Team Building Activities & Employee Appreciation Ideas to Try During COVID-19

company culture

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many companies like AIFP to implement new work-from-home policies in order to stop the spread of coronavirus. But just because your employees are working remotely doesn’t mean you can’t find creative ways to make your team feel appreciated and connected to their coworkers. Here are some team building activities and employee appreciation ideas you can implement to keep your team happy, healthy, and productive during this unprecedented time.

Team Building Activities to Try During COVID-19

You may be asking yourself: why are team building activities important? Especially in the face of a pandemic. But because many workers feel isolated, anxious, and burnt out, team building might be even more important during these uncertain times. From virtual team building activities to socially distanced meet-ups, there are plenty of team bonding ideas that can help your team feel more connected, more appreciated, and more refreshed.

Virtual Coffee Chats, Lunch Dates & Happy Hours

On any given day in the office, you’re likely to have a quick chat with a coworker while you’re brewing your coffee, getting a snack, grabbing lunch, filling your water bottle, or heading out early for a team happy hour. Without these interactions, your team can start to feel disconnected from their co-workers. One of our favorite virtual team building activities involves re-prioritizing these casual interactions through virtual coffee chats, lunch dates, and happy hours. By hosting or encouraging these activities among your team, you can do a great deal toward making your team feel less isolated and more committed to their work.

Socially Distanced Gatherings

Depending on the guidelines where you live, you may be able to plan socially distanced gatherings for your team. AIFP, for example, is hosting a 4-man scramble golf tournament at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in July. Since the outdoors is much safer than indoors, outdoor teambuilding activities like picnics and group hikes might be a good idea, provided they’re done safely and are optional for team members who might not feel comfortable participating.

Employee Appreciation Ideas to Try During COVID-19

In addition to the regular challenges of remote work, working during a global pandemic presents unique challenges that need to be addressed. Because so many employees are feeling isolated, afraid, and burnt out, actively looking for ways to show employee appreciation can be a great way to inspire your team. That said, it can be hard to know how to show appreciation to employees when so many of the normal modes aren’t currently possible. Here are some of our favorite employee appreciation ideas to try during COVID-19.

Weekly Shout-Outs

Recognizing the hard work of your employees is always important, but it takes on an added significance during times of uncertainty and strife. Sending out a weekly “shout-out” e-mail that highlights the hard work of different individuals can be a great (and free!) way to make your employees feel valued. If you want to add a team building aspect to this idea, have your employees submit their own “shout-outs.”

Thoughtful Gift Cards

While you can’t currently send your highest performing sales people on employee incentive trips, that doesn’t mean you can’t show your appreciation in other, smaller ways. Sending gift cards for delivery services like GrubHub or Postmates, for example, is a great way to reward your employees for smaller achievements. Not only does it show you care, but it can also help your employees who are currently struggling with work-life balance problems, as it makes it so they have one fewer meal to plan and cook.

At American International Forest Products, company culture is important to us, and we’re working hard to keep our team healthy, productive, and happy during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Looking for a lumber trader career at one of the best places to work in Portland, Oregon? Send us your resume today! In the meantime, check out our blog, where we cover everything from what we’re looking for in job candidates to how to become a commodity trader.

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