Loneliness. Isolation. A sinking sense that you’re alone in the workplace.
There are concerns that this feeling is leading to a downturn in productivity. Companies are turning to employee engagement to see if a lack of connection hurts the workplace.
Nowhere was this clearer than in the 38% of workers who reported feeling distant in a recent SHRM report from 2023. As more companies grapple with this issue, a growing number of software solutions are rising to fulfill this need, especially those marketed as team building software.
But what is team building software, and where does it fit in the ever-expanding employee experience landscape that aims to reverse this trend?
What is team building software?
Team building software is meant to close that loneliness gap between coworkers, help them bond, and increase their overall satisfaction with the workplace. They do this through games (i.e., trivia, scavenger hunts, etc.), interactive activities, social happy hours, or even by creating virtual office spaces.
For a long time, companies have turned to employee engagement for answers about their workforce. Where do the disconnects between employees and employers lie? However, this approach to employee engagement, simply measuring and adjusting accordingly, isn’t enough anymore.
Recently, the Surgeon General in the U.S. released a report declaring loneliness an official epidemic. This is urging more businesses to think about the happiness of their employees and their overall employee experience.
Employee experience is a term that covers how a worker experiences their employer’s place of business from the first day of onboarding to the final exit interview. It considers everything from their relationship with coworkers to the tech stack, their opinions on their job, and any other touchpoints.
While team building software is especially popular for remote workers, this type of software can be good for any. That’s why G2 launched this new category in June 2023 as a first step to bring a more comprehensive listing of employee experience offerings.
How team building ties into the employee experience trend
Since Team Building is a new category, it’s too soon to examine the data. However, when it comes to Employee Engagement, the numbers are clear. There has been an almost 53% increase in review volume in the category between 2020 and 2023. That’s as of August 2023, and the year isn’t over yet.
Tip: The review volume rose by 53% between 2020 and 2023 in the Employee Engagement category.
However, where the value becomes clear to vendors is in looking at the return on investment (ROI). G2 evaluates the average rolling ROI. It’s jumped from an average of just over 10x ROI at the beginning of 2021 to hovering around 20x in August of 2023.
With increases in employee engagement software ROI leveling off, companies will turn to new solutions.
This shows that companies are getting more out of their employee engagement software, but the number has capped recently. As organizations scramble to improve their margins in a shaky economy, keeping an eye on the ROI will be paramount. They may turn to other employee experience-optimizing solutions, such as team building software, to do so.
What team building software represents is an investment in workers themselves—their connections, relationships, and overall happiness. When a team works well together, collaboration increases, retention is better, and productivity rises. Ultimately, these measures increase the ROI of the software, meaning it’ll pay for itself several times over.
Team building is the beginning of an employee experience surge
Perhaps the most interesting thing about team building software isn’t in the category but in the trend it represents. Worker mental health is concerning. This is something we discussed back in our coverage of the SHRM Mental Health Virtual Retreat. To improve things, workplaces will be examining how they interact with workers from top to bottom.
Team building software may currently be a modest category, boasting just under 50 products; however, it will grow over time. Anything that moves the engagement lever, employee engagement, team building, onboarding, and any future HR categories will undoubtedly see an increase in funding and complexity throughout 2024.
Until then, this new category is taking a shot at improving worker happiness and coworker collaboration. Will it move the dial? Only time will tell.
Learn about companies with exceptional company culture and how to create one to boost employee happiness.
Grace Savides is a Market Research Analyst who loves discussing all things HR. She enjoys exploring where the theory, policies, and data-driven side of the industry interacts with the unpredictable and ever-important human elements. Before G2, she worked in content marketing, social media, health care, and editing. She dedicates her leisure time to video games, painting, DND, and spending time with her wonderful boyfriend and two dogs.
Bring your team together
Use games, trivia, or social happy hours to endear coworkers, build team cohesion, strengthen collaboration, and fight turnover with team building software.