees, by hearing each other’s stories from the past year. We want to help your company build a workforce environment and culture that feels authentic and caring. In the process of doing so, you’ll see how this will positively impact productivity and profits later on.
4. Dive deeper into understanding your employees impact on work
An end of year function is one of the few areas of work where you have the freedom to try a range of new things. You no longer have to worry about customer or investor demands, this time is all about your business team. Spend the time to give 100% focus to them. Hear what they have to say and listen to any suggestions or ideas that come from the “play” element.
Use the year-end function as a means to discover. You may just find innovative ways to update your office’s working style both in-office or remotely. How to best tackle this is to fully understand each of the different team members on an individual level, know who they are psychometrically. Humanity has just the activity in mind for your company to enjoy at your year-end function. The idea here is to put qualitative data against the quantitative data. And to offer real insights that will help transform your disconnected workforce into a cohesive and aligned unit.
2020 is definitely a year we are all waiting to come to a close, but before it does, let’s END IT on a positive note! And start 2021 on the right foot. Employers and managers have the power to bring a little bit of light into their employees lives. Use the year-end function that is different for all the right reasons. The Employee Experience Company is here to assist you and your end of year endeavours, we’ll be happy to help reconnect and reignite the spark your team has potentially lost.