Many people make the mistake of thinking that Team building is a single event that takes place offsite. However is should be seen as an ongoing process that takes place within the team over a long period of time. It is therefore vital to choose activities that meet the aims and objectives of any issues in your team, thus making a long-term contribution to better teamworking. We recommend taking the Stephen Covey approach and begin with your end target in mind.
Before you start contacting Team Building Companies and getting quotes – decide on what the goals are for the event. If you have been tasked with gathering information for the decision makers then ask for additional information to set you on the right track. Find out what the objectives for the activity are. Is there an area of learning that you need to focus on when selecting a team building activity or is the activity purely for fun team bonding.
Any activity you decide on should have a clear purpose, which should also be communicated to your team. The ability to be upfront about the objectives will assist in greater buy-in and participation, and thus help make sure the team building activity will be a success.
When deciding on your goal think about your team in terms who they are and how they work together. Are they are new team that are just getting to know each other? Have they worked together for a long time and already know each other well? Are there any particular challenges they’re facing now or that may come in the future due to changes in the workplace?
Awareness of specific issues within your team. How different personality styles affect communication and interaction within a team. Roles that people pay and if they are effective in those roles.
You may need to work on areas such as building trust and improving performance. Team work and collaboration are important components in ensuring a health workplace culture
Skill development can cover many areas. This may include areas such as communication, leadership, time management and problem solving. Or there may be skills specific to a job function.
No matter what your objectives for the team building activity are, remember that the most important part of the experience is the reflection, learning, discussion and forward thinking that happens at the end, and that can be carried over into the workplace.
Many team building activities focus on a couple of objectives within the one activity. Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from the team building event before choosing the activity.
Common issues that can be addressed include:
Most Team Building Activities will put people under time pressure and therefore force them to prioritise tasks. This in turn teaches people to prioritise and how to get more done in less time. Further it also teaches skills such as goal setting and other key time management techniques.
Effective communication is critical. As a result team building activities will either succeed or fail based on the quality of communication between team members. It is important to give great feedback on how effectively your team communicates, listens, and works together.
Most team building activities are like mini projects and will require people to delegate clear roles and priorities. However they can also provide great feedback on leadership and management of key individuals within your team. This will motivate them to take on new challenges/roles
When you are choosing a team building activity you can choose an option where everyone is working together in a collaborative, instead of competitive, environment. This in turn will give you great insight into how your team works together in solving problems.
There are a lot of team building activities that require creativity and innovation to figure out the solution and be successful. They can therefore allow you to see how the more creative members of your team work and how they contribute to great outcomes.
Team Building Activities create great opportunities for leadership qualities to emerge. Team Leadership and team building goes together. It will demonstrate the natural leaders in your team and how they influence other team members.
Team building activities are more than just team bonding time. They provide opportunities for learning in a fun, stress-free environment. The benefits of Team building are not only for the individuals who are part of the team, but for the whole organisation as well.
So you have chosen your team building activity with a purpose and objectives in mind – what type of benefits can you expect?
The number one goal that all organisations strive for is an Improvement in productivity. Team Building activities encourage and develop teams in learning to work together more effectively. This in turn reduces duplication of effort enhancing your employees to work more efficiently.
Employee morale is a very important aspect to any organisation. It assists with employee motivation and relationships with coworkers and the company itself. The benefits of team building activities is in the facilitation and engagement that staff are looking for in a very fun and positive environment.
Team building activities can also help to nurture a successful company culture. When your team successfully complete a team building activity it creates a high and a flow on effect. This makes them feel good about themselves, it increasing confidence in their, and their team’s abilities. It also show that the organisation feel they are worthwhile and happy to invest in their development and company culture.
An important benefit of a properly planned team building activity is the increased collaboration between team members. Collaboration is about knowing and using each others strengths and weaknesses. Trusting your team members and their experience and utilising their skills when needed.
When you organise team building activities that people enjoy and experience as a group, your staff will build relationships and develop networks outside their day-to-day role. This will be of great assistance to them whenever they need to utilise skills from other team members in the future.
A successful business is based on creativity and innovation. Employing people with diverse ideas and skills is required to ensure you have a range of strengths. A creative team building activity allows your team to develop their creativity and come up with creative solutions. This send the message that creativity in the workplace, and bouncing ideas off each other, is welcome. Also that ideas are listened to and welcomed.
There are so many problems that can result from miscommunication or, worse, lack of it. The benefits of team building activities with problem-solving components, is that they assist in helping break down barriers between colleagues. Each team member practices improved communication during these challenges and it’s a way for them to see how open communication can benefit everyone.
Culture influences every aspect of your organisation. It takes a team to create a great culture.
According to Team Focus there are two principles you should follow to develop a great culture. “Keep it simple” and “engage your people.”
Further information on Organisational Culture
According to an article Mind Tools the purpose of Team Building Activities is to:
“motivate your people to work together, to develop their strengths, and to address any weaknesses.”
They advise that any team building activity should encourage collaboration rather than competition. The article further advise that Team building is about providing the skills, training and resources that your people need, so that they can work in harmony. But, to be truly effective, it needs to be a continual process, embedded into your team and organization’s culture.
There is a benefit of having one-off team building event, however they need to have a clear purpose, such as improving a particular skill. They must also be designed to avoid conflict.
Successful and memorable team building events are ones that allow people to spend time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common objective. This allows bonding to happen naturally and effectively. Choosing activities that are unique and possibly out of people’s comfort zones can encourage team work and collaboration as well as team bonding.
The overall purpose of Team Building activities can often fall flat if it is done as a one time activity, with no objective or thought in mind of the end result. It is done and then forgotten. The purpose of running team building activities is for find ways to keep the challenge, excitement and learning going throughout the year. Creating opportunities for people to connect and interact in meaningful ways, developing stronger bonds within their workplace team.
The purpose of any team building activity should be to build a stronger team. It is not team building when you meet to talk about company policies or new products. The purpose of team building activities are to have your team in the one place, interacting together and a non work environment. This in turn builds on the trust and respect. The importance of team building activities will then be evident on the return to the office.
The first and most important step when planning team building activities is to identify your objectives based on your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Consider the following questions:
You can choose specific team building activities to help your team to address any issues that the questions unearth.
One-off team building exercises can be a useful, effective way to address a particular weakness or problem. However you want to make sure that they don’t do more harm than good.
Poorly planned events can be embarrassing, or physically and emotionally uncomfortable, for participants.
There are many effective team building activities to choose from once you’ve identified specific areas that you want to focus on.
Here are 6 areas of focus and some activities you can look at:
If your team members would benefit from boosting their problem solving or decision making skills try these activities. If you would like to check out our other options we have a whole problem solving category.
To help your team to communicate more effectively, here are a couple of suggested activities. There are many other options – let us know thats your objective and we can suggest other team building activities that may suit your needs.
Encourage your team to develop their leadership skills, communication and delegation with these team building activities that focus on Leadership development. Again we have many other activities that meet these objectives – ask us for further suggestions.
Collaboration is an important skill to be developed within your team. Knowing and using each others strengths and weaknesses will enhance collaboration and in the process increase productivity. Here are a few of our top Collaborative activities.
Most Team Building Activities will put people under time pressure and therefore force them to prioritise tasks. This in turn teaches people to prioritise and how to get more done in less time. Here are our top 3 activities that focus on time management. As always we have many other options – let us know this is your objective and we can offer your further suggestions.
Choose your team building activity with your end result or learning objective in mind. This will ensure success of your event. Here are 3 of our top learning and development options. If you are wanted further options we have a whole category of Learning and Development activites. Or contact us for more information
Once you have decided on what you want to achieve your should also work out how much time do you have and what is your budget. If you only have 1 hour that you can allocate for your event then you need to be realistic with what you can achieve – you are not going to solve all your objectives and issues in 1 hour. The same can be said if you have a very small budget.
Ask questions such as:
Will the activity achieve the objective I want focussed on?
Will all team members be able to be included in the activity?
Do I have the budget for the activity – as well as the time away from the office
How will the activity be perceived by the team – will they be reluctant to do it as it may make them look silly in front of colleagues? Will it expose fears or stir conflict between team members?
All our activities are tailored for corporate groups – knowing that everyone’s fitness levels are different. As a result most activities include a number of problem solving aspects as well – so all people can be included in the activity.