Boosting Employee Engagement Through Team Building

It’s no secret that happy employees are better team members. And the most direct path to team members’ happiness is through engagement; team members that feel engaged are more likely to perform better and put more trust into management. Deepening your employees’ engagement levels will result in a more productive and successful company. In a recent blog post on their website, teambuildnyc.com cited a study that showed that 69% of workers thought that their company had an engagement problem, and 82% of those employees wanted their company to fix the problem. That’s a lot of unengaged employees. In their post, teambuildnyc.com, lists 3 ways to boost employee engagement:

  1. Have fun: Having fun together is a crucial part of engaging your team, and not all of your options have to be stereotypical or cheesy activities. They suggest a team building tour from Museum Hack, who offers tours here in San Francisco at the de Young Museum. Their tours will have your team laughing and relaxing. Having fun together is a great way to recharge your batteries and return back to the office performing their best.
  2. Volunteer: What better way to engage your team than to unite them around the common cause of paying it forward. Spending some time giving to others at your local soup kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, or even the local animal shelter.
  3. Celebrate: Celebrating individual and team accomplishments, whether big or small, will help your employees to know that they are not unnoticed. Engaging your team members happy and engaged in the company will have a hugely positive impact on your company’s morale.

By boosting your team members’ engagement through team building, you will be impacting the atmosphere in your office in a positive way and helping your team to remain happy and productive.

Tips for Remote Teams from Museum Hack

With the technological advances of today’s world, many companies are employing teams of people which are either fully or partially distributed – some teams might have a few central people all working in an office together and others from remote locations, and other companies may have all of their employees working from different parts of the country or globe. One company that has seen success with creating a thriving company culture while also employing a dispersed team is Museum Hack.

Museum Hack offers unconventional museum tours at some of the most recognizable museums in New York City, Washington DC, and San Francisco. Most of their team members are based right there in one of the three cities, but they have a supporting team of people working in customer service, sales, and marketing in locations all over the globe – multiple U.S. cities, as well as Canada, Columbia, and the Philippines. This allows them to cut down on overhead costs like expensive office spaces in New York City, and cuts out a commute for most of the employees. In a recent blog post on their website, Museum Hack identified some techniques they use to improve company culture, and specifically, team building practices they employed to help include their remote team in the company.

Tips and Tricks of the Dispersed Team Building Trade

  1. Icebreakers – this may seem sort of like a team building buzzword, but there’s a reason icebreaker games and questions are a popular form of group bonding…they work. Museum Hack has found that by beginning or group chat or phone call with a soft question allows their remote team to be seens as individuals with experiences and desires, not just a worker. And as an added bonus, icebreaker questions involve zero monetary investment and minimal planning, which makes them easy to adopt into your company’s culture right away.
  2. Company Trainages – once a month or so, Museum Hack hires a consultant to teach much of their staff a new skill. They bring in both full-time and part-time employees for an evening of education and fun. While they admit that it is a larger financial investment than icebreakers may be, they see a huge ROI from their evenings out building new skills and friendships.
  3. Paid Trips for Localization – definitely the team building technique with the greatest financial investment, but Museum Hack has seen tremendous results from paying for employees to come in to NYC for a weekend and meet the whole team. Meeting one another in person contributes a noticeable increase in productivity, dedication and collaboration from their remote team members.

While working with a distributed team can have great advantages – allowing employees to work almost whenever and wherever they would like, they have their disadvantages too – a feeling of isolation and lack of connection can easily crop up. However with a few simple techniques in place, even fully dispersed companies can flourish.

Team Building Lessons Learned From Museum Hack

New York-based company, Museum Hack has recently moved into the Bay Area neighborhood and brought with them their unique brand of team building activities centered around the exciting and unknown stories of the artifacts and pieces at the de Young Museum. They have had great success with team building activities in New York City, and these are some tips and tricks we have learned from their adventures so far in NYC and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Provide Real Experiences: Museum Hack prides themselves in creating lasting impressions with their guests by offering memorable experiences that will be remembered for years to come. Their guides’ authenticity shines through during each of their tours as they encourage their guests to be themselves through their example. They don’t take themselves, or the museums, too seriously.

Provide Real Stories: This goal stems from their continued commitment to authenticity. Museum Hack’s guides spend the time to learn the stories about the pieces at the museum. They work to become experts with the information and engage their guests with the art through true and entertaining stories.

Re-Invent Your Surroundings: Museum Hack began when CEO Nick Gray was taken on a date to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The young woman that Gray went with shared some of her favorite stories about the different pieces in the Met. Gray’s eyes were opened to the entertaining and educational opportunities offered by this personalized approach. Museum Hack has been committed to unique and inventive approaches to private and corporate museum tours ever since.

Through providing authentic and exciting museum tours, Museum Hack has changed the way people look at and experience museums. By connecting with their guests through their customized and authentic approach and providing them with true and entertaining stories, Museum Hacks guides pave the way for their guests to laugh and connect with one another. This blend of truthfulness and engagement have allowed them to transform not only the way people experience museums, but corporate team building as well.

3 Fun Team Building Activities in San Francisco

Individuals on one of Museum Hack’s new tours of the de Young Museum.
Individuals on one of Museum Hack’s new tours of the de Young Museum.

Most companies know that team building is important, and look for ways to inspire their teams. However, these team building activities too often involve awkward icebreakers, trust falls, or other games that end up making the team feel more uncomfortable around one another instead of building camaraderie. But fear not, not all team building events have to be uncomfortable. Below are some activities that help make team bonding as inspiring and awesome as it’s supposed to be.

  1. Participate in sports together. Get the heart pumping and the laughter and smiles flowing simultaneously. Many teams participate in a softball league or sponsor a running club. Or maybe a more zany, one-off athletic event is more your team’s style. Try taking your team to House of Air – they offer team building activities that will have your team flying high. Who knows, maybe your team will have so much fun they’ll form a group to compete in weekly dodgeball tournaments or sign up for one of House of Air’s workout classes.
  2. Do art together. Perhaps something a little less physically straining is more your team’s style. Take a pottery class together or do painting. Many places even allow you to bring your own wine or provide some for you. Paint Night offers group activities that exercise creativity and provide a social atmosphere, complete with cocktails.
  3. Take a Museum Hack tour. The New York-based company has recently expanded their operations to San Francisco and offer their unique and tested brand of team building at the de Young Museum. These tours include storytelling workshops, a scavenger hunt, and plenty of wonderful stories and secrets about the museum. A Museum Hack team building tour will have your team laughing and bonding as they share this one-of-a-kind experience. More info here.

That’s our list for today! Check back often for more ideas, tips and team building hacks. An investment in your team is an investment in your company. Many companies that sponsor these sorts of fun events regularly see a large ROI on employee creativity and productivity.