We Asked, You Answered: Team-Building Tips for the Hybrid Workplace

Many organizations are still struggling with how to get staff to effectively interact and connect when some people are in the office and others are working remotely. A few association pros shared what’s worked for them when it comes to team building.

With some employees in the office and others working remotely on most days, it can be more difficult to build camaraderie, especially among newer staff members.

From surveys, to local all-staff gatherings, to non-work-related chit-chat, here’s what your association colleagues say have been effective tactics for building teams in the hybrid workplace.  

Ann Bresingham

Chief Human Resource Officer, American Association of Nurse Anesthesiologists           

We have a hybrid/remote workforce, so only about 30 to 40 percent of staff come into the office each week. We have changed our online monthly all-staff meetings to be both online and “in house,” so that all employees who are within a drivable distance can come to the office and attend the meeting in person.

We then create other events that same day to ensure there are other opportunities for engagement. In January, we held our all staff, followed by a chili cookoff and baked potato bar for lunch! Our January meeting saw 90 percent of our local employees come to the office for the day, attending the main meeting and then participating in other department meetings and activities. This is still a work in progress, but the feedback we’ve received has been positive, so we’ll continue the momentum.

Cindy Simpson

Corporate Relations Specialist, Urgent Care Association

We have completed various surveys to learn more about each other—everything from Myers Briggs to Hogwarts Sorting House! It’s a great way to find out ways in which we interact best with each other as a team.

Amanda Bureau

Executive Director, NALS             

My team keeps a “gratitude journal” in our project management system. We track nice comments from members and appreciation from volunteers or express thanks to other staff. We open every staff meeting by reviewing the gratitude journal to remind ourselves of the positive things that have happened since our last meeting.

Sarah Monk

Membership and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, American Physical Society

We have a department Zoom meeting every Friday morning that is completely casual. We chat about our weekend plans, our families, and anything exciting going on—anything except work. This lets us strengthen our team connections and creates a welcoming environment for new team members to let them get to know their colleagues.

Shannon Roche

President and CEO, Yoga Alliance

We’ve tried many! The most interesting and effective, by far, was the strategic planning meeting we hosted where we hired a local band to perform over the lunch break. Instead of everyone doing their own things during the break, our whole team rejoined the Zoom (voluntarily!) and were off mute and singing along by the end. Everyone was struck by how much they’d missed multiway interaction and live performances.


Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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