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Teambuilding Versus Virtual Engagement. What’s the main difference?

Oxford dictionary defines “Team building as the action or process of causing a group of people to work together effectively as a team, especially by means of activities and events designed to increase motivation and promote cooperation.

These ‘activities and events’ described above are normally physical in nature. So in a common Teambuilding event, there will be facilitators on the ground, trying to facilitate the game play for every small group in the hope of motivating every individuals and achieving the desired outcome set prior to the teambuilding event.
However, all these changed in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the whole world. Physical programmes were halted for the fear of the safety of the participants who were engaged in physical teambuilding programmes. A lot of initiatives and efforts were geared towards the virtual arena; Requesting individuals to be connected in the virtual world, regardless of where there were from.

Well, initially, there were lots of ‘resistance’ from individuals to be connected virtually as there were simply ‘no physical connection’ when you are connected virtually. Despite the fact that you can see, view and interact with your co-working counterparts virtually, people still find something missing. Even though there were lots of initiatives from different ‘teambuilding’ companies to bring teambuilding games online, things just weren’t the same like before. Something was missing. People were kind of disassociated, they were able to see each other virtual, but many a times, most were not be able to be engaged. They were just staring at a 2 dimensional view.
After months of studying the human behaviors of how humans reacted to the online ‘teambuilding’ arena and trying out special customized virtual engagement programmes, Happy Sparrow found out that the key thing that was missing was the ‘engagement’ part. There might lots of very high tech online ‘games’ in the market, but when all these are facilitated using the same old ways of facilitating a physical teambuilding programme, things might not turn out the way we wanted it to work.

This gave birth to a term which Happy Sparrow likes to use in all his online and virtual initiatives – The “Virtual Engagement” Programmes! Happy Sparrow realized that in order to have a fulfilling online session, every participants needs to be engaged. They need to feel that they belong equally in the virtual space, regardless you are the boss or the employees. They need to have an avenue to be recognized; To be recognized of their presence, to be recognized of their achievements, to be recognized that the fact they are there virtually!
And once all of these points could be facilitated by an experienced host onsite, the Virtual Engagement programme will work in ways that even the participants couldn’t possibly imagine. They will feel so engaged that they will have a sense of achievement after fully participated in the Virtual Engagement programme. They will not feel mundane anymore, they will feel recharged on the contrary!

Till date, Happy Sparrow is still insisting on the terminology “Virtual Engagement” for all his online and virtual ‘teambuilding’ programmes.

Welcome to the new norm! And new norm requires a brand new terminology, and ‘Virtual Engagement’ is the new terminology for the new norm for programmes done virtually. Thoughts anyone?

Founder and Chief
Happy Sparrow
12th Mar 21

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