on Oct 19, 21

How giving helps team culture and employee wellbeing

Having a positive workplace culture that supports wellbeing has been shown to be a key driver of employee productivity, happiness and business success.

According to research from Xero and the NZIER, poor wellbeing negatively affects a person’s decision-making and productivity for an average of three months a year.

Creating an environment where employees feel comfortable around each other is essential to making sure people are happy and productive. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle also contributes to positive wellbeing, and there are plenty of ways employers and team leaders can support their teams to make healthy choices, such as a step challenge. 

Team building is an important part of workplace culture as people share new experiences and deepen connections. We’ve all felt this before - we hear the words team building and roll our eyes. But let’s be honest, although we’re reluctant to participate at first, it always ends up being more fun than we thought! Team activities help employees learn more about each other, and feel more connected to the business. 

Making winning more meaningful

What if you could extend the benefits of these challenges even further and enhance your employees’ happiness through meaningful prizes? Here lies a special opportunity for companies to ditch the novel prizes and instead, reward winners with a Good Gift Card to boost the ‘feel-good’ effect of team activities.

The act of giving has fantastic benefits to wellbeing, and there have been numerous studies that show the impact on mood after giving time or money to others. 

In two studies in 2018, researchers evaluated the psychological responses of people giving gifts to someone else, versus receiving those same gifts themselves. They found that giving to another person or a charity resulted in the feeling of happiness lasting longer than when they received the gifts themselves. 

How others are incorporating the gift of giving

If you’re looking to incorporate giving into team building activities, check out what these companies have done. Both of these examples were carried out virtually during the recent level 4 lockdown.

Xero recently held a ‘Xero Olympics’ for their Hawke’s Bay team to encourage people to get to know each other better and create a sense of camaraderie. The ‘Xero Olympics’ ran for a week with new challenges for each team every day, including coming up with a team mascot, creating a flag for their assigned country, and competing in GeoGuessr games. 

The three winning teams were awarded gift cards from The Good Registry as their prizes. The feedback from employees has been overwhelmingly positive, with some people doubling the amount to be able to donate to more charities. Those with kids at home had fun learning about the different charities on The Good Registry and selecting a few who they have a connection with, to donate their winnings to. Overall, employees said they appreciated the opportunity to give, and they felt a bigger sense of gratitude than if it was a physical prize.

The Co-operative Bank ran a step challenge with all their employees spread throughout NZ during lockdown. With a bit of healthy competition, employees smashed the challenge which was to collectively travel 890km in total “from Bluff to Blenheim”. They achieved this (and then some) by walking, biking or running 1,351.74kms in total. To extend the great feeling of completing this challenge, the winners then donated the dollar equivalent of steps taken to charities of their choice through The Good Registry. 

To organise gift cards or donations for your company’s team challenge, here are some options:

- By Sophie Whitney

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