An intro contest, quizzes and fun backgrounds – it’s perfectly possible to build good team spirit online, too. When KappAhl’s IT department hold their weekly meetings online using the Teams tool, no one is bored. “It’s become almost like a cross between a meeting and a coffee break,” says IT colleague Christine. And no one wants to miss the meeting!
Now that many colleagues aren’t meeting irl as often as usual, our forty-strong IT department has swapped its traditional weekly newsletter for a twenty-minute online meeting each week. Every meeting begins with an intro contest, where attendees have to guess the theme of the meeting’s background image. Participants send their guesses using the Teams chat during the meeting. And the winner gets the honour of putting together the next week’s intro game!
Christine, who is responsible for KappAhl’s IT systems in the fields of HR and communications, says that the relaxed meeting setup has fostered good team spirit in the IT department, at a time when people are seeing each other less often irl.
“The meetings are great! They are informative and light, and create a nice sense of togetherness. The best thing about the meetings is their positive, happy tone – in presentations as well as in the chat. In the meeting’s chat function we are encouraged to ask questions and give cheers, which creates a nice dialogue and makes the meeting more lively,” says Christine.
The much-appreciated meeting setup is the brainchild of Kalle, KappAhl’s IT development manager. He says that the idea for the setup came when the department started to hold their weekly meetings online:
“The first meeting was a little stiff while we were waiting for everyone to connect – there can be a lot of feedback and random ‘hello?’s when there are forty people joining. So the next week I opened the meeting a few minutes earlier and shared an image with a meeting logo and started playing some music. When I then stumbled across some historic KappAhl images on our website I started to use them as the meeting background – the image that appears behind me when I talk – and choose a song from the year each image was taken as the meeting’s intro song. I asked attendees to guess the year and send their answers via the meeting chat. The prize for the first correct answer was… preparing the next week’s intro! Perfect. The only requirement we have for the intro contest is that it should have some sort of link to KappAhl – so we aren’t just guessing years any more, it can be pretty much anything at all. One great thing about this is that almost all meeting participants are there in the meeting a few minutes before it starts.”
Kalle says that the meetings have been the most important aspect of maintaining and reinforcing good team spirit during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The meetings bring together colleagues from the IT department’s five groups, who share information about all sorts of things. It’s a reminder that you are part of something bigger. Even though we aren’t meeting in person at the office so much these days.”
Christine agrees that the meetings are important for team spirit during this pandemic:
“Of course it’s extra important now that many of us are working from home and aren’t seeing each other as much as usual. It’s become almost like a cross between a meeting and a coffee break. Even though the meeting is optional and recorded so it can be viewed afterwards, people still want to be there live so they don’t miss out!”
Kalle’s top tips for online meetings with great team spirit
- Keep it short. We normally have 4-6 speakers, who get two minutes each. Every speaker ends by mentioning where participants can find out more. The meeting lasts 20 minutes in total.
- No PowerPoint presentations.
- Strive for an informal tone.
- Vary who speaks – managers aren’t the only people who can and/or want to share relevant information.
- Get attendees involved. We always end the meeting with a Menti. This might be 5-7 questions about things that have happened or will be happening soon. It’s a fun way of reminding people about boring things like time reporting and other stuff. We always have the same last question on the Menti: “How has your week at KappAhl IT been?” – a good way of getting an idea of how your colleagues are doing.
- Music is always fun – perhaps create a meeting intro?
“I put about one hour into preparing each meeting. Roughly half an hour the evening before to put the intro together and create the basis for the Mentimeter questions. Then about twenty minutes on the Thursday chasing everyone who is speaking, getting ideas for Menti questions and writing them. And ten minutes before the meeting to get the music, background image, etc. together,” says Kalle.
Posted by Charlotte Högberg