holiday employee wellness

How To Promote Holiday Employee Wellness

Working long hours to meet deadlines is often the norm in many offices these days. But when you add holiday stress to the mix, your team members could be ripe for a not so holly-jolly Christmas. The good news is that we’re here to help with some simple ways to foster holiday employee wellness in your office. Remember, a happy and healthy employee is a more productive employee. So making the season a little more merry and bright through holiday employee wellness is good for them and your business.

Organize In-house Flu Shots.

Even if all your team members have insurance, taking the time to run an extra errand for a flu shot may be a deal breaker with everything else on their plates. Many pharmacies will happily make arrangements for flu shots at your office. Offer to cover costs for uninsured or part-time employees to make sure everyone in your office stays healthy this season.

Plan a Casual Social Gathering.

An official office holiday party may have its own stressors, but an informal holiday social during office hours may help your employees decompress. Make it a mix and mingle affair with light snacks and festive drinks. The point of the gathering should be casual, work-free socializing, so this may not be the best venue for speeches or presentations.

Provide Healthy Snacks.

Everywhere you turn during the holidays there are cookies, cakes, nogs, alcohol, and a number of other sugary treats. We would never suggest not having treats during the holiday season, but it’s refreshing to have healthy options. Fruit, veggies, and snack bars are just as easy to grab as that gingerbread man in the break room that has been giving you come hither looks. It’s always better to have a burst of work energy that doesn’t end in a sugar crash at 3 p.m.

Promote Physical & Mental Holiday Employee Wellness.

Helping employees access self-care during the holidays — both physical and mental — can truly be a lifeline for those who are experiencing burnout, loneliness, or other stressors during the holidays. Get ideas from or add to your current employee wellness programs to help your team members feel immediately engaged. Here are more ideas to help you get started:

  • Offer an in-house yoga class.
  • Hire a masseuse for a day.
  • Hire an in-house counselor for the season.
  • Lead daily 15-minute meditations.
  • Temporarily increase established wellness incentives.
  • Give out step counters.
  • Plan a special holiday fitness challenge.

Enforce a “Closing Time.”

If it works for your business, give the gift of an enforced “closing time” to your office throughout the holiday season or for a few days leading up to each holiday. Telling team members that everyone is going home at 5 p.m. will ease pressures to burn the midnight oil during this busy time of year. Ask team members to reach out or step up to help with timely projects during the holidays. Doing so will encourage teamwork as well.

Contact us at james@fireflyteamevents.com or 877.267.1939 to learn how periodic team building events outside of your office can be an effective part of your company’s overall employee wellness efforts.

office Thanksgiving

Thanks & Giving: How To Celebrate An Office Thanksgiving

‘Tis the season to say thanks and encourage giving – Thanksgiving, get it? Therefore, it should probably include the employees you spend at least 40 hours a week with. Sure, as a boss you are thankful for your team’s efforts all year, but an office Thanksgiving time is the perfect time to make that even clearer to each employee. But thanking would be nothing without giving and vise versa. So check out the list below for five ways to say “thank you” that easily flip into five giving activities for your team.

Thanks: Personalized Notes

If your team is small, go the extra mile and give hand-written notes to each team member. For larger teams or several departments, emails work too. Whatever method you choose, make your note personal to the individual or the group. Thank them for their specific contributions and how they impacted the company.

Giving: “Secret Santa” Thank Yous

A leader’s gratitude is important, but knowing your coworkers appreciate your work is an extra boost to team value and morale. Pick names from a hat and ask employees to  give an anonymous thank you note to the person he or she picked. Encourage them to point out specific employee strengths or accomplishments.

 

Thanks: Special Team Lunch

Whether you order in pizza or make reservations at a sit-down restaurant, a team lunch is a great way to show appreciation. And remember, no one is allowed to work through it! Plan to say a few words of thanks, and make sure to include specific team accomplishments.

Giving: Food Bank Volunteering

Now that your employees are fed, help them feed the community. Organize a time when your team can volunteer at a food bank, community garden, or any other organization that needs a few extra helping hands.

 

Thanks: Team-specific Swag

Make something special that holds meaning for your team. The team motto or the go-to motivational phrase you say in every meeting will look swell on a t-shirt, mug, or water bottle. Whatever you do, don’t give away leftover swag that you give away at conferences or to clients.

Giving: Clothing & Food Drive

Identify a specific shelter or organization in your community and hold a clothing or food drive for its benefit. Increase the fun factor by setting goals for your team. Some ideas can be gathering 100 pounds of food or filling 20 backpacks with schools supplies for children in need.

 

Thanks: Prize Giveaway

Thank-you prizes in a company drawing can vary in size and value, so you don’t have to break the bank to say thank you. From $5 gift cards to extra PTO, each employee can win something that shows you appreciate their efforts.

Giving: Employee Service Auction

Each of your employees has talents and abilities that aren’t always seen in the workplace. Give your team play money for the auction and ask them to auction off services to each other such as homemade baked goods, a free car wash, and babysitting services. They’ll bond through giving to each other.

 

Thanks: Ease Work Blockers

As a form of thanks, ask your employees what their biggest blockers are as a team. There may be a process you can overhaul or a tool you can acquire to help ease their stressors. Your team may need something simple that they didn’t know they could ask for.

Giving: Ease Community Blockers

Ask your employees what is important to them in their personal communities and organize a way to help. Someone may want to run a 5K for a relative with an illness or hold a holiday event for children in need in their community. As a bonus, extending care to your team’s home communities can help give better sense of work-life balance.

Office Thanksgiving Beyond the Holidays

To find more ideas for team building events during the holidays and beyond, check out our full list of team building products or contact us at james@fireflyteamevents.com.

80s themed team building

80s Themed Team Building: Totally 80s Decathalawn

We had a totally radical time with Ghirardelli Chocolate Company at the Pasea Hotel in Huntington Beach for an 80s themed team building event. Our newest, coolest and raddest Totally 80s Decathalawn! Our tubular clients came dressed to impress with leg warmers, bright makeup and BIG hair! Awesome costumes included Marty McFly, Slash, Madonna, Ghostbusters and lots of Jazzercise get-ups. Even our team got in on the neon fashion action!

80s themed team building

Classic 80s Games With a Team Building Twist

We introduced new games inspired by the decade we were celebrating. Teamwork really came into play with Team Pac-Man. Individual team members controlled isolated movements of our favorite pie man. Everyone worked together to make sure Pac-Man ate all his Pac-Dots while avoiding the ghosts!

80s themed team building

What do chopsticks, pencils and red solo cups have in common? They were all supplies for Double Dare, where teams competed head to head in zany feats using common household items. We loved how competitive the teams were throughout the game. Shouting counts as team communication, right?

The most challenging game of the day was our cooperative take on the classic Operation board game. Teams had to work together to carefully remove pieces from the game board without setting off the buzzer! We salute those who were successful.

80s themed team building

Everyone performed well on our Totally 80s Trivia Quiz. Nobody was a goober and teams remembered those Happy Days like they were yesterday!

It was a beautiful day on the Pasea Hotel’s lawn overlooking the ocean. And the great event was capped off with dancing to the groovy tunes of a local 80s cover band. Seeing everyone let loose and have fun being creative and a little silly was for sure what made this team building event a memorable one.

Let’s like, totally get this 80s themed team building started.

If your team is looking for a dose of nostalgia and action packed fun, contact us at 877.267.1939 or email james@fireflyteamevents.com.

 

team building event planning

5 Team Building Event Planning Tips for Beginners

It’s that time of year again — it’s company party season! And ho, ho, ho, guess who was asked to plan your team building event? It’s you! If you’re a first-timer, you may be a little nervous about the process. Don’t worry — we’re here to help you step out on the right foot and relieve a few beginner jitters. When you start with a thoughtful game plan, team building event planning success will be your reality.

These five tips will help you become the hero of your team building event. You got this.

1. Pick a Goal and Activity

Team building can and should be fun, but it should also be a structured activity that supports your company values and helps your team feel engaged and connected at work. Choosing a goal will help guide you toward the right activity and theme. For example, if your team needs a communication boost, planning a collaborative activity is a fun way to get there. Just make sure you don’t pick an activity that is too physically demanding for any team member.

2. Set a Time Limit

Work events — even fun ones — are more successful if they aren’t open-ended. A schedule is good for your business because it allows workers to prepare to be out of the office. No one wants to miss a deadline or go radio silent on a client. It’s also fair to say that most people have schedules outside of work, so it’s best practice to hold the event during work hours.

3. Choose a Venue

Once you’ve picked an activity and time, you’ll know the kind of space you need to make your event safe and comfortable. If you’re booking a venue or hiring an event planner, do it early in your planning process. Shopping around for a budget-friendly price takes time, and some venues fill up weeks in advance.

4. Prep, Prep, Prep

There’s a reason why the Boy Scouts like to “be prepared.” The more preparation you put in, the more likely your team building event will go off without a hitch. Now is the time to embrace checklists, spreadsheets, and itineraries. Heck, you can even indulge in a little “worst case scenario” thinking to help reveal potential planning problems. Think through logistics like transportation, food, water, gear, and swag.

5. Communicate the Plan

The more your team members know about the event, the better they can prepare both personally and professionally. Use these three steps as a guideline: 1. Announce the activity early in the process so concerns and adjustments can be addressed before details are set. 2. Send out a firm itinerary as soon as possible. Include details for everything the company is providing (transportation, food, t-shirts, etc.) and what employees will need to bring (sunscreen, tennis shoes, a can-do spirit, etc.). 3. Send out a reminder or two as the event approaches.

Bonus Tip: Get Post-Event Feedback

With team building event planning — as with running a business — it’s important to know what is going well and what needs adjusting. Anonymous feedback from participants will help you gauge the success of the activity and help you improve the next outing. Ask participants about the event in general and if they learned or experienced anything they’ve applied to their work.

For more team building event planning tips and ideas, visit our website or contact us at 877.267.1939 or  james@fireflyteamevents.com.

workplace creativity

Workplace Creativity Cultivated: Try These 5 Simple Tips

“If you love what you do, you never have to work another day in your life” – Marc Anthony.

Every company has the potential of offering a fun, energetic and creative environment.  This is a positive place where people can be trusted to do their jobs because they are happy and inspired by their employer’s engagement strategy.

An engagement strategy is a business plan that focuses on keeping employees engaged in the work they are doing.  This can be accomplished by making cultivating workplace creativity a priority.  Cultivating workplace creativity is proven to increase employee productivity, retention, and sales.  As a result, companies have larger profits and happier workers.  Many companies have engagement strategies, but fail to implement them.  So try these five simple tips and see how workplace creativity strategies improves your business.

GAMIFICATION

Apply motivational techniques to everyday tasks to improve workplace creativity.  Video games hook their users with quick responses, goals, badges, transparency, competition, leveling up, and collaboration.  These same methods can be applied in the workplace.

  1. Quick Responses. Use weekly meetings to provide feedback and evaluations. Encourage employees to offer ideas via email and respond daily.
  2. Goals. Set clear, achievable, short term goals
  3. Badges. Provide awards or praise when employees reach these goals. Some companies use a point system.  Employees accrue points for reaching short term goals which can then be accumulated and traded in for larger prizes.
  4. Transparency. Let each employee know where they stand vs other employees.
  5. Competition. Transparency, goals, and badges create competition in the workplace. Competition is a great way to keep members engaged and cultivate creativity.
  6. Leveling Up. Offer training and opportunities for advancement
  7. Collaboration. Encourage people to team up, bounce ideas off each other and assist each other in reaching the goals.

OFFICE LAYOUT

Some people work best with an open floor plan. Others work best with a closed office space.  Why not have both? Offer options for a person’s own style.  Either a shared work table or a private cubicle.  When a person is comfortable in their environment, they will perform better.

OFFICE DÉCOR

People are more creative in a creative environment.  SO ADD COLOR!  Instead of standard fluorescent lights, use colorful lamp shades.  And put art on the walls.  No one wants to live in a beige world, so why are offices painted beige or white?  My high school math teacher painted our classroom bubble gum pink.  It was a horrible color, but he said it would make us focus better, and it actually did.  But I don’t recommend bubble gum pink. Instead, warm earth tones work well too.

EXERCISE

Motion gets the blood pumping, reduces fatigue and increases creativity.  Encourage regular stretching breaks. Teach techniques that can be employed at the desk like head rolls.  Offer a space for walking or stretching during lunch breaks.

WORKPLACE CREATIVITY CULTIVATED OUTSIDE OF THE WORKPLACE

Lastly, to cultivate creativity in the workplace, sponsor activities outside the workplace. A company softball team, wine and paint night or a weekend hike.  Community service projects are also great ways to bond employees and make them feel good about themselves.  Employees who feel good about themselves are more creative and loyal.

For more suggestions on cultivating creativity in the workplace and for team building options contact us at 877.267.1939 or email james@fireflyteamevents.com.

large-group-team-building

Large Group Team Building: 5 Ideas With A CSR Focus!

As we look toward the end of the year I get excited for our corporate give back events.  I love seeing the ways companies use their corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments to become heroes to their local communities.  Whether your company culture includes year round employee volunteering or a charitable large group team building event, here are five ways your team can give back.

1. Beach Clean Up Large Group Team Building

large-group-team-building-beach-cleanupAll the fun in the sun of a beach day coupled with the feel good emotions of civic responsibility make beach clean ups a popular option.  Plenty of gloves, trash bags and trash pickers help keep the gross factor down while staff comb the shore for “buried treasure”.  Consider giving the event a competitive edge and reward the team that has the most bags filled.  Be sure to take before and after pictures so your team can reflect on all the good they did for the environment!

2. Toy Drive with a Twist

large-group-team-building-toy-driveSpice up your year-end Toys for Tots drive with a Minute to Win It: Holiday Edition event.  Offer up awesome toys as prizes that winning teams can earn for each round of competition playing games inspired by the television show, Minute to Win It. Then round up these toys to make a truly meaningful donation delivery.  Cap the night off with hot cocoa and caroling for a festive good time.  And might we suggest one of the games your staff of elves compete in be the “Tinsel Twerk”?

3. Bike Build

large-group-team-building-bike-buildA popular option for a reason.  Everyone remembers receiving their first bike.  Bicycles symbolize freedom, self reliance, and opportunity.  Avoid the headache of following complicated instructions by having our facilitators gamify the experience.  Teams can compete to earn parts for their bicycle and then be assisted in the assembly by experienced technicians.

4. Local Nonprofit Love

If you’re wondering how to best benefit your local community- just ask!  We loved helping Working Wardrobes which provides professional interview wear for homeless or financially unstable applicants.  Staff were able to volunteer their time in sorting donations and organizing inventory.  Many local organizations appreciate the man hours that large groups can provide.

5. Super Hero Kits For Kids

large-group-team-buildingWe think the brave kids battling illness at children’s hospitals are super heroes and they need to supplies to look the part.  Your team can flex their creativity and imagination by creating shields and masks for local super kids.

These activities can stand alone or be paired with other events like year end meetings or holiday parties.  There’s no wrong way to give back, so feel free to think outside the box.  We’ve decorated duffel bags for foster youth, painted surfboards for injured veterans, and assembled hygiene kits for those displaced from permanent housing.

Contact us at james@fireflyteamevents.com or 877.267.1939 and we’ll help you champion a cause important to your team that also makes the largest impact.  Allow your team to shine and enjoy those warm fuzzies you get from giving back to your community with large group team building!

Archery Tag: A Unique and Competitive Team Building Event!

competitive team buildingAs the referee counted down you could hear harsh breaths behind safety masks.

Hands and biceps flexed on bows.

Suddenly at the starting signal, tennis shoes squeaked against linoleum as players rushed to grab arrows to fire at their coworkers. Then someone is too slow to dodge and gets hit with a soft thunk. So they jog off to the side, only to be let back into the game once a teammate scores a hit against one of the bonus targets. Finally, a coordinated volley of shots crosses the field and one team is named victorious.

The Format

This is Archery Tag, a new fun sport we were excited to play with ASICS America during their staff day. Played exactly as you’d imagine, teams fire cushioned arrows at opponents hoping to eliminate the opposing team first. Some brave players kept mobile and darted around the field, dodging arrows that came flying by. I preferred to hide behind the inflatable cover and snipe the other team when they weren’t expecting it.

competitive team building

Each round in this high energy game goes quickly which makes it great for competitive team building. There was no need to be anxious about being hit by arrows. Players quickly laughed the mild sting off. The unique office game drew a crowd of onlookers happy to cheer their coworkers on. No prior knowledge of archery is needed to play. Most staffers were excited to try bow and arrow for the first time. I felt like a majestic elf warrior battling for freedom and glory…until I took an arrow to the face.

It’s Not All About Location, Location, Location

We were fortunate that ASICS America’s headquarters had an on site gymnasium, but the game can be run in any large multipurpose room or park. If you’re looking for an out of the box year end staff outing, consider inviting your team to shoot each other- SAFELY! Meanwhile we’ll be brainstorming other medieval battle techniques we could turn into team building challenges.

competitive team building

Ready for Fun and Competitive Team Building? Let’s Do This!

To challenge your team to an archery tag Battle Royale, contact us at james@fireflyteamevents.com or 877.267.1939

team-building-scavenger-hunt

The Techno Rally: A Bold And Crazy Team Building Scavenger Hunt

Looking for a great way to get your group out of the meeting room and into the glorious sunlight? Imagine doing just that while also building strong working relationships in the process. These are the big draws for our ever popular Techno Rally team building scavenger hunt.

Location, Location, Location

First, pick any location. Our clients have been spotted arm-wrestling senior citizens and admiring Manic Panic hair-do’s in various parts of Los Angeles and Orange County. Any interesting location where you are having a meeting or group event is an option. Then, let us create a hilariously wacky adventure that your co-workers will thank you for arranging.

The Team Building Scavenger Hunt Is On!

Your group will be mixed into teams who will take on crazy challenges like re-enacting high school prom photo poses. So, we’ll give them a chance to cheese it up and chase each other down as they race against the clock to complete as many challenges as possible. Groups begin by picking team names that will strike fear in the hearts of their opponents. Then, each team will pick an “App Master” who will download our scavenger hunt mobile app. The app keeps the group in check as to what’s next on the timed agenda. Strategy is key because there’s no way to complete all tasks in the time allotted. Groups must wisely choose which tasks to tackle for the most points.

Finally, they’re off to snap photos with iconic local structures, interact with the locals, and other outlandish actions. Teams will be virtually race each other as they move up and down the app’s leader board throughout the event. And lastly, they must make it back to the final meeting point before the buzzer. We turn off the leader board results in the final moments, so the winner will be a surprise to all participants. The first round of drinks are on the winning team!

Personalization For The Win

Clients can add personal touches to the event with trivia questions or other checkpoint challenges related to the company. We will help you design the event to drive home a deeper team building message to everyone on your team. Contact James Bennett at james@fireflyteamevents.com to get a-movin’ and make this adventure happen!

los-angeles-team-building

5 Fresh Ideas for Los Angeles Team Building Events

I love L.A., we love it!  We could sing all day of our love for Los Angeles. You will too when you see the endless team event opportunities in the City of Angels.  Team building is not only a fun mental break for your employees, but it also shows them that you value their well-being.  According to a Gallup study, 75% of workers leave their bosses, not their companies.  Be the boss your employees don’t want to leave while strengthening team bonds with these top Los Angeles team building activities.

I’m A Rocket Man

Your colleagues will seriously wonder, “how can this be my job?!” as they have a blast with our Launch It! Rockets event. The California Science Center is the perfect backdrop for your group to soak in the genius as they take on the challenge of designing, creating, and launching their own water rockets.

I Will Survive

Work together or die (figuratively); that’s the premise of our Manic Panic Escape Room event. There’s no better way to escape the clutches of madness than in any of the funky, mid-mod meeting spaces at The Standard, Downtown Los Angeles. For one hour, your group will have to think fast to solve mind-bending puzzles as the time whittles down. Lastly, they’ll make their escape to the final point: the rooftop bar for celebratory cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

He’s Going the Distance, He’s Going For Speed

Yes, there may be moments of silliness, but our Techno Rally is guaranteed to cause laughter and bonding moments. Even better as you race through Los Angeles’ historic Olvera Street and Chinatown districts. Start at the iconic Los Angeles Union Station. From there, teams will divide and conquer as they wind up, down, and through the maze of history on our technology-based scavenger hunt event.

Work It, Make It, Do It!

Your group chooses one word that invokes a strong meaning and learns how to spray, dazzle, and dot their canvas in our Team Graffiti event. It’s big picture thinking guided by our world class graffiti artist. We can set up this creative and cutting edge art challenge anywhere (even indoors!) but there is nowhere better in the Los Angeles area than next to the iconic graffiti walls at Venice Beach.

All I Want To Do Is Have Some Fun

Team play is top priority for our Iron Team Challenge. Multiple challenge games that test the communication, cooperation, and critical thinking skills of your team can be set up on Santa Monica Beach.  Bring your team outside and they’ll want to keep playing until the sun comes up on Santa Monica Boulevard! 

We’re Los Angeles Team Building Gurus

Gather your team and make yourself the hero by incorporating some fun into their work life.  Having happier, healthier, and more engaged employees will be a positive by-product.  If you’re ready to partner with us on your next Los Angeles team building adventure, email james@fireflyteamevents.com.

Anaheim team events ideas

5 Fresh Ideas for Anaheim Team Events

I recently attended an expo at the Anaheim Convention Center.  It may have been a Disney fan convention.  My nerdy-ness knows no bounds.  If you are brought out to Anaheim for a sales conference or meeting, know that the city has so many unique venues for a team outing.  What was once just sprawling citrus groves is now jam-packed with entertainment options.  I’ve compiled my favorite ideas for Anaheim team events below.

1. Disneyland Scavenger Hunt

We’ll start with the giant mouse in the room.  Anaheim is most widely known as the home of Disneyland.  Its popularity is all encompassing and certain to peak with the upcoming addition of a Star Wars themed land.  I love Disneyland for all the great photo locations throughout the park.  Grab your team for FireFly’s most magical team building challenge: a scavenger hunt at Disneyland Resort.  We’ve run hunts both in the park and exclusively in the adjacent Downtown Disney shopping area so theme park admission isn’t always needed.  This option is great for staff that are bringing their families with them or teams that like to be a bit Goofy!

2. Escape Room Anaheim Team Events

FireFly’s love of escape rooms is well documented.  In fact, our facilitators have collectively completed over 50 rooms.  One of our absolute favorites is Cross Roads Escape Games, located in Anaheim!  We attempted their Hex Room together and had a blast.  Themed after the scary movie genre, we had to race to solve the case of the murderer and find our own survival tokens.  The Hex Room is unique because each participant is placed in their own room with limited communication to the rest of the team.  More so, its a unique challenge that benefits from a thorough debriefing afterwards.  Consider contracting an experienced facilitator to help your team draw meaning out of their experience.

3. Sports Go Sports!

Anaheim is home to two great sports teams.  The Angels baseball team and the Ducks hockey team.  Tickets to one of their exciting games is always a good incentive reward.  Make your team the star by booking Anaheim team events at the Honda Center or Angel Stadium.

4. OC Foodie Paradise

If you have any foodies in your group, you’ll need to visit the Anaheim Packing House. The building is one of the few remaining structures from the agricultural era of the town.  Take a culinary tour through the two story mecca of southern California cuisine.  You’ll often find local musicians performing free concerts here, so it’s a great spot for groups wanting food and entertainment on a budget.  This trendy spot is popular among locals so we recommend using Anaheim’s superior public transit to arrive stress free.

5. I.P.A. I.Q.

It might be due to the high population density of service industry workers, but Anaheim is home to some really good bars.  So if you like craft beer, Lyft over to Bottle Logic Brewing.  Craft beer made from SCIENCE!  You can even get your brew in a chemistry beaker.  I like their bar for the wide open seating area that’s perfect for mingling or as a setting for our Game Showdown.

Anaheim is a great city that extends beyond the tourist attractions.  If you’d like to enjoy the town with a kick awesome team building twist, contact us at james@fireflyteamevents.com or 877.267.1939