As we move closer to January, you might be thinking about what team-bonding ideas you want to implement next year. After all, the dawn of a new year is the perfect time to do a team refresh. You can capitalize on the things that are working well and get rid of the things that are not.
This article will delve into some great ways to implement team bonding ideas. But first, we want to look at how New Year’s resolutions got their start and how you can make this year fresh and new for the entire team. There’s no better time than the first of January to make changes for the better.
What is a 2022 team refresh?
As teams return after holidays, leaders are ensuring they start by planning a shared team experience.
Why? 2022 begins with uncertainty. For example, the recent back-and-forth on office reopenings has put additional pressure on employee morale and a sense of stability and predictability.
Research shows the best managers use these times to develop culture and give teams a renewed sense of mission, purpose, and support.
The History of New Year’s Resolutions
It might surprise you to find out what New Year’s resolutions have been around for thousands upon thousands of years. Back in the year 2000 BC, Babylonians had a 12-day festival for the New Year. Crops were planted, kings were crowned, and promises were made to repay debts. This may have been the beginning of the resolutions we make today.
The Romans adopted the New Year’s practice, but the timing changed and shifted to January 1. January was named for the Roman god Janus, who looked forward and backward to new beginnings and resolutions. Romans made sacrifices to Janus with a promise to act well in the New Year.
Resolutions continued through the Middle Ages and continued into our modern times. The actual resolutions of favor have changed over time, but there’s no reason that new team bonding ideas can’t be part of them for you. It could be great for the employees, leaders, and the company as a whole.
Starting the New Year Fresh with Your Team
You want to start things off fresh and make sure everyone is ready and willing to put in great work for the New Year. There are several things you should do to ensure things go smoothly. The first of them is to look at all the things that went well in the year prior. Look at successes and achievements. Then look at where improvements are needed so you can decide what should change moving forward.
While you’re reflecting on what went right (and what didn’t), there’s another thing to think about. As you consider team bonding ideas, ask yourself how you recognized each of your team members for their hard work. Are there things you could have done but didn’t? Now is the time to be aware of that and consider what should go differently in the year coming up.
Reflect on the good and bad, but don’t let yourself get caught up in things. The idea is to consider what to keep the same and what to change. The year is almost up, and now is the time to put new practices into place for the coming year.
After you’ve gone through all the important things to consider about this year – it’s time to start thinking about the future. What kind of goals are most important to you for the upcoming year? If you noticed that you weren’t prioritizing certain things, this is the time to consider how you can change that next year.
As you go through this process, revisit your expectations and be sure they’re realistic and attainable. There’s nothing worse than creating a goal that there is little hope of reaching. At this point, you should make sure the whole team is on the same page. Team members might have ideas that you don’t, so there’s no reason to be shy about bringing them in to talk about expectations and goals for the year coming up.
Goal-Setting Tips for Your Team
You can incorporate your team bonding ideas into goal setting. Whatever improvements you want to make are more likely to occur when a goal is set behind them. However, there are several steps and tips to keep in mind as you build those goals.
For instance, you should start with smaller goals. Don’t take on something huge since it might be hard to reach that in a single step. Instead, look for goals that you know can be achieved. All of these goals should have measurable milestones. Being able to tick off each part of the goal will only make it more exciting to progress on it for your team members.
As you build goals, make sure that they align with the overall goals of the company. Look over what other teams and departments are doing to get an idea of what’s to come. Make sure you fully understand the company mission and priorities for the year coming up. You can also bring in employees for their own input.
Sometimes, employees will come up with goals that you might not have. Other times, they might help you tweak goals or show you that something that might have been a goal isn’t needed. When you have the team on your side, it’s going to make them more likely to step up and help you meet goals. This isn’t a given if you simply tell them goals and leave them to it.
All goals should be SMART goals. This refers to goals that are:
When goals are made this way, it’s easier to achieve them. As goals are met, make sure you reward the team members for what they did. It helps keep them working hard and moving forward on the rest of the goals you have for the team.
Of course, you should also be aware that set goals don’t have to remain the same. If priorities shift and the company changes, you may find that some goals are no longer relevant. Feel free to change them when needed for the good of your team and the projects you’re working on.
Team Bonding Ideas for the New Year
The right team bonding ideas will depend on your goals for the upcoming year. Think about what priorities you have moving into the New Year, and then implement those as resolutions. The team bonding ideas below can be used to help you ensure the things you want for the upcoming year are sure to come true.
Goal: Excitement, Trust, and Communication
You want to be sure everyone is excited about the upcoming year. It’s also important for all team members to be on the same page. It can also be useful to work on improving the trust and communication of your team.
Goal: Using Time Efficiently
Making sure you’re using everyone’s time effectively can improve productivity and boost connection within the team. If you are having challenges making hybrid meetings work, consider taking part in Happy, Healthy, and Hybrid – How to Make Work Great.
Goal: Health and Wellness
For those who have a priority based on improving health and wellness, there are ways to incorporate that into the workplace, too. Activate the Body to Active High-Performing Teams helps team members experience resistance training to recharge the mind and strengthen the body at work. Other great kits to act as team bonding ideas include Practice Becoming a Better Advocate for You and Deepen Team Connection Through Painting.
Goal: Create More Inspiration
Are you looking for team bonding ideas that focus on inspiration? Make it exciting with Principles of Poker Applied to Business and Life. Or add a bit more of an immersive twist to what you want to bring into the company this year. Consider the Tartine Bakery and French Press Coffee & Tea Experience to ensure everyone is inspired and having fun.
No matter what team bonding ideas you want, you can find assistance with kits that work for both in-office and at-home employees. Browse the various options and get a head start on fulfilling your work resolutions this year.
So what would set the mood for 2022?
Stanford University’s Bob Sutton helped us develop a list of priority areas and recommended Teamraderie experiences for teams at the start of 2022.
Team Refresh ideas:
1. Priority Area: Team Collaboration
Mobilize your team with an engaging session. A legendary coach, who revolutionized the way NASCAR pit crews operated, helps your team see teamwork through the lens of professional pit crews. Your team will perform its own competitive, virtual pit stop (with a car Teamraderie sends you). The experience is led by Andy Papathanassiou.
2. Priority Area: Team Refresh
Studies show that the best teams do a “team refresh” every couple months (especially during the times of change). What do we need to do more of? What do we need to get rid of? The experience is led by Stanford’s Dr. Kathryn Segovia.
3. Priority Area: Plan for Success
At the start of the year, practice imaginary time travel as a team – “travel” back to the past and “look back” from an imaginary future. Studies show that engaging in mental time travel can help leaders and their team members get inspired and make better decisions. The experience is led by Stanford’s Dr. Kathryn Segovia.
4. Priority Area: Better Relationships
Experience is designed to help leaders and team members strengthen their communication muscles. E.g., learn how to lead explicit conversations about norms, provide feedback, call each other out for not following norms. Especially relevant for hybrid teams. The experience is led by the CEO or Chief Content Officer of Radical Candor.
We hope these ideas are helpful for you as you are starting the new year with your team.
Happy New Year!