When employees hear about having to participate in team building activities and games, many will find an excuse to get out of it. Team building has a bad rep as many view it as utterly useless and unproductive. However, team building is the most important investment you can make for your people. Team building builds trust, reduces conflicts, encourages communication and increases collaboration. Team building is crucial as research shows that many Americans feel disengaged within their organization. Frankly, engaged employees are incredibly valuable in the business as they improve the bottom line.
Below we highlight some tips and tricks to use next time you plan activities for your staff:
Don’t force the corporate stuff
As it turns out, the most effective and memorable team-building activities are the ones that don’t feel like a day at the office. Events that don’t focus on leadership building or practical takeaways are less powerful. Allowing your employees to spend time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common goal allows bonding to happen more organically and far more effectively. Giving your employees a break from work is a great way in promoting a healthy work-life balance. Ultimately, employees will be happier.
Forget the company picnic
Happiness and learning are very closely tied together. Stimulating new ideas with your staff can generate good vibes among the employees, which benefits the company itself. Consider choosing a unique activity that is slightly out the comfort zone of your staff, such as paint classes, cooking classes, scavenger hunts and so on. This encourages them to come together in new ways. Gather up your employees and ask them what they would be interested in doing and get them to vote which one they prefer.
Strive for a positive atmosphere at work
Most team building exercises fall flat because once the activity is completed, it is forgotten the next day. It’s key to find ways to keep the excitement going. The challenge is creating opportunities for people to interact and connect in meaningful ways, outside of presentations and regular meetings. The founder and CEO of O2E, Brian Scudamore, explains that he does this at their daily huddle. Their daily huddle consists of a fast-paced stand-up meeting to check in major projects and to celebrate achievements together. Also, employees are encouraged to share their life goals lists with one another (they even developed an app to make it easier). Tools like this are a powerful way to learn about people and their dreams and a good way to generate ideas for future team building events.
Overall, team building is about increasing workforce engagement, improving communication, and developing relationships. Teamwork plays a huge role in an organization’s’ success, and developing and growing your team is vital. Ultimately, investing in team building will benefit the overall business.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.