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.