How To Encourage Team Building
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As we know, team building is an integral part of any successful organization. Teams that work effectively are ones that communicate well, have open conversations, listen to each other’s ideas, and work together towards a common goal.
Team building can be done at any level- from introducing new employees to your workplace to hosting educational seminars for current staff members.
At times, however, it may feel like a lost cause. You spend hours planning the event, gathering supplies, contacting sponsors, and then nothing happens. People say they want to come, but never show up.
The organizers often stay up late preparing everything only to be let down when people don’t seem interested in attending. Some even get paid good money for what seems like a waste of time.
It's hard to motivate others to do things if you're not doing them yourself. This could be due to timing or lack of motivation, but more likely there just isn't anyone on your team who feels this need.
If this sounds familiar, read on! We've gathered some tips here to help you inspire teamwork at your next meeting, seminar, party, or tour.
As mentioned before, team building is not a one-and-done event or activity. It takes repeated effort to see results. This could be making group lunch every week, having interactive discussions, going for coffee with someone of the same gender, hosting an open door policy, or anything else that seems like it would connect people.
It’s important to keep doing these things until you get something more substantial than “effortless.” You will know when it works because of positive reactions around the workplace — everyone seems happier and connected.
If there are no signs of teamwork, then don’t do teambuilding events if you want to remain employed at this company. A lot of companies now require employees to go through mandatory training, but they never teach them how to work as a team. If your job doesn’t include working in groups, then why should you?
Consistency is key! Make sure to follow up from time to time after a teambuilding event to make it successful.
Make it a routine
As mentioned before, team building is not a one-and-done activity. It takes repeated engagement to see results. So, make it a regular part of your workplace’s schedule and reward participants for their efforts with some extra razzle-dazzle!
Host an event outside of work so that non-participants can enjoy it too. Or hold a separate event like a potluck or movie night only for those who are involved in team building.
You don’t have to do anything special, but making an effort every once in a while goes a long way. Besides, most people already feel like they’ve invested in the company by working there, so why not give them something more?
And for the rest of us who can’t afford expensive events, we can always watch sports together.
Take long breaks
One of the biggest killers of team spirit is lack of break time. Teams that work out every day or at the very least meet for lunch show much higher levels of teamwork and communication.
People on such teams seem to enjoy each other’s company, which can be a bit hard to find in the workplace sometimes.
It’s easy to get into a routine at your job and stay there, but it’s not a good way to keep yourself motivated or inspire others around you to do their best.
If you want to see true team building take place then make an effort to have meeting after meeting outside of the office.
Meetings are usually twenty minutes long, so try to organize them all within about an hour and a half. This gives people enough time to go home if they need to and also helps keep things normal for those who don’t normally have free time.
Facilitate conversations during the break and see what comes up. You may learn something new about someone or maybe a topic that has been bothering both of you will come to light.
When team members show interest in each other, it creates strong bonds. Humans are an engaging species so when they interact with you, they like to talk about things that matter to them.
Team building is an excellent way to promote engagement and communication among colleagues or superiors. It’s also a great way to improve relationships that have been strained by conflict or lack of trust.
By adding some fun into the mix, even tough conversations can become more productive. And we all need those every now and then!
Humor is a powerful tool. People use it to communicate almost constantly — why not apply it to work?
Give individuals in your organization the opportunity to be funny for a day and see what happens. You might just find yourself having a better conversation or even walking away with a new friend.
Fun team activities don’t necessarily have to cost anything extra either. Some ideas that have worked for us include hosting a movie night, holding a noncompetitive board game competition, or organizing a lunchtime walk-around chat.
How to Ask About Team Members
Another good question to ask during group exercises is how well people get along at their current jobs. This can vary from person to person, but if you notice a lot of negative comments, chances are there’s a problem.
If someone talks positively about their coworkers, this probably isn’t the case.
As mentioned before, team building is not just for big corporations with large teams of professionals. It can be done at any level! Even you as an individual can do it by inviting people into your workplace to meet and discuss things.
Teambuilding does not necessarily have to be expensive or complicated. There are many ways to go about it, and most do not require much money unless you want to hire a professional facilitator.
Any group of individuals will work together more easily if they are friendly towards each other, but that is only half the battle won. The other part is to organize the meeting and facilitate the discussion.
Facilitators who know what they are talking about can make all the difference in how successful a session becomes.
Be a good listener
As mentioned earlier, team building is not about what you do, but who you are when you doing it. Being a good listener is one of the most important qualities for group work. Teams with more communication flow seem to have happier employees.
Everyone on your team should feel comfortable talking to you about anything. Employees will be much more willing to take risks and try new things if they trust that you will listen to them and help them succeed.
It’s also helpful to know how to make people feel better after they’ve talked. Many times, an employee will get busy with their job and forget to check in with his or her colleagues. If this happens, their coworkers may feel left out, which can negatively affect someone else’s performance.
As Group Leader, you must develop strong relationships with your staff members so that they can talk to you and share their concerns with you. This creates an open environment where everyone feels able to address issues and ask questions without feeling uncomfortable or judged.
Seek their opinions
As mentioned before, team building is not something that happens overnight. It takes time to build trust and relationships within your group. When you need someone’s input or advice, ask them!
Ask people what they think about an idea or topic. Ask if they agree with you or whether there are other ways to approach a situation.
By asking questions and seeking feedback, you will learn more about others and yourself.
It also helps to strengthen teamwork as everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Your colleagues may have information that can help you achieve your goals.
Teamwork is a process that requires consistency and repeat visits. Don’t give up just because it took you two weeks to get one result.
Ask for their ideas
Asking about other people’s projects can really get your team excited. Not only do you learn something new, but you also find out how well they work together!
As an organizer, you should be asking around about what others are doing. You could even ask if anyone would like to contribute or take over responsibility for another project.
The best way to ask is not as a question, but more of a statement with a question attached. “What kind of events do you organize?” is much better than “Are there any events I could plan?”
You could then follow up by talking about their event and see whether they would be interested in helping run it. This would depend on if they’re open to it and if they have time, however.
It’s very important that you don’t put too much pressure on them to help you, because some people may need permission from their superiors before agreeing to such things.