15 Activities to Boost Team Morale in Your Call Center
We hear you.
Listless virtual hangouts.
Uninspired team huddles.
Same old pizza and donut offerings.
Casual Fridays no longer packin’ a punch.
The workplace is different.
Whether your team has gone permanently remote, returned to the office, or you are working in a hybrid model, everyone seems to be struggling with how to engage their employees in a meaningful way that doesn’t come across as “forced fun” or “mandating culture”.
Remote employees can quickly feel isolated if not regularly engaging with their co-workers, or hearing from their managers. After going completely remote, our team at Brightmetrics™ even struggled to maintain our workplace culture and daily interactions we had become accustomed to. However, our team leaders made it a priority to incorporate virtual team activities throughout our work weeks to stay in touch and honestly just have some fun.
So we’ve compiled a list of some popular activities to cultivate participation and engagement, and even improve performance within your organization regardless of your industry, or if your team members are in the office or remote. However, since we are a company that specializes in call center analytics all of these are especially great to apply in call centers and similar customer service environments.
Before we jump into things we want to mention that we strongly believe in the power of surveying your employees. If you do not feel like you are reaching them or are missing the mark on how to gain buy-in from them send a survey, ask for their feedback, and give them options! The likelihood you will make everybody happy is slim, but there is a lot of power in active listening and taking recommendations from the people you are aiming to please.
That being said, let’s dig into these 15 ways to boost team morale and engagement:
1. Virtual Lunch
Everyone needs to eat, right? At Brightmetrics, we log in to a virtual team lunch every Thursday afternoon. It is a simple concept that we share a meal and talk about things beyond our workdays but it helps us continue to cultivate our culture although we are not sharing the same physical spaces (or time zones!). This is also easy to make “special” by using a food delivery service to have special treats dropped off to celebrate work anniversaries, surpassing goals, birthdays, etc.
2. Chat and Chew
Continuing on the food theme, a twist on the “lunch and learn”. Provide your staff with a yummy lunch (or encourage them to bring their own) and you open up the floor for people to share.
This could be anything from a team talking about a new technique they are using that is helping them with their numbers or a new tool they have discovered that is especially useful that they could demo.
This could even be having people who have attended a conference share something they took from the experience with the team. The team building comes from the exchanging of ideas and experiences however that makes the most sense for your organization!
3. Community Improvement
There is a surprising amount of community involvement that can be done remotely. It could be “adopting” a grandparent at a retirement home and sending them letters, or finding a local teacher who is looking for a group of people to sponsor their classroom by purchasing books or materials. Maybe your team would be interested in a beautification project like litter pick up or planting flowers in local community spots.
This could also be finding an Amazon wishlist for an animal shelter and contributing as a team. It can be participating in a walk-a-thon, virtual 5k, or bike-a-thon together as a team. This can take many forms and just requires a little bit of creativity but can serve as a great way to learn more about what your employees are passionate about and ways they want to be impactful in their communities.
4. Find Your Zen
Yoga and meditation offer a ton of physical and mental health benefits. These activities are also a great stress and anxiety reducer. Everyone can benefit from a little less stress in their lives, right?
Offer these classes via Zoom and see if anyone in your group wants to lead or approach a local expert about leading your group. You don’t need to talk a ton, you don’t even have to have the camera on, but shared movement or shared intentional activity can be a great way to engage your team in something that isn’t just food-themed or competitive.
5. Team Mixology or Cooking Class
Back to the food. We have seen companies cultivate little recipe boxes to be delivered with all of the makings of a delicious meal or cocktail (or both) and host team “classes” where everyone follows along together. Brightmetrics actually did this very activity for our last end-of-the-year celebration and it was incredibly fun and quite delicious. (Check out team cooking classes with Truffle Shuffle here!)
This can be a great way to share a meal and an experience, invite family and friends into the mix of things, and can create some awesome social content with the results.
6. Compliment Cards
Now this one is a bit different. Ask people to positively describe their coworkers, submitting no more than a few words. Compile the descriptors in a word cloud or do a little write-up and present your team members with these tokens of kind, anonymous words from their coworkers. These can be great things to keep in their workspace but they also are a great way to have your team build one another up with positive language.
7. Monday Morning Musings
Most of us can remember our elementary school days, and participating in “Show and Tell” during class. You’d bring your favorite thing in and talk about it on your assigned “day” and it was always a time of excitement and you would learn something about your classmates. Well, the similar concept here. Add a “Show and Tell” concept into an existing huddle or morning meeting, whip up an email newsletter, or start a Slack channel about it. Take us as an example.
At Brightmetrics, we’ve taken this style of team activity to a Slack channel, #monday-morning-musings. Every Monday, the team is asked very thought-provoking questions like, “If you were a wrestler, what would be your entrance theme song?” or “The zombie apocalypse is coming, who are 3 people (real or fictional) you want on your team?” These silly questions get us all excited to share and also offer a glimpse into our co-workers’ personalities, likes/dislikes, hobbies, and even life experiences.
Encourage your team members to share or “bring in” a favorite thing. New family photos, stories from their latest vacation, a book that changed their lives, their favorite coffee creamer, WHATEVER they deem worthy of being a favorite item.
What are some universal experiences in a workday for your employees? Answered a call from an upset customer. Forgot to press send on an email so it wound up as a draft. Closed a sale that took 30 days to work out. Said “no problem” more than 3 times on a call. Whatever it looks like, have teams fill out a Bingo card and see who can get Bingo first and then “blackout” their Bingo card first. Offer simple prizes. This can be a fun way to see what qualifies as a common occurrence in a workday for everyone on the team.
9. Draw This
This one is deceivingly simple and encourages communication and active listening skills. It works best in “break out rooms” or in-person teams. Partner up and have one team member holding a picture (it can be on their phones) of an object.
The rule of the game is that the person holding the picture of the object will have to convey to their partner what said object is with clues and by answering questions of their partner as long as they never use the direct word and have their partner DRAW what they think the picture is based on the description being given. Set a fair time limit to get it figured out and watch hilarious antics ensue.
10. Team Trivia
Don’t be afraid of using themes here. Harry Potter? Lord of the Rings? The Office? Pop Culture? Trivia can take many forms.
Assign teams, let teams freely form, hold open sign-ups, do individual trivia. At Brightmetrics, we enjoy jump-starting our Monday mornings with a weekly trivia quiz delivered right to our inbox. A little friendly trivia competition is a great way to start our work week. Not only do the winners get recognition and virtual high fives, but it also gets us all chatting about who knew what in our #trivia Slack channel. (Check out Water Cooler Trivia here!)
11. The Matching Game
Another simple, customizable, and fun game. Encourage your team members to submit “through the keyhole” pictures and have people match the pictures to the team members they think took the picture.
Ideas like taking a picture of their bookshelf, their kitchen utensil drawer, their favorite mug to drink coffee from in the morning, their favorite place to eat, a favorite meal of the week, a picture of them as a child, a plant in their home, their deck or porch. Just little glimpses of their days or spaces or personalities and have people guess who belongs to which picture!
12. Wheel of Delight
Sometimes referred to as the “Wheel of Wow,” this is a physical wheel (there are online generators) that people are able to spin and win prizes like, “clock out an hour early” passes, $5-$20 gift cards, snack or food deliveries, office must-haves (think spill-proof mug), many other things.
This is an opportunity to incorporate delightful gifts that can brighten someone’s day and break up routines. A team member can earn a spin at the wheel based on individual or team performance, or you could sporadically bring it out just to make everyone’s day.
This doesn’t have to be your traditional raffle. You can connect earning tickets to individual compliments or team initiatives. Received a perfect CSAT score? Earn a ticket. Mentioned by name in Google review? Earn a ticket. Closed out all your help desk tickets for the week? Earn a ticket. Hit all of your KPI goals for the month? Earn a ticket.
Make it fun and encourage your team to really celebrate wins as a team. Some great prize ideas are tickets to movies, community theater events, or concerts. Nobody ever gets mad at gift certificates for dinner for two or experience tickets like painting classes or even gift cards for online photo printing. Raffles can be motivating and engaging but also can be a great time to figure out what really gets your team hyped up. We have seen a team member’s spouse’s signature cheesecake be used as a raffle item and it was the FIRST prize claimed.
14. Virtual Games
This is a big one for us at Brightmetrics. We sure love our weekly virtual games. Some of our favorites are Trivia Murder Party, Fibbage, Push the Button, and Codewords. Our weekly games are not only a welcome break from our task lists but also get us laughing and flexing our competitive muscles.
There are also such activities as virtual scavenger hunts and virtual escape rooms. With some quick Googling you can figure out what makes the most sense for your team but these can be incredibly engaging and fun experiences that can break employees out of their daily routines.
15. Seasonal Celebrations
When people are going through the motions they often will feel disconnected or like they don’t have the energy or “spirit” to get into seasonal celebrations. So making a “big deal” about even small things can pull people out of that pattern.
Summer BBQs or picnics, Thanksgiving recipe exchanging, cook-offs, cookie decorating parties, pumpkin carving contests, door decorating contests, cupcake baking, holiday decor design contests, caption writing contests – there are so many different ways to look ahead and intentionally craft opportunities for your employees to make memories and feel like they are “in the moment”. Smart companies have found ways to adopt these initiatives for a remote workforce so that they still get that engagement and culture component.
Let’s Bring It Back
We hope you enjoyed our roundup of ideas on activities and games to cultivate engagement amongst your team and employees! We believe that a little bit of effort can be the difference between an environment that is filled with monotonous routines and one that is fun, engaging, and memorable.
Did we miss a good one? If your team has found a fun activity to encourage engagement with one another and has boosted team morale, we’d love to hear about it. Leave us a comment below!