How We Foster Employee Morale and Motivation with Team Time

Laurie McNamara

At KORTX, we love working as a distributed team across time zones but also cherish the times we spend together.

Whether we meet virtually or in person, these occasions allow us to forge stronger connections, foster teamwork, and enhance collaboration. One way we do this is through Team Time, a quarterly opportunity for teams to plan and spend quality (and fun!) time together outside of regular work hours.

Here’s a look at Team Time, one of the many ways we nurture our connections at KORTX and intentionally create meaningful experiences as a team.

What Exactly Is Team Time?

Team Time is a one-every-quarter initiative allowing KORTX teams to come together and participate in social events and team-building activities. Events can range from casual gatherings like shared meals or virtual hangouts to more structured activities like outdoor adventures, workshops, or team challenges.

From Easterseals to KORTX: Transforming Team Culture

Before Kaia Anderson our HR Coordinator and I worked at KORTX, we worked together at Easterseals and experienced the joy of having dedicated Team Time. Every quarter, teams would take a half day to engage in team-building activities. We weren’t given a budget but were given the gift of time to spend with our teams.

When we both joined KORTX, we wanted to bring that same joy to our teams. Moreover, we wanted to make sure KORTX is an environment where employees feel like they belong.

Research shows that companies promoting collaboration and communication can reduce employee turnover rates by 50%. Employees agree, with 47% saying they’d stay with a company if they can “work with a great team.”

This aligns with the sentiments of our own employees. In our latest 2023 Employee Engagement survey, 98% of employees strongly agreed with the statement, “For the most part, I enjoy the people I work with.”

👥🤝 How does Team Time contribute to employee engagement and morale?
“Team Time has allowed teams to strengthen their connections and communication with their teammates by participating in social activities outside the office. Being part of a team means we need to communicate openly, and the more time we spend socializing with our teams, the more comfortable we become around each other. All of this helps make KORTX a workplace where we can openly share our ideas, have spontaneous brainstorming sessions, and let our creativity flow naturally.”
–Kaia Anderson, HR Coordinator, KORTX

When employees enjoy their work and feel supported by their peers, they become more engaged, productive, and creative. And nurturing connections while having fun within teams is essential to building a successful company.

How Does Team Time Work?

Each KORTX team (e.g., Engineering, Sales, Account Management) is given a budget of $50 per person per quarter to spend on an activity they choose. The event can take various forms, such as having dinner, lunch, and drinks, playing golf, going to a karaoke session, participating in an online virtual event, and more.

There are no strict restrictions on how teams can spend their allocated funds as long as the activity allows team members to spend time together and remains work-appropriate. 

Teams cannot individually use their budget to make personal purchases. However, teams can combine their budgets to participate in larger activities or events if they choose to do so.

For instance, if the Account Management and Sales teams want to go to an escape room or attend a Tigers game together, they can pool their individual budgets to cover the cost.

Last quarter, the Engineering and Product team pooled together their funds to play laser tag at MI Combat

⚡ What did you love about your Team Time with the Engineering and Product Teams?
“Team Time is a time to have fun together! It helps us understand and learn from each other to grow as a team. It shows us how important teamwork is to get things done, whether it’s deadlines or mission objectives at laser tag.”
–Luca Maioli, Principal Engineer, KORTX

Let’s look at how our other teams enjoyed their team time this year.

📈 Account Strategy: Hibachi Dinner

⚡ What do you love about Team Time?
“Team Time has quickly become one of my favorite team-building opportunities. With so many KORTXers working remotely, finding time to get to know the people you work with is hard. It is a chance for everyone to get together for dinner or an activity and just hang out for a few hours. My favorite team time so far has been a hibachi dinner with the Strategy team.”
–Danielle Rusas, Account Strategist, KORTX

👥 Biz Ops: Mexican Food & Bowling Locally: Hartfield Lanes

improve employee morale

⚡ What’s your favorite thing about team time?
“I love Team Time! We have so much fun together and never stop laughing, which has helped us work better together and more efficiently at work! It gives us all a chance to get to know each other on more of an individual level, and we get to learn our similarities and differences. I can’t wait for next quarter!”
–Adrian Schweninger, Accounting Partner, KORTX

🖋️ Sales, Account Management, and Ad Ops: Axe Throwing

boost employee morale

⚡ What do you love about Team Time?
“Whenever I make it to Detroit, it’s always nice to spend time with my team outside of the office, and getting to throw some axes was a bonus! (I’ll be back for revenge for the next team time after coming in second in axe throwing!) Having the opportunity to enjoy fun activities with the company is another reason why I love working at KORTX!”
–Taeya Boling, Digital Campaign Specialist, KORTX

boost employee morale

Team Work Makes The Dream Work 🌟

Since the early days of KORTX, collaboration has always been a core part of our culture, and why we have such high employee satisfaction rates. Through our Team Time initiative, we empower our teams to work together, share ideas, and contribute to our collective success. This enhances employee satisfaction and fuels innovation, creativity, and overall organizational growth.

Learn more about KORTX’s culture:

👋 Come on, join our team! We’ve been waiting for you.

Work together with our talented team and be a part of a workplace culture that celebrates everything you have to offer.

Join Our Talent Pool Today

Laurie McNamara is the Human Resources Director at KORTX. She’s passionate about Employee Experience (EX). You can often find her eating out, watching Dateline, or cheering her kids on at their sporting events (there are a lot!).

Laurie McNamara

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