A good team building event is good for employers and employees alike! This guest post from Paul Simms offers some good advice.
Although the prospect of a day out of the normal working environment is often met with abject glee, there is a feeling among many employees that team building events can tend to be on the naff side. With activities which have been done ad nauseam, the prospect of embarrassing yourself in front of the boss and colleagues and a general fear of the unknown, many people would rather just stay in the office!
However, for both employer and employees alike there are numerous benefits to team building activities and with employers keen to harness these benefits these corporate events are eternally popular. The key for you as an employer then is to consider the ways that you can have the advantage of a team bonding event whilst motivating your team to be as enthusiastic as you are.
There are four main ways in which this can be achieved, and these are planning, picking a professional, the fun factor, and appropriate behaviour:
The team building events which are the most popular are those where the team feels they and their needs have been properly considered. In an event which has been hurriedly put together, the team is likely to feel rushed, disorganised and wondering why they’re there in the first place.
Therefore, it’s paramount to consider your budget, your goal for being there (for example, do you want to get the team to know each other better, are you looking to mix existing groups up or do you want to give your existing teams the opportunity to experiment with different working styles), and your employees wishes.
Of course, you’ll want the team to be able to step outside their comfort zone a little but they’re more likely to do that if there’s no infringement on their time and their physical and health needs are considered as part of your planning.
One common complaint of past motivational exercises is the organisation. It’s all very well asking Sue from HR to put together a day of events but if Sue’s only knowledge of team building is from reading up on it for a half hour before booking a field for the afternoon then it’s likely that the team won’t get the maximum benefit from the day.
Using a professional company to organise, plan and supervise your event not only gives poor Sue a break but also means that you and your employees can enjoy the day in the way you’d hoped.
The Fun Factor
Although you’re looking to get their full attention and participation, the key factor which will set your outward bound day apart from a normal day in the workplace is the fun factor. If the event is silly, messy or gives your employees a good laugh, they’re much more likely to take away the benefits.
Irrespective of their job titles within the working environment, your team will get a lot more from the entire exercise if they’re encouraged to be on equal footing for the day. For you and your supervisory team that means leaving your titles and normal demands at the door and encouraging everyone to muck in as part of the same team. If leaders are to be appointed then this should be done by the team, in order to develop trusting relationships.
Author Bio: Paul Simms is Sales & Marketing director for Reflect Digital, a digital marketing agency with a strong expertise in online marketing for the Events and Entertainment.