The very mention of the words, “team building” can bring many out in a cold sweat! Many employees will instantly bring up images of rope courses, dreaded paint balling and even awkward fire lit walks through frozen forests!
I’ve worked for companies that are obsessed with team building and have seen activities that range from the sublime ot the ridiculous. Personally I throw myself into anything, however, many of my colleagues have not enjoyed events that play to the strengths of those organising the events. Not much ‘team’ building happens on those days and I am sure you can relate to such occasions.
Planning Team Building Events
So how do you plan an event that will cater to your entire team?
The first thing is to really examine the objective and purpose before diving into planning and communicating a team-building activity. What are you looking to achieve?
- Just a fun social gathering.
- Boost morale.
- Kick start a new teams forming process.
- Address a communication problem.
- Reward performance.
- Celebrate a milestone.
A key that we will always start from is to ask for input from the people that will be directly involved. You will get a diverse range of views, but know that they will be more engaged if the activity represents their definition of fun and they understand the objective.
Gamification of Team Building
There is a huge amount of hype around gamification of work and the reality is people love games. Just make sure there are mix of games that the group are comfortable with and others that take them out of their comfort zone.
Splitting groups into multifunctional groups is another great way of building in some competition and co-operation that lasts long into the future when back at work.
Solving Team problems with Team Building
If there are problems within a team, first sit down with employees individually to find out what they would like changed and what the impact will be if these issues are not resolved.
These discussions need to be held in-confidence as the issues can be deeply rooted in a lack of respect for diversity, understanding of others priorities or communication problems.
The next phase is to bring the group together in a way that they can share a problem, understand more about the whole person and see strengths in the individuals outside of the pressures of the workplace.
Whatever you decide to do; getting input early, being clear on the objective and ensuring that the group gets out of the usual work environment usually leads to success that can then be repeated.