How to organise a successful team building event

Organising a successful team building event is an important role. It should involve careful planning and keen attention to detail. A team building activity can be more than just some games to break the ice. When planned and executed properly, a team building activity can boost morale, help improve teamwork, enhance motivation, increase productivity and more. Activities can allow you to take time out from workplace stress and reduce burnout. It can be a great initiative to help improve everyone’s mental health in the office.

With all these benefits, the responsibility for organising such a team event might seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind to make sure the activity will be a success.

Know what the team needs

When planning a team building activity, it’s good to ask this question first, “What is it for?”

Is it for everyone in the team to get to know each other better? Is it to address a specific concern? Is it for the team to learn something new?

Answer these questions and list down the skill sets that the team needs to work on. It could be on communication, teamwork, productivity or something else. Next, create at least 3 goals that should be achieved after the team building activity is over. Should the team be communicating more in the next two weeks? Is the team expected to share more ideas during general meetings in the next month? So on…

Flesh these out even more, if possible. Is it a simple need that would help in building camaraderie? Or perhaps they need a deeper level of learning? If it’s the latter, it’s best to list down specific learning outcomes for the activities.

Get ideas and feedback from the team as well. Ask them what activities they would or would not like and which skills they think they should improve on. Make sure they are involved in the early planning stage.

Doing this can help in choosing one (or at least narrowing down the choices) from the hundreds of different kinds of team building activities. Without enough information, choosing can be a daunting task.

Considering the return on investment

Treat a team building event as a company training or conference. It might have a little bit of fun in the mix but it’s in the same league as the others. At the end of the day, there are goals and expected outcomes. In this way, it’s easier to justify the costs for a budget and it would be a great investment to make.

Like with any other training, it’s great to keep some documentation, if not during the event, at least after it. Document the changes seen in individuals, their improvements, if any, and how they work together as a team. The information can also be of great help in planning the next team building activity.

Exude the energy needed

Get the team pumped up in the weeks or days leading up to the event. It could be in simple ways such as a morning email blast at the start of the week with some teasers or clues. During meetings or huddles, talk about it in a very energised and excited manner. Give a “work hard, play harder” pep talk if it helps.

Iron out all the other details

For activity specific requirements, make sure the following are in check:

  • Clothing. Make sure the team is wearing the appropriate attire for the activities, and not arrive in business suits, skirt or heels if it is an active event.
  • Transportation. Don’t expect the team to drive to the activity by themselves. Make things organised and hire a coach to drive everyone at the site hassle-free.
  • Venue. It’s always better to host the team building activity out of the office. Pick a team building venue where the activity can be held. Usually, the provider or broker can give suggestions on great venues where the chosen activity can be done.
  • Catering. Regardless of how long the activity is, it’s best to prepare snacks or meals after or in the middle of the event. Some activities offer catering while some do not. It’s best to ask and be prepared.

There might be a lot of work involved in organising a team building event, however it will be all worth it on the day. Consider not just the outcomes, but how your team will feel during and after the event.



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