By: Courtney Beam
Team Building: The Do’s and Dont’s
Is your team struggling to come together and produce results? Is morale down or unhealthy conflict arising? If the answer is yes, make sure you don’t ignore these symptoms as they may be a sign of a larger, underlying issue. Once you’ve determined there aren’t underlying issues causing this pain, it’s possible your team could simply benefit from a team building session. Yes, the idea of traditional ‘team building’ can send eyes rolling and dread among your group. However, what ICC does know about successful teams is that for a team to be functioning at it’s very best, it’s necessary to have a foundation of trust already built. One great way to get this started is by spending some time away from the office in a team building session. This is not a cure-all for any issues your team may be experiencing, but it can be a cost-efficient and fun place to begin.
DO Consider Your Timing: Generally speaking, the holiday’s can be a slower time for business and allow for teams to take a few extra hours away from work. If you are a team of accountants, consider something immediately after tax season ends to treat your employees and help everyone relax after a job well-done. If open-enrollment has your HR department wanting to pull their hair out, plan something after it wraps up.
DO Something Fun for Everyone: If your employees are the adventurous type, don’t reserve a conference room and plan a day of board games or movies. If the majority of your group is more of the relaxed type, a long hike may not land well. Keep in mind, not everyone possesses the same fitness level, so an intense physical activity could be challenging or even uncomfortable for some of your employees. Take note of what they enjoy doing in their spare time and find a way to incorporate that into the activity. Does your team enjoy the same kind of music? Get everyone tickets to a local concert for everyone to enjoy together.
DON’T Talk Business: Even though your work is what connects your team, try to avoid talking business or using this as a skill building or leadership development opportunity. Your group will be able to relax and unwind much easier if they are truly away from work. If you budget allows it, consider an off-site location such as a lunch outing at a local pub, a professional sporting or concert event, or even a retreat outside of your local city.
DON’T Forget Anyone: If you have remote or part-time employees, make the activity available to everyone on the team. If your event is specific to one team or area of your business, make sure everyone can make it. If your event is company-wide, make sure it’s in a neutral location so that everyone has the opportunity to attend.
DO Consider Outside Help: In some instances, it’s best for leaders to take a step out of the planning process and look to help outside of their organization. Perhaps your team is in need of something beyond team building that the structure of a facilitated retreat can provide. We’ve seen teams benefit largely from including ICC in their team retreats.
Don’t Stop Here: Once you’ve conducted your successful team building event, don’t consider it ‘done’. Throughout the event, take a few pulse-checks to see if the group is enjoying the event. If it’s a hit, consider scheduling something similar a couple of times throughout the year. This way, you’ll be able to continue the momentum you’ve started from your first event.
What team building tips have you tried before? What’s worked and what hasn’t? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.