9 Virtual Team Building Activities to Foster Diversity and Inclusion
Ever felt like your team is just a group of disconnected icons on a screen? You're not alone.
Building a team that truly clicks is a challenge in a world where 'remote' is the new norm. Even more so when it's about weaving the rich tapestry of diversity and inclusion into the digital thread of your team.
So, how do you turn a virtual workspace into a melting pot of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives?
Virtual team building activities can be a powerful tool to bridge gaps, build understanding, and create an environment where diversity drives creativity and inclusion fosters innovation.
In this article, we will look at nine creative virtual team-building activities that promote inclusion and diversity.
🌈 Why diversity and inclusion matter
Diversity and inclusion are vital to building a team that feels supported, valued, and respected. The knock-on effects of this are huge.
Here are just some of the advantages of fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace:
- 60% of B2B sales leaders say diversity has contributed to their sales team's success.
- 81% of employees of employees who reported working in an inclusive environment said they are happy in their jobs—three times more than those who don't feel included. And employees who indicated they are happy at work are 1.5 times more likely to give their best.
- A 1% increase in racial diversity within upper and lower management increases firm productivity by $729-$1590 per employee per year.
- Companies with a Diversity and Inclusion team were 22% more likely to be considered an industry-leading company with high-caliber talent.
These numbers show that an environment where inclusivity and diversity take center stage is vital to success. Diversity and inclusion benefit both employees and employers.
So, how do you foster this in remote and hybrid teams? We will examine nine creative virtual team-building games and fun activities promoting diversity and inclusion.
🎮 9 Virtual team building activities that foster diversity and inclusion
Remote teams are a melting pot of different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. It's essential to create opportunities for connection and collaboration if you want to harness the full potential of a diverse workforce.
These virtual team-building activities can help bridge gaps by helping remote team members bond and work cohesively.
From comprehensive brainstorming sessions to diversity campaigns, each virtual team-building activity on this handy list can be done through an efficient enterprise communications platform with features like video conferencing and the best virtual call center software.
🧊 Icebreaker sessions
When team members join a virtual meeting, they are usually scattered across various time zones and continents. Creating a sense of connection can be challenging. This is where icebreaker questions can be super helpful.
Quick icebreaker online games are an excellent way to start virtual team meetings. They can range from simple check-ins to discussing favorite travel destinations to "Would you rather…" questions. They provide team members with the opportunity to share personal stories and interests as well as get the conversation flowing.
These sessions bring colleagues closer and provide a platform to share personal stories and interests, which humanizes the working relationship and helps each member feel included. Regardless of the chosen activity, the result is a more connected virtual team better equipped to tackle challenges together.
🧠 Brainstorming sessions
Another brilliant virtual activity is hosting brainstorming sessions. In these brainstorming sessions, you must ensure the entire team has an equal opportunity to voice their opinions.
When team members feel that their ideas matter, it creates a sense of belonging and respect.
To facilitate these brainstorming sessions effectively, use a virtual brainstorming platform for organized discussions and contributions. You could try out the whiteboard features on Miro, Figma, or even Canva. These allow everyone to contribute at once, vote on ideas, and share feedback. It creates a collaborative atmosphere that values diversity in thought and experience.
To run a brainstorming session, make sure you define the scope of your session:
- Set a goal: This could be creative ideas for a new campaign or a specific solution to a problem. Just make sure everyone is on board.
- Define the rules: To ensure everyone is heard, set guidelines about how and when people communicate. Remind participants of the core principles of respectful communication.
- Share agenda in advance: This will help the introverted or newer members of your remote team feel comfortable contributing.
- Share any research or ideas: A Slack channel or Microsoft Teams chat is a great way to get creative juices flowing before your session and after.
📚 Virtual book club
A virtual book club is a great way to promote open dialogue about diversity and inclusion. Select a book that addresses these topics and schedule regular virtual book club meetings to discuss it. This concept will encourage learning and help understand important issues within the workspace.
Your team members will broaden their horizons once they engage in open dialogue and expose themselves to new ideas. This is nothing new. Reading fiction can increase empathy. So, a virtual book club can nurture a deep respect for the diverse perspectives that shape the world around us.
💡 Tip: Be sure to ask for recommendations, especially from minority members who feel comfortable sharing.
You'll also need to moderate the discussion to gain the most from these sessions and help every member feel comfortable and respected. These virtual meetings and discussions will foster empathy in the workplace and promote a harmonious virtual environment.
🤝 Mentorship programs
Mentorship is a powerful tool for professional development. It allows new team members to benefit from the wisdom and guidance of those who have navigated the challenges of the virtual landscape.
This virtual partnership results in a symbiotic relationship where growth can occur on both sides. It can help people with diverse experiences and backgrounds reach their full potential within the team.
Remote and hybrid mentorship programs, facilitated by an enterprise communications platform, serve as a two-way bridge for knowledge sharing and personal growth, promoting a collaborative company culture within hybrid or remote teams.
🤔 Collaborative problem-solving challenges
Engaging your virtual team in collaborative problem-solving challenges is a powerful strategy that sharpens communication skills and dismantles the barriers that can emerge in remote work settings. These challenges are a fantastic way to harness your team's collective intelligence and creativity.
For example, when a digital marketing campaign underperforms, team members can organize virtual meetings where everyone can contribute their insights. This encourages open dialogue, regardless of their roles, and helps identify key issues.
Plus, collaborating with cross-functional remote teams can also help introduce fresh perspectives that can revamp the campaign's strategy and improve engagement rates.
Incorporating these challenges into your virtual team-building activities enhances problem-solving skills and reinforces the value of diverse perspectives. This can help remote teams and team leaders tackle any challenge that comes their way and emerge more connected.
💬 DEI Slack channel
In the pursuit of an inclusive virtual workspace, creating a dedicated Slack channel can go a long way.
Such a digital communication channel will be vital for remote employees to engage in ongoing conversations surrounding DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion).
Team members can share articles and resources related to critical issues, creating a culture of continuous learning. Plus, this ensures that everyone has access to information and a platform for dialogue.
Upper-level management should also pay attention to what is being shared and how they can implement it to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
💡 Tip: If any ideas are implemented, acknowledge (and reward) the employee's contribution. This will help your employees feel heard and valued.
🌍 Global culture quiz
Broaden your team's cultural horizons with online trivia competition questions about global traditions. This fun activity promotes appreciation for cultures worldwide while stressing the importance of accepting diversity within the team and organization.
You can encourage friendly competition and collaboration by dividing your remote team into smaller groups. Present the questions in a rapid-fire form, and the team that gets the most trivia competition answers right in the least amount of time wins.
Include engaging and informative questions covering various topics.
💡 Tip: To make the quiz more relatable, include different facts that resonate with the unique backgrounds of your team members.
🗣️ TED Talks discussions
Regularly watching and discussing TED Talks on diversity and related topics helps provide a platform for team members to engage in meaningful conversations.
Your team will establish a tradition of tuning into TED Talks focused on the pivotal themes of inclusion.
Facilitating these thought-provoking social interactions will ignite a work environment where everyone's perspectives are valued and respected, fostering a sense of inclusion within the team.
📢 Diversity awareness campaigns
Launching diversity awareness campaigns within your virtual team highlights the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace through videos, webinars, and discussions.
A commitment to diversity and inclusion extends to the proactive launch of diversity awareness campaigns within the virtual team. This will help attract top talent and improve staff retention.
➡️ Facilitate diversity and inclusion with virtual team building. With Zavvy
Fostering diversity and inclusion in remote teams is a tactical advantage for modern businesses and is key to employee wellbeing. A mix of virtual activities, online games, virtual events, and brainstorming events will help the team feel engaged and included.
With Zavvy, you can:
- Assign learning resources and modules: Zavvy offers a wide array of learning modules and resources (10.000+) that cover various aspects of diversity and inclusion. Your organization can ensure these crucial concepts are continuously reinforced by regularly incorporating diversity and inclusion topics into learning activities.
- Automatically schedule interactive workshops: Through Zavvy, you can set up recurring workshops focusing on diversity and inclusion themes. These sessions can include expert talks, group discussions, and Q&A sessions, helping remote teams engage in meaningful conversations about diversity and foster a more inclusive work culture.
- Collect feedback from your people: Zavvy's feedback tools enable team members to share their experiences and perspectives openly and give feedback on your initiatives and activities. These tools can be used in tandem with team building activities to encourage honest dialogue, mutual understanding, and celebrating diversity within the team.
📅 Get in touch with our learning scientists to learn more.