Paige Rosenthal|Apr 7, 2015

Let me stop you there, it’s not what you think. In March, the rbb team decided to hold an office-wide speed dating event where junior employees sat with each senior-level employee to get to know them on a more personal level–no work-talk allowed. The stations were prepared and each team member was seated with their first match, and with a swift strike of the gong, we were ready to begin.

Beyond the small talk and first-date type questions, our event set the stage for employee connection and familiarity. As a newer member of the rbb team, I was eager to separate myself from just words on a screen and show my colleagues my true personality. And, in return, I had the opportunity to relate to senior staff, opening the door to further conversation and partnership.

So, why is this approach important for success? Cultivating personal relationships within office confines can stimulate productivity, encourage collaboration and, above all, boost the overall quality of work.

Today, the tough reality is that eight in 10 Americans are stressed by at least one thing at work, with dissatisfaction and disengagement on the rise, according to Nielsen’s Work Stress Study. In fact, it is estimated that employee disengagement costs U.S. businesses a whopping $450 to $550 billion per year. What’s more? Companies with more engaged employees boasted 147% higher earnings. With that kind of money on the line, it’s just good business sense to keep employees happy.

While chit-chats during lunch may seem like a trivial way to pass the time, it contributes in a very real way to office productivity. Sparking conversations between employees of all levels builds trust and creates strong bonds in the workplace, laying the groundwork for an established unit working together toward a common goal. The University of Warwick recently conducted a survey to answer the question: Do happy people work harder? The expected answer: yes. And, more specifically, happy people work 12% harder and will use their allotted time more efficiently. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re feeling at the top of your game.

It’s fair to say that growth and success are primary goals of any business, and the driving force behind success is the team you build. Millennial job-seekers will make up 40% of the workforce by 2020, and today, they are looking for personal fulfillment in addition to a steady paycheck. Studies by the Intelligence Group show that 88% of millennials want a collaborative work environment. So how can a business attract first-rate talent? Offer prospectives an environment where they’ll feel like an integral member of the team. Additionally, office camaraderie leads to overall higher employee retention. With this approach, businesses will not only attract new talented employees, but also keep them. Here are 15 easy and effective team building activities to get started.

When it comes down to it, investing in your employees, whether financially or with time, means investing in your business. Taking the time to get to know the people around you could mean increased profitability and a more thriving work environment. The rbb speed-dating event was one of many inventive office activities that has helped our team thrive while becoming fully invested in rbb, ourselves and each other.


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