Culture building activities for teams don’t have to be complicated or time-consuming to work some magic in your office.

Employee retention is a big deal. Most companies know this, at least superficially. Employee satisfaction surveys, appreciation days, and 35 million Google results for employee satisfaction and engagement consulting are a testament to the importance of this elusive creature.

task board-5 Best Culture Building Activities for Teams To Increase Employee RetentionToo many leaders get stuck here, though. Surveys come back with disappointing results, there’s an employee engagement committee, then free ice cream shows up in the break room every Friday. We aren’t knocking ice cream, but a hot fudge sundae isn’t going to make up for a shortage of culture building. Activities for teams to grow and individuals to feel recognized need a little more oomph if they’re going to work. But that boost might not come from the place you’re expecting.

Why you’re culture building activities for teams aren’t working

There’s a vast difference between having fun at work and building a culture that engages employees and encourages them to stay. But the two are regularly conflated. That ice cream? That’s fun. Are you going to hold onto a job because they give you free ice cream once a week? Not likely.

Fun can, and should, be part of your work culture, but genuine engagement and retention has to come from a deeper place. Culture is the community and personality of your workplace. It’s the way leaders communicate with teams, and the way teams interact with each other. Culture is the way your business functions. It can even be the environment and décor of your workplace. (Think security cameras vs. with potted plants – where would you rather work?)

How, though, do you build that culture?

Let Everwall help improve your company culture—we can monitor Slack channels or WebEx Spaces and instantly display the posts on your screens around the office.  Start building your social media digital signage today.

5 Culture building activities for teams who are ready to grow

Whether your team is in person, or remote, there’s variations of each of these items below that can work for you.

1. Communication Station

Slack- 5 Best Culture Building Activities for Teams To Increase Employee RetentionIt’s no surprise that communication is vital for a healthy workplace culture. And modern technology makes it easier than ever. Slack is a perfect example. As a communication and collaboration tool, Slack connects individuals, teams, and entire organizations instantly. And you can opt to post a Slack channel on the digital signage in your workspace so everyone can keep up on team communications – even when they aren’t at their desk.

And if your team is remote, you can use a social media hub inside your intranet or internal wiki to show those messages too.

2. Take a turn

Another way to build culture and dissolve artificial hierarchies in the workplace is to learn about your colleagues’ jobs. Give everyone (including managers) a work shift where they work in every role, from customer service, to marketing, to management. Learning about the tasks your coworkers do is great for building empathy and respect.

3. Accentuate the positive

An engaging workplace culture allows people to notice and acknowledge the excellent work their colleagues are doing. But don’t just assume this will happen; make it a part of your weekly stand-up meetings. Gather positive remarks and post them in a Slack channel. Broadcast them throughout the office on your digital signage. Share them in your employee newsletter. The point isn’t to overlook things that need work, but to create a culture where people are recognized and appreciated for what they contribute. Just be careful to make sure everyone gets some notice.

4. Be thoughtful, as a team

We want to be cared for at work, not because of the job we do, but because of who we are. There’s a simple way to build that into your business culture. Work together, as a group, to celebrate the people on your team. Buy a cake and go as a team to deliver it to your colleague on their birthday. Reward work anniversaries or personal achievements with a card and flowers from the whole team (or tickets to a ballgame, a restaurant gift certificate, or something else the person would enjoy).

5. Decorate the office, or help your remote employees decorate theirs

Seriously. It might seem like a ridiculous waste of time, but it’s not. In one study, researchers found that contact with nature lowered stress among office workers. The difference was most pronounced for workers who could get outdoors, but even pictures of plants and ambient nature sounds helped reduce stress.

Decoration- 5 Best Culture Building Activities for Teams To Increase Employee RetentionIn another study, researchers found that workplace aesthetics, from the physical layout of the space to things as simple as lighting and air quality, can have “a significant impact on workers.”

This doesn’t mean you have to hire an architect and redesign your office. But it does imply that a comfortable office can improve employee satisfaction and retention. How does this play into culture building activities for teams?

Gather your team and walk through the office. Talk about paint colors, lighting, plants, noise, and other environmental factors. Decide on an action plan, and head to the store. No nature in your office? Buy a dozen potted plants. Are the walls ugly? Pick up a gallon of nice paint or invest in some artwork you can hang. Is there a lot of noise in the office? Buy a white noise machine.

What else could you do? Acquire a couple of air purifiers if the air quality is poor. If the office has bad lighting, open curtains, or add ambient light to your space. You don’t need a big budget to make a significant impact. And if you make these moves as a team, you’re on the road to building culture.

And if you’re like many companies these days without an office at all, but have a remote team that works from anywhere, you can do the same thing. You can help them to get plants or decorate their office so they’re comfortable.

Start building your social media digital signage today. Post announcements—manually or on a schedule you define—and keep your team up to date on everything happening at your company.