IOU FINANCIAL ANNOUNCES PRIVATE PLACEMENT OF UP TO $10 MILLION OF CONVERTIBLE UNSECURED SUBORDINATED DEBENTURES

MONTREAL, Québec, September 25, 2015 /CNW/ – IOU Financial Inc. (TSX Venture Exchange: IOU) (“IOU Financial” or the “Company”), a leading online lender to small businesses in the United States, announced today that it has entered into an engagement letter with Palos Management Inc., a registered dealer, in connection with a brokered private placement on a “best efforts” agency basis of up to $10 million in principal amount of convertible unsecured subordinated debentures of the Company (the “Convertible Debentures”). The Convertible Debentures will be offered at a price of $1,000 per Convertible Debenture on a prospectus-exempt basis in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Québec (the “Private Placement”).

The Convertible Debentures will mature on December 31, 2020, will bear interest at a rate of 10% per annum, and will be convertible at their holders’ option into common shares of IOU Financial (“Common Shares”) at a price of $0.75 per Common Share, representing a conversion rate of 1,333.33 Common Shares per $1,000 principal amount of Convertible Debentures. The Company will have the right to force the conversion of the Convertible Debentures into Common Shares at any time after December 31, 2018 should the 20-day volume weighted average price of the Common Shares on the TSX Venture Exchange (the “TSX-V”) exceed 125% of the conversion price.

To date, the Company has received committed subscriptions under the Private Placement in excess of $7 million.

The net proceeds of the Private Placement will be used primarily by IOU Financial to finance small business loans in the Company’s target markets and for general corporate purposes. The Private Placement is subject to regulatory approval, including the approval of the TSX-V.

The Company expects to close the Private Placement on or about November 1, 2015.

This press release does not constitute an offer of securities for sale in the United States. The securities being offered have not been, nor will they be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and such securities may not be offered or sold within the United States absent U.S. registration or an applicable exemption from U.S. registration requirements.

How to Make New Employees Feel Welcome

You’ve been there, we all have. It’s your first day or work, and you aren’t sure what to expect. You may have seen the office where you’ll be working, and met a few co-workers and your manager, but there is certainly a bit of anxiety surrounding the situation! Now, back to reality – it’s your new subordinate’s first day of work, your goal is to make your employee feel right at home, so from the start they will know they made the right choice to work for you and your small business.

So what steps should you take to make that happen? Here they are:

  1. Have your new employee’s desk set up for him or her. Have it clean and ready to go. Have the desk filled with the proper supplies so that person knows that you were certainly prepared for their arrival. And you can go a step further, and let them know that if anything is missing, or if they prefer a different planner, etc. that you can place an order for those supplies.
  2. Sit down with them and go over what the first few days at the office will look like. Talk about how you are excited they are on the team and detail what their role will be at the firm.
  3. Take your employee on a tour of the building or office, and introduce them around to not only management but some employees as well. This way when they are walking around the building/office there will be familiar faces.
  4. Have a schedule planned out for the first couple of days and share that with your new employee. From the paperwork, to the tour, to meeting with key people in the company, or having time to get acquainted with your computer system, set out a schedule. This will also let your new employee know you are prepared.
  5. Take them out to lunch with several key people that he or she will be interacting with on a daily basis.
  6. Set aside time at the end of the day to go over the day’s events, and answer any questions.

It’s very important to make your new employees feel at ease. It truly sets the tone for what working in your small business will be like. By following several steps, you can do this with ease, and in the end it will benefit both you and your new employee.

How does your small business welcome new employees?

Customer Feedback – The Good and The Bad

As a small business owner, one thing you can always be sure of is that you will receive customer feedback. And while getting accolades from customers feels great, it is also important to recognize that customer feedback may not always be complimentary.  But whether the feedback is good or bad, it’s necessary to respond to the customer feedback so your customer knows you value his/her words.

First, let’s start with positive feedback. When you hear something good from a customer about your company, your service, or an employee, you should always recognize that feedback. If it’s given in a forum where you can respond, then certainly do so.  Think about this, you loved getting that positive customer feedback so the person providing it will also love receiving your thanks for it. Not only is it common courtesy to do so, it is also makes good business sense. By thanking your customer, you are showing your appreciation and possibly enhancing the chances of receiving positive feedback in the future as the customer knows you appreciate his/her time. Handling positive feedback is very pleasant, and easy! On the flip-side there will be times when you have to deal with negative customer feedback.

When a customer has an unpleasant experience and lets you know about it, there are a few important steps to take.

  1. Try not to be defensive! Honestly look or listen to the comments, and if the points are valid, address those situations in your company and make changes for improvement if necessary.
  2. Get back to the customer. Obviously, if the feedback is in person you can respond immediately. But if the comments are online, make sure to recognize the feedback, and get back to that customer. If the points made are valid, let the customer know what you can do to make things right.
  3. Always consider the source. Sadly there are some people that will never be satisfied, and they just enjoy putting others down. Even if you feel this is the case, always treat your customers with respect and with a calm demeanor. In today’s online world, even words that may not be true can have far-reaching impact. You want to always counter, even anger, with an even, calm tone – your future customers that may be reading the comments will take note of that and hopefully not be swayed by the initial comment.

Feedback from a customer in whatever form … in person, online, on the phone … must be addressed, both good and bad.  Feedback is really invaluable because it tells you what your customers actually think. So take that info as a means of recognizing what’s excellent with your firm, and what can use a little tweak, and make any changes when necessary.

 

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IOU Ranked #1 Fastest Growing Financial Services Firm on the 2015 Profit 500 List of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies

MONTREAL, Sept. 21, 2015 /CNW/ – IOU Financial Inc. (TSX Venture Exchange: IOU) (“IOU Financial” or the “Company“) a leading online small business lender in the United States, announced today that Canadian Business and PROFIT ranked IOU Financial as the #1 fastest growing Financial Services Firm on the 27th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Canadian Business and at PROFITguide.com, PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth.

The PROFIT 500 list named IOU Financial the #1 fastest growing Financial Services Firm with five-year revenue growth of 2,980%.

“The PROFIT 500 represent the highest tier of entrepreneurialism in Canada,” says James Cowan, Editor-in-chief of PROFIT and Canadian Business. “They should be lauded for the positive economic contributions they’ve made to their communities—and the entire country. They are examples of what can be accomplished with innovation, discipline and determination.”

“We are honored to be on the PROFIT 500 list as the #1 fastest growing Financial Services Firm. We continue to see acceleration in our business and we are confident that the board and management of IOU Financial will deliver sustainable long term shareholder value,” said CEO Philippe Marleau.

About PROFIT and PROFITguide.com
PROFIT is Canada’s preeminent media brand dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. For 33 years, Canadian entrepreneurs across a vast array of economic sectors have remained loyal to PROFIT because it’s a timely and reliable source of actionable information that helps them achieve business success and get the recognition they deserve for generating positive economic and social change. Visit PROFIT at PROFITguide.com.

About Canadian Business
Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving, best-selling and most-trusted business publication in the country. With a total print readership of more than 600,000, it is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. We provide concrete examples of business achievement, thought-provoking analysis and compelling storytelling, all in an elegant package with bold graphics and great photography. Canadian Business — what leadership looks like.

About IOU Financial Inc.
IOU Financial provides small businesses throughout the U.S. access to the capital they need to seize growth opportunities quickly. Typical customers include medical and dental practices, grocery and retail stores, restaurant and hotel franchisees and e-commerce companies. In a unique approach to lending, IOU Financials advanced, automated application and approval system accurately assesses applicants’ financial realities, with an emphasis on day-to-day cash flow trends. It makes loans of up to US$150,000 to qualified applicants within a few business days, with affordable charges favorable to cash-flow management. IOU Financial’s speed and transparency make it a trusted alternative to banks. To learn more visit: https://ioufinancial.com.

IOU Financial Achieves Profitability, Provides Update on Alternative Transaction Process and Reminds Shareholders to Reject Qwave’s Coercive Unsolicited Partial Offer

  • IOU Financial achieved profitability with record loan originations in the months of July and August, totaling US$31.3 million, representing a year over year increase of 150%.
  • Board has approved a letter of intent for a credit facility of up to US$50 million from a major institutional lender.
  • Board has received an offer to proceed with a private placement of up to $10 million of convertible debentures, with committed subscriptions in excess of $7 million.
  • Board continues to recommend that shareholders reject and not tender to Qwave’s coercive unsolicited partial offer.
  • Qwave’s partial offer remains opportunistic and does not reflect the true value of IOU Financial given its growth opportunities and ability to increase profitability with a new credit facility.

 

MONTREAL, Québec, September 18, 2015 /CNW/ – IOU Financial Inc. (TSX Venture Exchange: IOU) (“IOU Financial” or the “Company”), a leading online lender to small businesses in the United States, today announced that it has achieved profitability with record loan originations, that it has entered into a letter of intent for a credit facility of up to US$50 million, that it has received an offer to proceed with an additional financing of up to $10 million of convertible debentures, and wishes to remind shareholders to reject the unsolicited partial offer by Qwave Capital LLC (“Qwave”) to purchase 34,000,000 outstanding common shares of the Company (the “Common Shares”) at a price of $0.50 per Common Share (the “Qwave Partial Offer”).

Based on Record Origination Volumes IOU Financial Achieved Profitability in July and August

As previously announced, the Company’s loan originations for the months of July and August, totaled US$31.3 million, representing a year over year increase of 150% in comparison to the same period in 2014. Based on these volumes, IOU Financial achieved profitability for the months of July and August in excess of $500,000 in aggregate (excluding non-recurring costs).

The Board has approved a letter of intent for a credit facility of up to US$50 million from a major institutional lender

The facility would have an initial commitment of US$25 million and would be expandable to US$50 million at IOU’s request and the lender’s acceptance.

It is expected that the credit facility will not only increase the availability of capital to support IOU Financial’s growth but will also significantly lower its funding cost of capital, both of which continue to be part of management’s strategic objectives.

 

The Board has received an offer to proceed with a private placement of up to $10 million in principal amount of convertible debentures, with committed subscriptions in excess of $7 million

 

Since it began its alternative transaction process initiated in response to the Qwave Partial Offer, IOU Financial has received a number of indicative proposals for alternative transactions to the Qwave Partial Offer, including an offer for a private placement of 10% unsecured subordinated convertible debentures convertible at a price of $0.75 per Common Share for gross proceeds of up to $10 million, along with committed subscriptions in excess of $7 million. The debentures would mature on December 31, 2020 and the Company would have the right to force the conversion of the debentures into Common Shares at any time after December 31, 2018 should the 20-day VWAP of the Common Shares exceed 125% of the conversion price. The board of directors of IOU Financial (the “Board”), acting on the recommendation of a special committee composed entirely of independent directors of IOU Financial, has held discussions in respect thereof with the interested parties and will continue to do so.

There can be no assurance that any financing or other alternative transaction will be completed. The Company intends to update shareholders when the circumstances so warrant.

“The Board wishes to reiterate its confidence in management’s ability to grow the Company’s business and its ability to secure additional financing. IOU Financial is at an inflection point in its operating results and the Company is positioned to deliver value to all shareholders,” said Evan Price, the Chairman of the Board.

Qwave Partial Offer

The Board continues to unanimously recommend that shareholders REJECT and NOT TENDER their Common Shares to the Qwave Partial Offer for the reasons set forth in the Company’s press release of July 10, 2015, which included:

–     given the recent profitability achieved by IOU Financial, the Qwave Partial Offer more than ever significantly undervalues the Company’s market position, assets, brand presence and long-term business prospects;

–     the Qwave Partial Offer continues to be financially inadequate;

–     to date, Qwave has still not articulated a credible plan for the Company’s business;

–     Qwave’s track record of managing technology companies remains unknown;

–     the Qwave Partial Offer will have a material adverse effect on the liquidity of the Common Shares;

–     the Qwave Partial Offer seeks to provide Qwave with effective control of the Company, without offering shareholders an appropriate control premium for the Common Shares purchased and no premium for the Common Shares not purchased; and

–     the Qwave Partial Offer continues to be coercive: tendering shareholders will only be able to sell at most 55.3% of their Common Shares, assuming all Common Shares are tendered.

 

Shareholders who have already tendered their Common Shares to the Qwave Partial Offer should WITHDRAW them IMMEDIATELY. A notice of withdrawal, which sets forth in detail how to withdraw Common Shares under the Qwave Partial Offer, is available on the Company’s website at: https://ioufinancial.com/qwave-offer-info/how-to-reject-qwave-partial-offer/

Any questions or requests for assistance in connection with the withdrawal of Common Shares tendered under the Qwave Partial Offer may be directed to IOU Financial at 1-877-419-0934 (toll-free in North America) or investors@ioufinancial.com.

 

About IOU Financial Inc.

IOU Financial provides small businesses throughout the U.S. access to the capital they need to seize growth opportunities quickly. Typical customers include medical and dental practices, grocery and retail stores, restaurant and hotel franchisees and e-commerce companies. In a unique approach to lending, IOU Financial’s advanced, automated application and approval system accurately assesses applicants’ financial realities, with an emphasis on day-to-day cash flow trends. It makes loans of up to US$150,000 to qualified applicants within a few business days, with affordable charges favorable to cash-flow management. IOU Financial’s speed and transparency make it a trusted alternative to banks. To learn more visit: https://ioufinancial.com.

 

Financial Information

Figures reported under the heading “Based on Recent Origination Volumes IOU Financial Achieved Profitability in July and August” are preliminary and are subject to change as the Company’s financial results for the quarter ending September 30, 2015 are finalized. Such figures have not been reviewed or audited by the Company’s independent auditors. The Company does not intend to disclose financial figures outside of its quarterly or annual reporting in the future and will only do so if future circumstances so warrant. The Company is not currently providing financial outlook and no assurance can be given as to the Company’s results or performance for future periods.

 

Forward Looking Statements

Certain information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address or discuss activities, events or developments that IOU Financial expects or anticipates may occur in the future. These forward looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “anticipates”, “believes”, “estimates”, “expects”, “may”, “plans”, “projects”, “should”, “will”, or the negative thereof or other variations thereon. These forward-looking statements reflect management’s current views and are based on certain assumptions including assumptions as to future economic conditions and courses of action, as well as other factors management believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and no assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by such statements will occur or, if they do occur, what benefit IOU Financial will derive from them. A number of factors could cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, risks related to the completion or not of a financing, risks related to the Company’s incapacity to execute on its business plan, risks related to the actions taken by Qwave in connection with the Qwave Partial Offer, risks related to the actions taken by shareholders in response to the Qwave Partial Offer, risks related to the possible effects of the Qwave Partial Offer on the business and prospects of IOU Financial, risks inherent in growing a new business, dependence on third-party service providers, competition, regulatory risk, dependence on key personnel, risks related to rapid growth of IOU Financial, security and confidentiality risk, risk related to inability to attract borrowers and lenders, technological development risk, IT disruptions, maintenance of client relationships, litigation risk, volatility of stock price, and other factors that are beyond its control. Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found beginning on page 15 under the heading “Risks and Uncertainties” in IOU Financial’s management’s discussion and analysis dated August 25, 2015, which is available under IOU Financial’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

 

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

 

For Further Information:

Shareholders:

Philippe Marleau Mayco Quiroz
President and Chief Executive Officer Chief Financial Officer
(514) 789-0694 ext. 225 (514) 789-0694 ext. 298

 

Media:

Riyaz Lalani

Bayfield Strategy, Inc.

(416) 907-9365

rlalani@bayfieldstrategy.com

How to Successfully Deliver Negative Feedback

While some managers have no problem delivering negative feedback, for some managers the thought of it is a source of anxiety.  The question is where do you fall on the spectrum … you don’t mind, you tremble at the thought, or somewhere in between?  No matter where you fall, there is one aspect of delivering negative feedback that is very important – the delivery itself.

The first, and most important thing to mention, is when you have to deliver negative feedback, don’t do it in front of your subordinate’s peers. That is unfair and demeaning. So pull your employee aside to deliver the news. Enough said on that.

The best thing to do is prior to the meeting have all of your facts ready. The worst thing you can do is sit down, and say something vague like “you need to work harder and better.”  What does that really mean?  So have the details you need to cover. This is important so your employee has a very clear picture of what went wrong or what needs improvement when delivering negative feedback.

You delivery is very important – be clear that you look forward to improvement in this area and that you feel confident in your employee’s skills.  After all, if this is your first sit down regarding the issue, hopefully your employee can turn things around.  If you use verbiage to tear him or her down, that only will lead to poor morale which in the end is not good for you, him/her, or the company.

In addition to sharing what is wrong, you need to give instructions on what can be done to improve performance. This is key for the future success of this person – he or she needs to know what the expectations are. Not only is that important so your employee can now strive to meet this requirement, but also if the poor performance continues you can honestly say that you clearly set expectations.

Ideally you want your employee to walk out of the meeting feeling he can improve in the area of concern.  Unfortunately, you will have employees that do not improve, which is when you have to follow your company’s disciplinary guidelines.

In the area of negative feedback, always treat people how you would want to be treated if you were on the other side of the desk. Give clear feedback in a professional and non-demeaning manner, set expectations and sit back and watch, what will hopefully be, positive results.

 

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Healthcare Coverage – Important No Matter Your Size

You run a small company. You care about your employees and you certainly want to be able to bring on the best talent out there when the time comes for you to hire additional employees. You offer a pleasant place to work, and you consider yourself a fair employer, actually a great employer! But there is one area that may be lacking, and that’s the area of healthcare benefits.

Many small business employers are under the impression that healthcare coverage for their employees is financially out of reach, and that potential employees will be understanding on this issue and purchase their own health insurance. Unfortunately, both issues are misconceptions. First, many potential employees may shy away from working for a firm that does not offer health insurance. Even if a firm has to split costs of health coverage with employees, that is certainly better than not offering health coverage at all. As a matter of fact, a majority of firms out there are now set up where employees have to pay for part of their small business healthcare coverage. The key here is offering something to employees so they can determine what they would like to do.

As far as health benefits being out of reach for small companies, this is not necessarily the case any longer. Because small companies are prevalent in this country, there are numerous companies that offer plans to companies of this size. To figure out what would work best for you and your company, scour the internet, make calls, and see what makes sense for you. There are so many options out there, it just is a matter of choosing what type of benefits you want to offer your employees, what you can afford, and what portion of the cost you will split with employees.

When it comes to small business healthcare coverage, it’s imperative to offer something to employees. Not only will it show your current employees that you care about their well-being, it will also be an important benefit you can include when trying to attract new talent to your firm.

 

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IOU Financial Chairman Releases Letter to Shareholders

  • IOU urges shareholders to REJECT Qwave Partial Offer
  • Qwave lacks credible plan and its offer is substantially inadequate
  • IOU’s business continues to accelerate and has originated US$260 million in loans since inception

MONTREAL, Sept. 8, 2015 /CNW/ – IOU Financial Inc. (TSX Venture Exchange: IOU) (“IOU” or the “Company“), a leading online lender to small businesses, today released a letter from the Chairman of the Board of Directors (the “Board“) to IOU shareholders (“Shareholders“), further responding to the unsolicited partial takeover offer from Qwave Capital LLC (“Qwave“) for the purchase of 34,000,000 outstanding common shares (the “Common Shares“) of IOU (representing approximately 55.3% of the issued and outstanding Common Shares at the date hereof (50.4% of Common Shares on a fully-diluted basis) at a price of $0.50 per Common Share (the “Qwave Partial Offer“).

Shareholders are encouraged to review IOU’s Directors’ Circular which sets forth in greater detail the Board’s recommendation and the reasons for rejecting the Qwave Partial Offer, is available under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and was mailed to all Shareholders. The Directors’ Circular is also available on the Company’s Website www.ioufinancial.com.

The full text of the Chairman’s letter follows:

Dear Fellow Shareholders:

You have an important decision to make, one that will affect the future of your investment in IOU.

As you know, an entity called “Qwave” made a partial bid for IOU several weeks ago. If successful, Qwave would gain control of just over 50% of IOU fully diluted outstanding shares, allowing it to effectively control IOU without having to purchase the entire company and without having to pay all Shareholders an appropriate control premium. Due to the effect of pro-ration if all Shareholders were to accept the Qwave Partial Offer, Shareholders will be able to tender at most 55.3% of their outstanding shares to the Qwave Partial Offer.

After the successful completion of the Qwave Partial Offer, the remaining minority shareholders of IOU will have little say in how their company is run, since Qwave’s holdings will allow it to install a board of its choosing. Important decisions about future M&A activity, operations, and leadership, will be in the hands of Qwave’s hand-picked directors. In addition, with 50% fewer Common Shares outstanding, the stock may suffer from significantly lower trading liquidity, resulting in less attention from the marketplace. Most importantly, the Board believes that in the hands of Qwave, IOU will have significantly diminished prospects for growth and profitability given the risk of the potential loss of key management personnel and Qwave’s lack of operating experience.

On July 10 th , the Board unanimously recommended that IOU shareholders REJECT the Qwave Partial Offer and NOT TENDER their Common Shares. Each member of the Board and management team has also rejected the Qwave Partial Offer and will not tender their personal shareholdings.

The timing of the Qwave Partial Offer is highly opportunistic, as it comes at a critical inflection point in IOU’s business and amid increased investor interest in the alternative non-bank lending space. The years of work invested by our management team, and you, our shareholders, to develop IOU’s lending platform, sales channels and partnerships is beginning to bear fruit, and we are seeing a significant acceleration in our business which was apparent in the second quarter of 2015, and has continued in the third quarter. In the second quarter of 2015, IOU originated US$33.8 Million in new loans, representing a year over year increase of 40%. In the current third quarter, for the months of July and August alone, loan originations totaled US$31.3 Million, representing a year over year increase of 150% vs. the same period in 2014.

To-date we have originated over US$260 million of loans since inception.

In addition, IOU announced plans to build on its success in the United States by expanding its offering to Canada – transforming small business lending in its home market.

We believe that further market expansion, backed up by consecutive quarters of strong and consistent loan growth will ultimately be recognized and rewarded by the stock market. We should not be surprised that firms like Qwave would want to get in front of the stock market’s recognition of value with an inadequate and potentially coercive takeover bid. It is up to us as shareholders, to recognize the tremendous opportunity in front of us and reject a bid that your board believes deeply undervalues IOU’s market position, assets, brand presence, and long-term business prospects.

To-date, Qwave has failed to articulate a credible plan for IOU and has said little about its track record and principals other than noting their activities have been focused on “physics and the material sciences”. In contrast, IOU has a well-thought out strategic plan, a track-record of growth and execution and a motivated and highly-qualified management team led by CEO Philippe Marleau. The Board believes that the loss of IOU’s management team could adversely affect the value of the remaining shares of IOU following the completion of the Qwave Partial Offer. The Board also reminds Shareholders that it is pursuing alternative transactions to the Qwave Partial Offer, and it anticipates making an announcement on the conclusion of its deliberations in the short term.

Fellow Shareholders, I urge you to reject the Qwave Partial Offer and allow your Board and management team to remain focused on delivering sustainable profitability and long term shareholder value. IOU has the right plan, the right people and is delivering results for Shareholders.

To REJECT the Qwave Partial Offer, you don’t need to take any action. Simply discard any materials sent to you byQwave or their representatives. If you have tendered your Common Shares to the Qwave Partial Offer, withdraw them as indicated in the Directors’ Circular.

If you have questions or require assistance, please contact IOU Financial at 1-877-419-0934 (toll-free in North America) or investors@ioufinancial.com

Sincerely,

Evan Price, Chairman of the Board

Team Building – Necessary?

When you hear the phrase “team building” does it make you cringe or smile with anticipation?! Chances are likely your answer depends on a number of things. Your previous experience in team building exercises, your previous experience running team building sessions and your personality. While some people love team building, others may fake an illness to get out of it!  And a lot of people fall in between the two. If you have a preference one way or the other, or you feel a certain way about team building that only goes to prove that your employees also have their own feelings on the subject. So the questions are: is team building really worth it for your company and if so, what is the best way to go about it?

The first question – is team building really worth it? YES! Team building, if done properly, can quickly open up the lines of communications between employees and increase morale.  So that was easy! But here is the tough question …

What is the best way to go about it?

Let’s start with what the worst ways are! Imagine you are a small kid in school and you are  asked to climb the rope in gym. You grab onto the rope, pull, but your body won’t cooperate and you fall right off the rope. You feel humiliated.  You graduate from school and think, “thank goodness I never have to do that again!” But then you start working for XYZ Company and they have a team building session that includes rope climbing. Fun, right?! NO! It’s important when setting up any team building exercises that no one may suffer embarrassment and that only positivity will be fostered.

When thinking about team building exercises, consider of what types of activities are right for YOUR employees and which ones will foster communication.  Here are some ideas for in the office – colleagues sitting with other for an hour to see what the other one does on a daily basis, having departmental luncheons or coffee hours, treasure hunts in the office where teams are created made up of people from different departments that have to interact with each other frequently.  For outside the office – a company barbecue, a personality assessment where an outside firm comes in and various work styles are analyzed, a cooking activity. That is just a short list – think about what is best for you and your company.

When it comes to team building the key is to create a positive environment which will foster good communication. In the end, if done correctly, team building can be a positive experience leading to enhanced communication for all involved.

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