Team Building is a term which can provoke a negative reaction. Some people think of it as an embarrassing series of humiliations, designed only for the sporty people and serving only as a nice day out for those that enjoy that sort of thing.
Setting up the right sort of day is the biggest challenge, and that’s where this handy checklist is here to help.
Team Building – Engagement
The idea of team building is not so much the issue. Most are ‘ok’ with the idea of learning to work better with their colleagues, and most can appreciate that everything runs more smoothly when we are aware of each others’ strengths and weaknesses.
Overcome the negativity
The problem comes after employees have had a negative experience of ‘team building’ events. This could have been something organised by a school, college or previous employer. Usually, a team building day will involve a range of activities, and the work force will be divided into teams who then compete against each other.
Explain the Purpose
The purpose of a team building day is not often fully explained to staff – which prevents them from engaging in the right spirit. Team building days should be defined as primarily a chance for staff to work together and mingle in an informal context. It should be stressed that it doesn’t matter who ‘wins’ or ‘loses’ – but that the gain is through learning how you, and your colleagues handle different situations.
Although it is nice to know which of your colleagues can abseil down a cliff face quickest, or the best person to share a 2-man canoe with, stress that the day is not competitive.
Often these activities will be unlike the everyday office situations, and very often have an outdoor adventure theme. Outdoor, adventurous types will inevitably excel, whereas the quieter, less sporty team members often find themselves out of their depth and wondering what canoeing has to do with getting along with Bill from accounts any better.
Getting to know each other
A structured day, where you can remind staff of the purpose of the event, (and that it is not a competition) should help everyone enjoy the freedom to try new things and get to know each other better.
Team Building Professionals
If you take your team along to a professional team building event provider then they should be able to devise a bespoke day just for you. If you let them know the specific aims and objectives you have for the day – they should be able to help plan the most appropriate series of challenges to engage and inspire your staff.
Addressing the issues
Many will offer the chance to address work issues, perhaps by holding a team meeting, in this new environment. Others will allow you to work through your workplace issues through various challenges and activities.
Problem Solving to Co-steering
A good team building day will allow your staff to take part in a range of activities, from problem solving for the analytical, canoeing for the adventurous and archery for the patient. Ideally the day will be balanced in such a way that every employee should go home feeling proud and happy with their achievements.
They will have also learnt valuable skills about communication, team dynamics, and working with their colleagues in a more effective and efficient way.
About The Author
Emma Whitney writes for BF Adventure, an experienced at helping businesses plan an effective corporate team building day, by establishing clear objectives and planning a series of events which will engage and challenge. Offering a huge range of corporate team building events from canoeing to co-steering, and climbing to problem solving, there is sure to be something for everyone.