Kickstart 2024 with These New Year Virtual Team Building Activities

Ben Aflalo
Ben Aflalo

Head of Product at Gloww

virtual team building

The New Year is an important period for any business. It’s a time to reflect on past successes and potential failures. If there’s been a shortfall in communication or you’ve struggled to motivate teams during the past 12 months, virtual team building is a must. 

You can use New Year virtual team building activities to work on lackluster communication skills, reignite disengaged employees, and fine-tune skills needed to succeed in the year ahead. Even though the past year has proved fruitful, the festive period can cause a lull when employees return to their posts at the beginning of January. Once all that celebrations and virtual holiday parties are done and dusted, it’s easy for workers to feel disoriented, causing engagement levels to flatline. By getting the year off to a great start with kick-off activities, you ensure your teams are primed and ready to take on any challenge. 

What is Virtual Team Building? 

Virtual team building activities allow remote workers to establish bonds with colleagues, creating clear lines of communication and creating a sense of community. They’re vital for businesses that are now working in the virtual space. This can include companies that rely solely on remote teams or organizations that have adopted a hybrid approach to work. 

Remote team building ideas can include meet and greets where dispersed employees can touch base and make face-to-face connections. Alternatively, they provide a platform for established teams to strengthen existing bonds and employers to reinforce corporate structure and hierarchies. Activities can be as simple as commencing an online meeting with a few icebreaker questions or a virtual game to lead into a more traditional kick-off meeting

The right remote team building activity can increase collaboration between employees, reorient teams ahead of new projects, or introduce new ways of working. Team building games and activities can increase employee engagement, which is essential if managing teams in person isn’t an option. What’s more, they can make remote employees more accountable, while constantly serving to bolster a sense of togetherness and nurture a company culture

Why is Virtual Team Building Important for Ringing in the New Year? 

Your employees might have excelled in the virtual space and thrived in remote work positions, but this fairly novel way of working needs nurturing. Employers need to constantly ensure remote teams are connecting with colleagues and touching base with managers. Team building activities are a low-impact but effective way of giving them a subtle push in the right direction. 

Engaging Virtual New Year Event Ideas? 

First time hosting an online New Year team building session? Putting together a slate of activities for that annual kick-off meeting can seem daunting, but with the right lineup you can spark engagement and get the year off to the best start possible. 

Virtual Games 

Virtual games are one of the easiest ways to connect with remote teams. Many of the activities you’ve used in traditional office settings can be carried over to remote meetings, while others will need adapting for the virtual space. 

1. Whose Story Is It? 

Starting your session with a round of ‘Whose Story Is It?’ is a great way to launch any New Year kick-off meeting. You can keep things casual by using festive mishaps and Christmas anecdotes for inspiration, or turn to the working year for ideas instead. This game takes a little preparation, so ask participants to share their stories ahead of time when sending out invites. The meeting facilitator can then read aloud these stories once everyone has convened online, with everyone then tasked with guessing who the story relates to. 

2. Team Drawing Challenge

Is this the first time a larger team is meeting online for the first time? Encouraging quieter members of your workforce to contribute can be a challenge. To grease the wheels, use a team drawing challenge to get people to participate, even if they’re not the type to speak up in public. Use the Christmas period as inspiration and turn to this as an icebreaker activity, or set more specific challenges to encourage collaboration and encourage teamwork. 

3. Name That Song

If your New Year meeting is focused more on improving communication and strengthening bonds between remote workers, stick with classic icebreaker games like Name That Song. You can theme your playlist around the festive period, or turn to the previous working year for ideas. Is there a particular song that received ample airplay? Was a certain hit playing during a memorable event at an office function? Using these will spark shared memories and get everyone talking. Check out more music activities for team building, as well as our 2000s music challenge and groovy ’80s music challenge templates.

4. Movie Trivia Challenge

Here’s another classic game that’s perfect for breaking the ice ahead of another successful year. Most of us spend countless hours camped out on the couch over the festive period, so a movie trivia challenge will always go down well. 

new year team building

5. Gift Word Cloud 

Here’s another great icebreaker game you can use to get the ball rolling. Everyone has probably ended up with a few presents bound for the regifting cycle. Perhaps one or two members of your team are guilty of giving away embarrassing gifts themselves. 

6. Yearly Company Awards

Here’s a more conventional exercise you can use to celebrate the successes of the past year. You probably already honor performance with an employee of the week or employee of the month awards in your regular meetings. During your New Year get-together, mark standout performance with an Employee of the Year award. 

Has someone in your team spearheaded significant change during the last year? Consider dishing out an Innovation Award. Has a particular team or department stood out within your company? A Team Collaboration Award is the perfect way of showcasing this performance and encouraging others to up their game in the year ahead. 

The best businesses pride themselves on delivering first-class customer service. If one of your employees or an entire team has gone the extra mile to bring high-level service to customers, a Customer Excellence Award is another honor you should consider handing out during your New Year kick-off meeting. 

new year activities

7. 2024 Goal-Setting Workshop

What does success look like for your business? To ensure 2024 gets off to a roaring start, think about hosting a SMART goals workshop as part of your annual get-together. You can use basic SMART goals here to kick things off, laying out performance goals and plans that will help steer your teams to victory over the next 12 months. 

Vision Board Creation

If your teams are struggling to conceptualize goals, you can turn to exercises like vision board creation. Boards can be created individually or as part of small groups to find common goals that can be then integrated into a SMART goals workshop. 

Goal-Sharing Roundtable 

A goal-sharing roundtable is another useful activity if some people are struggling to pinpoint what they should be working on over the next year. Some employees will already have a firm idea of what to target over the next few months, while others will need a little helping hand to decide their own. 

Accountability Partners 

Just because your employees have hammered out the goals they’ll be working towards, there’s no guarantee they’ll actually be able to realize them. By appointing accountability partners, individuals have a better chance of staying on track and achieving what they’ve set out to do. You can pair up new hires with more experienced employees, although any partnership will encourage individuals to keep their commitments. 

Goal-Tracking Tools 

Once goals have been set, you’ll need the right tracking tools in place to monitor performance. You can keep things simple with basic software that allows you to assign tasks, set deadlines, and track success against key performance indicators. 

Tips for Facilitators 

This time of team meeting will be a fairly collaborative experience. As such, team leaders need to be flexible enough to let everyone share their two cents. You’ll need a tight agenda that lays out what’s expected of everyone. Make time for ice-breaking exercises so that everyone can shake off the cobwebs of a hectic festive period and start thinking creatively. 

New Year team meetings are fairly reflective. In some cases, the previous 12 months will be full of successes and exemplary performance. However, even the most effective organizations will have room for improvement. A meeting facilitator can’t be too delicate when it comes to pointing this out, but you need to be able to frame things constructively. Identify issues, but focus on how problems can be remedied and what can be improved. 

A New Year meeting also requires plenty of input from participants. Build in regular time for collaborative exercises where employees can share their own ideas. Games and activities can lighten the mood and keep participants engaged, while polls and surveys can provide you with more business-facing insights. 

Start Planning Your New Year Meeting Today 

Eager to ensure the next business year is your most successful one yet? A New Year meeting will guarantee your team has a fighting chance of taking your business to the next level. However, if you’re meeting virtually, you’ll need a reliable video conferencing platform. 

With Gloww, you have all the tools you need to host immersive virtual get-togethers with remote teams. Our user-friendly tools make it easy to create memorable online events in moments. You can use ready-made templates to create compelling meetings or let your creative juices flow by starting from scratch. You can even integrate games and activities to increase employee engagement, while there’s scope for bringing in multimedia assets to help you get your message across. We have written articles on virtual team building activities, virtual happy hour ideas, and trivia questions for coworkers to give you even more inspiration.

You can get started with Gloww today. If you’d like to learn more about Gloww’s premium features, check out our pricing plans. Do you have more questions about what the platform can do for you? Get in touch with the team. 

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ben aflalo
ben aflalo

Ben Aflalo heads Gloww's product team with over two decades of leadership experience. Passionate about leveraging innovative technology, he is committed to building products for the greater good.

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