post-holiday slump

How to Bust a Post-holiday Slump at the Office

The holidays are fun of activities like cooking, parties, shopping, traveling and other happy yet often stressful activities.

“As joyous as they can be, the stress and expectations associated with the holidays can overwhelm us and switch our brains into overdrive,” clinical psychologist Brett Kennedy told Greatist.

This means that workers can head back to the office on January 2nd emotionally and mentally depleted. In other words, your team members may head back to work with the post-holiday blues. Mix that with a backlog of work after time off during the holiday and productivity and morale in your office could suffer.

Don’t worry, there are ways you can help your office beat the post-holiday slump with grace and ease.

Get Ahead of the Post-holiday Slump

Helping a post-holiday slump can start with an ounce of prevention. For example, you can ask your employees to truly take a break and  leave work at the office during any time off. This can help them feel rested and ready to work when they return. You can also set up expectations for a lighter, post-holiday work week with fewer meetings and deadlines so everyone can get on top of holiday backlog without feeling overwhelmed.  Read more

How to Win at Giving Corporate Holiday Gifts

You have a great team working with you and you want to give your staff the best company holiday present ever. Corporate holiday gifts can be hard to get right, juggling sentimentality with practicality.  You’ll notice a lot of my suggestions come from crowd sourcing sites.  By supporting a campaign, not only do you score a new to the market cool present for your staff, but you’re also promoting innovation which will help your team on their way to becoming creative powerhouses.  So toss out the boring standbys, I’ve got some great ideas for corporate holiday gifts to put in your manager Santa hat. Read more

company cultures

5 Company Cultures We Admire

With our team building work, we at FireFly Team Events have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of different companies. Often when searching for great company cultures you’ll find articles highlighting fun work spaces like Pixar’s breakfast cereal bar or Google’s colorful and spiraling office slides.  Now, I love playgrounds and sugary cereals as much as the next person, but how much engagement do those perks inspire?  The following companies have a culture that extend beyond flashy Instagram fodder. Instead, they focus on policies and procedures that inspire communication, creativity and group identity.

Zappos

Zappos is no stranger to top lists.  Whether measuring customer service quality or employee satisfaction, Zappos ranks high.  This is likely due to the apparent lack of office politics.  When interviewing, candidates are questioned not just about their qualifications, but their personality and values.  This unique personality test ensures they will be a good cultural fit for the office.  Zappos also rewards employees based on skill tests and reviews.  The clear paths to growth reduces nepotism and politicking.  They also have a strong unique corporate identity shaped by their core values including, “Create fun and a little weirdness.”  Staff are referred to and treated as family, which breeds immense loyalty and drive.  Read more

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.  Read more

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.  Read more

office games

Build Employee Engagement With These 5 Office Games

Of course we at FireFly love playing games.  We take every opportunity to play-test new challenges we offer on events.  Games are more than fun, they are a valuable engagement tool.  According to a Linkedin study, 46% of workplace professionals report that having a good friend at work is important to their overall happiness.  Now, we’re not saying all your coworkers need to be BFFs, but engaging in friendly activities like office games can actually increase creativity and retention.  When choosing a game to introduce to your office consider staff personalities, afforded time, and resources so that you can pick something best suited to your office.  Here’s five ideas to get you started.

1. Office Games DIY: Mad Libs

Feel free to keep things simple with this idea.  In a common area have staff list random verbs, nouns and adjectives that you feed into an office Mad Lib.  At the end of the day or week, type it up and display it in the break room.  Staff will get a chuckle and will want to offer different suggestions the next time.  These are great entry level office games for employees who may not want to commit to something more involved.   Read more

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! Read more

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.  Read more

workplace-team-building

Workplace Team Building Strategies with Chris Cavert, Ed.D.

Part 2 of Our Interview with Chris Cavert, Ed.D.

Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known educator, trainer and speaker and recipient of the AEE Karl Rohnke creativity award. He has been working with groups of all ages for more than 25 years. Chris is the author of over a dozen books related to activity-based experiential group development. He holds an undergraduate degree in physical education, a master’s degree in Experiential Education and an educational doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction. As an educator Chris focuses on how to use team building activities to develop social-emotional intelligence and pro-social skills within groups of all ages. For more information visit: FUNdoing.com

 


On a regular basis, what could a manager do in their role to help build a better team?

Build personal relationships with every member of the group that you as a manager supervise or are accountable for. If a manager is purposefully taking time to get to know everyone on his or her team, that opens the door to so many other problem-solving opportunities. You work through conflict a little faster and smoother if you know more about each other and each other’s needs. This to me is the simplest and most important thing for any manager who is leading people: put your pencil down and take the time to go out and talk to people.

A quote from my friend Molly Foote, that I use all the time is, “The more we know about someone, the less likely we are to hurt someone.” Connecting with people and getting to know them on a deeper level creates more empathy, strength around dealing with conflict, accepting each other’s differences, and the ability to work together to move forward.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t take anything personally. In life and in being a leader, it’s hard to not take things personally when you’re being attacked by a person or a group of people who are really in need of help. But they attack the person who’s trying to help.

And the biggest challenge for leaders is not to avoid conflict. Because a lot of new managers I encounter will create an environment or will have behaviors that sweep things under the rug. They’ll do everything to avoid conflicts because they don’t want to deal with it. But that doesn’t move a group forward. Groups need to be able to push through difficult challenges.

I was given great advice years ago, that we need to experience difficulty so that we can learn to recognize and choose difference behaviors. Read more

team building myths

Exploring Team Building Myths with Chris Cavert, Ed.D.

Part 1 of Our Interview with Chris Cavert, Ed.D.

Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known educator, trainer and speaker and recipient of the AEE Karl Rohnke creativity award. He has been working with groups of all ages for more than 25 years. Chris is the author of over a dozen books related to activity-based experiential group development. He holds an undergraduate degree in physical education, a master’s degree in Experiential Education and an educational doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction. As an educator Chris focuses on how to use team building activities to develop social-emotional intelligence and pro-social skills within groups of all ages. For more information visit: FUNdoing.com

What is a one of the common team building myths you encounter?

A lot of people call outings team building. So in their mind going out together is building teams. And I don’t disagree with that. I think part of it is true in the sense of, when you do things together, you have an opportunity to learn about each other a little bit more. You’re going to have conversations. Find out similarities and differences. You’re going to see how people have fun, see how people deal with maybe challenges or stress. Because any kind of outings where you have to make decisions together has some level of stress or possibly conflict. So there are all those parts of building a team in there. What’s missing, is the idea of we’re reflecting on an experience. These outings that people call team building is more what I call accidental team building; it just kind of happens because you’re together. Read more