Team building. It’s where the walls come down, the conversation turns to personal life, and the team start to see each other as comrades. Any leader will understand the value of good old fashioned team building, but with so many ideas and strategies out there – it can be hard to identify the good ones from the bad. Follow these tips and tricks to get your team engaging with each other and your business.
Make it fun for all
A no brainer? Well you would think so, but people keep suggesting pub crawls and are surprised when all those under 30 decline the invite. The team building activity has to be fun for all age groups, sizes and interests. Otherwise, your team building might backfire entirely and your team will be left wondering if you understand them at all. A good rule of thumb is usually the classics, think rock climbing, tug-o-war and trampolines. Anything that gets people a little out of their comfort zone, and working in activities that demands the trust of their peers – you will have the team bonding in no time at all.
Everyone loves a free meal
If attendance has been a problem for your team building events in the past, you may not be enticing them as much as you could be. A team dinner, long lunch or delicious breakfast will all but ensure you a full attendance and it gets your team mingling over a meal that isn’t in the staff room. If you wanted to be particularly crafty, you could scatter the seating so that people are sitting next to those they don’t usually sit with. The idea is to get them building relationships, so after 30 minutes in the one set, tell the team to grab their plate as sit somewhere else next to next colleagues. There may be an eye roll or two at the start, but watch them be pleasantly surprised at the company and connections they form with those they don’t usually engage with.
Those who say they are not creative? Well they haven’t found their thing yet. Although there is nothing wrong with being creative and not necessarily pulling a masterpiece out of a hat. Team building at a painting, pottery or sewing studio might be something that none of your team has tried before. And what can be more fun at that? Being creative with colleagues can be incredibly exposing, but the payoff rewarding. Field your team for insights into what they have never tried before, but always wanted to work out how they are going to express themselves while using their hands and mind.
Choose the right time
There is no silver bullet team building event that everyone in the team can make. It is a fact of life. There are kids, geography, and so many factors that go towards the decision making process of your team. Before you send out the details to your event, first conduct a quick survey of what time and day of week that will suit the majority. You may find that your Friday nights are not ideal for the parents in the group, whereas a long buffet breakfast is easy for all to attend. For your team building to be successful, you will need as many of the team there and feeling relaxed while they’re at it.
We’ve all attended knockout team building events, and probably all been to a few shockers. Keep your team in mind with every decision you make, and try your best to cater to the unique needs of each member. This is no box-ticking exercise; if executed correctly, you will create a comrade and empathy among your team, which will keep them happier and more engaged while at work.