How To Plan a Team Building event
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As we already mentioned, team building is an integral part of any successful business. Companies that can effectively organize non-competitive teams are those that thrive in our increasingly globalized world.
Finding ways to motivate your employees and fostering teamwork among them is a great way to strengthen their bond as colleagues. This also creates a more productive work environment for all involved.
While some may consider organized sports like soccer or basketball fun, most do not. For the most part, people don’t feel motivated by these activities unless they are paid to be there.
That’s why alternative forms of group activity are needed! These include going to museums or theaters together, attending educational seminars or conferences, and doing charity works or fundraising events.
The key word here is “organized.” A company should pick something it feels is appropriate for its workplace and culture, then find opportunities for groups to participate in it.
This article will go into detail about how best to plan creative teambuilding exercises. Once done, you will know just what to do when asked if your department needs to have a party at the office.
Establish a theme
As mentioned earlier, team building is not about picking any activity that anyone wants to do or going somewhere for any amount of time. These are boring! No one really cares about sports teams or educational seminars unless you establish a strong connection between them and their colleagues.
Teambuilding must have an aim or purpose. This can be improving communication processes, promoting teamwork, educating people on certain topics, etc. Your organization may already have things like this, but if they don’t then it’s your job to find out what they should be!
Making friends at work or learning how to take charge of a group project is great, but only if these things are done for a good reason. If someone else will reap the benefits, then it's worth investing in. It could also help promote career growth - we've seen before with The Apprentice that being able to relate to different leadership styles helps get people promoted.
Setting an agenda and keeping focused on that goal is the key to success. Make sure everyone knows what to expect, and give yourself enough time to complete the tasks.
Choose a location
Choosing a destination for your team building activity is an important first step as this will determine how interactive the event becomes. If you choose a public place, like a museum or zoo, there are usually organized tours that offer activities such as talking about different things, visiting exhibits, and/or taking part in games.
For more intimate events, choosing someone’s house or a local restaurant with lots of space can be better alternatives than picking a large facility. This way, people do not have to travel far to participate in something they may want to stay for.
Some teams prefer doing team-building exercises at their own level – whatever style of team interaction they enjoy. You should consider what type of group teamwork each person has so that appropriate ones can be chosen.
What kind of event would most motivate these individuals? Or maybe some people just love to eat so eating together or giving them the opportunity to pick where they eat is good for their mental health.
Think about the time of day
Choosing an activity that works for your team is like choosing what kind of food to eat — you want to know what you have first! As with eating, deciding where to do something group-related will depend on when your team is in their moods.
If they are having a hard week at work, don’t push teambuilding activities upon them. They’ll be too busy feeling stressed out to enjoy it.
On the other hand, if everyone is in good spirits, look no further than taking a stroll outside or going for a jog as planned team outing!
Weekends are great times to organize a group activity since there isn’t much else happening around then. Even better, plan at night so people can stay later if they need to get home early the next day.
Create a checklist
As with any type of team building, planning ahead for team-building events is important to have successful experiences. While some people are naturally social, not everyone is!
That’s totally okay though, because it doesn’t need to be a constant process. You can just make sure you’re always looking into opportunities, and if one comes up that looks interesting, you add it to your list.
From there, you can work backwards from the list to determine when and how to organize an event.
Typically, teams will want something organized every week, so look at the schedule and see what fits where and when someone could use some extra motivation or friendship. Or maybe there’s an empty room somewhere you could invite everyone for a movie night.
Whatever it is, do it! Just remember that it shouldn’t feel forced, like you’re trying to get through it as quickly as possible. A team bonding experience should feel natural and meaningful.
Provide food and drinks
While team building is not necessarily about having fun, it does require some level of engagement. Therefore, what you do as an organizer depends on whether this is a formal event or not. If it’s a formal event, then avoiding these two items is definitely not the way to go.
But if it’s more informal, then don’t worry too much about them. Sure, providing snacks and beverages is pretty standard in most situations, but people can be very particular about their tastes.
If there are no specifics mentioned, you could always take advantage of either of the following options.
Try to have a clear agenda
As mentioned before, team building is not about having fun in a pool or bowling alley, it’s actually designed to strengthen relationships. This can be tricky when teams are spending time together outside of work, but intentional efforts will pay off.
Making an effort to connect with one another beyond just the workplace is a great way to do this. You could go camping, play sports or games, or any number of other activities.
The key is to make these experiences casual so that people don’t feel like they’re being “forced” to spend time together. These types of activities should be interesting to participate in for someone who doesn’t usually enjoy them.
If you're reading this article then I assume you've at least considered doing something with your colleagues during lunch or break, but maybe you're struggling to find the right ways to do it.
Tell your friends
As mentioned before, team building is not just for business purposes. If you want to know more about someone, explore their lives outside of work.
Ask them about past experiences they’ve had, what hobbies they have, how they like to spend time away from work, and things like that.
By asking questions about how people live their life, you will learn more about who this person is.
This can include finding out if they are married, kids, or whether they enjoy working with people. All of these traits make up part of who this person is as a person.
Teambuilding exercises should be done at least once a year to ensure the success of the exercise. More often than not, people will talk more easily when something non-work related is happening.
Share on social media
This is one of the most important things you can do as an organizer for team building. When planning activities, spend time sharing information about your organization on all available social media sites.
You may also choose to connect with people outside of Work on these platforms to enhance friendship potential and collaboration opportunities.
By including yourself and your coworkers in online conversations, you increase exposure and visibility for your department and career.