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How to Leverage Virtual Team Building Retreats for Employee Retention

Team Building events continue to be part of the employee retention playbook for companies of all sizes and in 2022, producing team building events means considering how the consistency of these events will help retain – and attract – talent to your company.  The Great Resignation is a concern for companies of all sizes, in every sector, all over the world. McKinsey & Company offered an interesting perspective on this trend – calling it the “Great Attrition or the Great Attraction” and challenging corporate stakeholders to dive into the true reason why employees are leaving in the first place. Whether you’re looking for a way to grow your team this year as a corporate event professional or looking for new opportunities to expand services to your clients, this article will help you understand why extended virtual team building events and retreats should be part of the strategies you share with your clients this year and, perhaps, why they should be part of your company’s playbook too. 

Craving Human Interactions not Transactions

Employers are trying to reduce the Great Resignation through bonuses and other transactional incentives, however, according to the research, this is having the opposite effect.  Employees want a renewed sense of purpose – and interpersonal connections with their colleagues and managers. Yes, of course, they want compensation packages that are crafted with care, but that is not always the most important, or effective, solution to the problem of helping employees find purpose in the day-to-day aspects of their work.  According to the research, 40% of employees are planning to look for a new job in the next three-six months. Employers do have a chance to turn the tide and the best chance they have is through creating opportunities for more meaningful team interactions – and these do not have to be in-person to be successful. They do, however, need to be intentional and there are many ways to do that depending on the talent you are trying to retain and the future team members you are trying to attract. 

Team Building in a Remote World

Remote team building has its own set of unique challenges, but there are fun and interesting ways to overcome these challenges. We shared a series of resources for you to consider in this article and now, we’re digging a little deeper. A one-day event or monthly event series is great, but what about a corporate retreat?  Corporate retreats for remote teams are not new – Zapier was hosting them as its team grew as early as 2019 – but the pandemic did change the perspective of many to traveling to a central location for a set period of time.  If your employees are concerned about travel or about being in an unfamiliar location, a remote retreat is the next best thing.  Sending care packages ahead of time will allow employees to feel connected and get in the right mindset for the days of the retreat. If it’s in the budget, consider sending employees to an AirBnB or separate location – Zapier found that it wasn’t important to be near a big city or in a space with a lot of amenities, however, it was important to be in a space that felt inviting and provided areas that were easily accessible for downtime during the retreat.  KraftyLab is one company to consider if you’re looking for curated experiences – you can survey employees and then figure out what type of experience would be the most meaningful for your unique team and your company’s long-term retention and attraction goals for talent. 

Opportunities for Expansion of Extended Virtual Team Building Events

There are a lot of pros when it comes to hosting and producing an extended virtual team-building event. One of the pros is a reduced travel budget – which can mean more of an investment in the activities and event professionals a corporation can contract for any and all events.  Another advantage of an extended virtual team-building event? The opportunity to create dedicated time for your team to connect without distractions. Daily StandUps, Slack Apps and Friday Zoom Happy Hours were great during the initial phases of lockdown and while these still provide value, the purpose of extending a virtual team building event is to provide a more structured opportunity for your team to intentionally interact with one another in a setting that is curated by you or by a virtual event partner you trust (or want to get to know!).  This is also an opportunity to provide your team with training sessions, experiences and the ability to weigh in on the future direction of your company based on your current stage of growth and your overarching business goals for 2022 and beyond.  Not only will this address the true reasons why employees are willing to leave their current positions without having another job lined up (outlined in this article), but it will also allow corporations and companies to address costly issues related to a disconnected team. As Zapier found, it is more expensive to have a team that doesn’t work well together remotely than to avoid extended virtual events and, based on the research, we’d have to agree. 

Share Your Experiences: Are Extended Virtual Team Building Events on Your 2022 Roadmap?

Atlassian has an entire Team Playbook dedicated to remote team-building exercises for more effective communication and collaboration with a remote and hybrid workforce.  When surveyed, 94 percent of workers said that mutual respect and connection were critical to their team’s success, and 19 percent said it’s the most important factor in their sense of well-being at work. According to this article, Atlassian teams feel that “understanding each other on a personal level means we can communicate more effectively and have an easier time distributing roles and responsibilities across the team.”  Deel, a payroll app that supports globally distributed remote teams, shared 40 ideas for virtual team building events that can be done  Do you want to contribute to a future article for YourEventMarketplace? Have questions about claiming your free listing? Want to connect with our team? Contact us here.

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