Discover the Best DEI Team Building Activities
Everyone agrees that diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI are an important part of the workplace. Diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives are about creating a safe, comfortable, and equitable workspace where everyone feels seen, acknowledged, and included. This means creating workspaces in which all team members are empowered to perform at their best, regardless of their gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity, ability, or any other marginalized identity category.
DEI initiatives, such as DEI team-building activities, are all about creating a workspace that allows your employees to feel comfortable expressing themselves fully and offering their contributions to the team without feeling rejected. This leads to the kind of team dynamics that make a team and their company successful. Every company’s workforce should adequately represent the diversity of the country.
Diversity means that your workforce represents the available labor pool and market for your product. Inclusion goes beyond the hiring stage to make sure everyone’s contributions are encouraged, recognized, and incorporated. Inclusion means that everyone in the team feels seen and heard. Equality means that everyone is treated the same, including salary, opportunities, promotions, input, and recognition.
Diversity is about recognizing that each member of the team has had different experiences, a different background, and lives a different lifestyle. Cultivating a diverse team should be a priority for every company. A study by InisghtGlobal found that diverse teams have experienced a 60% increase in decision-making skills. True diversity isn’t just about age. It’s about attracting a team with different ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities, and abilities. On a truly diverse team, everyone is represented.
Inclusion is the active engagement of all members of your team. This means making space for everyone at the table during meetings, valuing everyone’s input, and making sure that everyone feels recognized for their contributions. Inclusivity is also about making sure everyone on the team is welcoming to one another. For example, there are no personal decorations in an employees’ workspace that send an exclusionary message.
Inclusion is also about structuring the work culture so that everyone can feel included. For example, someone of differing ability might not want to join the company’s dodgeball team. So, you’ll want to create some opportunities that allow people of all abilities to participate. Or, your company might celebrate Western holidays. You can honor your employees with Eastern heritage by organizing a Chinese New Year or Diwali event. These types of events can also be useful for educating your employees about other cultures. This could lead to more natural inclusiveness among your team.
Equity is making sure that all team members are treated equally regardless of their identities. A diverse team isn’t by necessity also inclusive and equitable. For example, you could have an ethnically diverse team, but fail to equitably promote from within. This could lead to an inequitable balance, with employees from marginalized groups feeling left behind. You’ll have to take initiatives beyond hiring to make sure that everyone feels welcomed and recognized.
Benefits of DEI Team Building Activities
While many people focus on the moral importance of DEI, building an inclusive team has been shown to also increase your bottom line. According to the CDC, 75% of workplaces with diverse and inclusive teams exceed their financial targets, and gender-inclusive teams perform 50% higher than gender-homogenous teams. This means that diversity isn’t just the right thing to do as a human, it’s a good choice that a business can make as well.
These are just some of the benefits of DEI team-building activities, according to Insight Global:
It attracts a larger talent pool, it can foster a sense of belonging, it leads to higher retention, it increases innovation, it improves decision-making, it combats workplace burnout, creates a business advantage, and protects the company culture.
DEI team-building activities can help your company attract a dream team. According to PEW Research, Gen-Z and Millenials list workplace diversity as one of their top selling-points when choosing a company. Fostering DEI in your company culture will attract not only a larger talent pool, but also more premier talent who typically value workplace diversity more than their less-successful peers.
DEI team-building activities can also foster a sense of belonging, since everyone will feel included and valued. According to research from Deloitte, an employees’ performance and engagement at their job is directly affected by how much they feel a sense of belonging. Management that wants engaged teams should focus on a workplace culture of belonging. This will lead to greater engagement and hitting more financial targets.
Millennials now make up the majority of the workforce: attracting them and retaining them is important for any company. The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020 queried this key generation in the labor market about their preferences on workplace culture. A majority reported that diversity was key to their desire to stay with a company long-term. This means that companies that prioritize DEI team-building activities will attract and retain Millennial team members longer.
Integrating DEI into every aspect of your company’s culture will lead to long-term success. It could provide opportunities to diversify your c-suite or management teams by identifying talented employees who might have been overlooked traditionally. For example, women currently make up only around 26% of c-suite level executives. Company-wide diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives can help alleviate this discrepancy by giving women more opportunities to contribute.
According to Forbes, helping your employees understand the benefits of DEI will actually contribute to your DEI efforts. For example, helping them understand that the goal of DEI initiatives is to make sure all employees feel safe, respected, and connected. This leads to more engaged teams with stronger bonds. Having a sense of connectedness will improve your team’s overall job performances
According to a study by Forbes, inclusive companies are more likely to hit financial goals. This is because diverse teams have been proven to innovate faster because they’re bringing different ideas to the table. DEI also creates a sense of “psychological safety,” which according to Google’s Project Aristotle, is “one of the most important factors in a high-performing team.” Getting your team to do well is all about how you’re making them feel.
Focusing on DEI in your workplace could increase your employees’ job performance.
DEI events can make excellent team-building activities since everyone will be having fun and not getting lectured.
Top DEI Team Building Activities
Virtual Pride Mixology (Materials Included)
Your team will celebrate pride and learn to make delicious cocktails in Virtual Pride Mixology. Everyone will learn to make three delicious LGBTQ-inspired cocktails in this 90-minute workshop. A professional mixologist instructor will walk everyone through the basics of mixing balanced, delicious cocktails. They’ll also receive tips in mixology basics and working with bar tools. All the materials will be shipped to participants before the event, including ingredients from LGBTQ businesses, such as the wonderful jams made by Stonewall Kitchen. Everyone will also receive a Hawthorne strainer, a jigger, a cocktail pick, syrups (such as blackberry thyme and lavender lemon), garnishes and a gift card to purchase spirits, juices, and fresh fruit.
Virtual Trivia: Latin Heritage Month
Learn about the vibrant Latin culture in Virtual Trivia: Latin Heritage Month. Can you identify the Brazilian flag? Can you recognize Latin music stars (Ricky, Selena, Marc, and Shakira)? Can you name which country won the first World Cup? Do you know what goes into a traditional mole sauce? This trivia game takes around 60 minutes and will include questions about Latin food, sports, history, music, and other topics. There will be four rounds of trivia: a traditional trivia round, a music trivia round, an image round, and a surprise round. CourseHorse’s trivia games have been played by major companies, including Peloton, LinkedIn, and Conde Nast. The game will be moderated by a high-energy Quiz Master who will keep the interaction and fun going throughout the event.
Virtual Pride Rainbow Bagel (Materials Included)
In 90 minutes, Virtual Pride Rainbow Bagel will walk your team through making delicious homemade bagels that sparkle like the pride flag. A professional chef instructor will guide your team through mixing the dough, adding food coloring for rainbow sparkle, and then boiling and baking the bagels. Everyone will enjoy chatting while eating their delicious, multi-color queer creations. All materials will be shipped to participants before the event, including flour, yeast, honey, kosher salt, gel coloring, and a gift card to purchase cream cheese, lemon, vanilla extract, and rainbow sprinkles. There is a gluten-free option available by request.
Virtual Trivia: Black History Month
Celebrate the long history of black excellence in Virtual Trivia: Black History Month. This 1-hour trivia game is similar to the popular format of bar trivia. There will be four rounds of different types of trivia: a traditional trivia round, a music round about black music artists, an image round, and a surprise round. All four rounds will focus on black culture, history, and achievements. Participants will be quizzed on black culture, food, pop culture, movies, music, history, and current events.
Virtual Trivia: Women’s History Month
Celebrate the women in your life and office with Virtual Trivia: Women’s History Month. Your team will compete in four unique rounds of trivia: a traditional trivia round (In what year was the first woman elected to U.S. Congress?), a music round (Carly Simon, Tori Amos, Aretha Franklin), an image round (Who is the famous woman in the picture?), and a surprise round. All of the questions will be themed around women, their accomplishments, and history: your team will be asked about women’s history, sports, music, movies, and achievements. Everyone will leave with a stronger understanding of the critical role that women play in our culture.
Virtual Pride Rainbow Tie Dye (Materials Included)
Celebrate Pride in true rainbow style with Virtual Pride Rainbow Tie Dye. This event is all about peace, love, pride, inclusivity, and creativity. An expert professional artist guides your team through making their very own rainbow tie dye t-shirt in celebration of the entire rainbow. All materials will be shipped to participants, including a tie dye kit and a white t-shirt.
Virtual Trivia: Asian Heritage Month
In Virtual Trivia: Asian Heritage Month, it’s time to acknowledge the incredible achievements and beautiful culture of our Asian-American and Pacific-Islander friends. In this 60-minute trivia game, your team will answer questions about the rich heritage of Asian culture, including music, politics, food, sports, and current events. There will be four rounds of different types of trivia: a traditional trivia round, a music round, an image round, and a surprise round.
Virtual Trivia: Pride Month
Make Pride extra special with Virtual Trivia: Pride Month. Your team will compete in four rounds of trivia with questions all about LGBTQ culture, from Stonewall to Queer Eye! The four rounds will each be a different type of trivia: a traditional trivia round (Who threw the first brick at Stonewall? What was the Lavender Menace?), an LGBTQ music round (Tegan & Sara!), an image round (Identify a photo of the first gay kiss on television), and a surprise round.
Virtual Googling History
This twist on classic trivia doesn’t ask that you guess the answers: it asks you to Google them! If you love falling down internet rabbit holes, then you’ll love Virtual Googling History. Everyone races against the clock in mini-teams to find obscure information on the internet. While it sounds like a lot of fun, it’s an excellent DEI (diversity, equality, inclusion) event because all of the game’s Google-search prompts are designed to discover little-known information about historically-underrepresented topics and groups. This is a way to get your team to have fun while growing together.
Virtual Paint & Sip Party (Materials Included)
Nothing opens people up more than relaxation and creativity: this Virtual Paint & Sip Party combines both for a stress-free team-bonding event. Inclusivity is created when people feel comfortable expressing themselves. This 90-minute painting and wine party provides an opportunity to do that in a low-key, fun environment. Everyone will sip wine and enjoy fun conversation while painting together. No previous experience with painting is required since there will be a professional artist instructor guiding everyone through the steps. To make it even easier and create further bonding, everyone will be painting the same thing and you can provide your own picture or choose an image from CourseHorse’s online catalog of images: https://coursehorse.com/painting-selections-private-event. All materials will be shipped to participants, including acrylic paints, canvas, brushes, palette, wooden easel, and a bottle of wine.
Virtual Sushi Making Workshop (Materials Included)
Celebrate the ancient Japanese art of sushi in Virtual Sushi Making Workshop. Your team will learn about the culture of Japan while learning how to make sushi from their own home. This 90-minute workshop is designed to teach the foundations of sushi-making from home. A professional sushi chef will guide everyone through the process while providing fish selection tips, knife techniques, and hands-on instruction in making hand rolls, crunch rolls, spicy tuna or salmon, and nigiri. All materials will be shipped to participants before the event, including sushi rice, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, nori, soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger, a gift card for veggies and seafood, and a reusable bamboo rolling mat and chopsticks so everyone can continue making their own sushi from home after the event.