06 Mar Team Building at Work
For some, the idea of a team-building exercise with the people from their workplace is something they’d put in the same category as going in for root canal without anaesthesia. The horror stories about camps in the wilderness and strange trust exercises have had us all laughing at one stage or another, but the fact is that team building can be incredibly beneficial for a range of workplaces and can help with everything from work culture to staff satisfaction, conflict resolution and even productivity. From friendly competitions complete with novelty trophies to comical activities to help everyone loosen up, we’ve got a range of tips to help ensure your team building exercise is fun–like it’s supposed to be!
Don’t Expect Staff to Give Up Weekends
One of the most common mistakes made by employers is to organise a ‘fun’ team building exercise and then schedule it for a weekend. What this shows staff is that not only do you expect them to give up their free (unpaid) time, but you clearly think that their time is less important than yours because you’ve chosen to take the time they spend with their families, rather than the time they spend making you money. If you’re choosing a team building exercise that requires staff to spend a large amount of time in close quarters, do everyone a favour and schedule it during the work week so that it’s a treat for everyone, instead of a chore!
Ongoing is Often More Effective
With team building, a lot of organisations see the benefits but relegate it to the ‘occasional expense’ pile. The truth is, that instead of blowing a huge amount of cash on an annual team-building retreat or the like, an ongoing team-building component can be added to the work schedule so that not only do staff members feel valued, but the benefits reach further and last longer. Something like a monthly trivia night, or an internal and ongoing games structure whereby teams within the organisation accumulate points–there are several options, limited only by your imagination and by the enthusiasm of your staff!
Offer Decent Incentives
There’s nothing that binds people together faster than the prospect of a great prize for all of their hard teamwork. Corporate awards and other prizes are great ways to keep people enthusiastic, and a bigger more impressive prize on offer at the end of the year or month (such as a gift voucher, a weekend away, a gourmet gift hamper) will keep people inspired and working towards the goal. Just because the goal may be a prize, don’t feel it detracts from the team-building itself. Working as part of a team within the organisation will deliver the same benefits no matter what the motivation is!