Team building exercises give employees the opportunity to bond and improve their relationships. When employees forge positive relationships, they work better together and productivity improves. Team building exercises can help you achieve these results, but it’s important to be careful in the planning and executing of these events.
1. Make it Engaging
Choose activities that are fun, challenging and engaging. Engagement is the key to success with a team building activity.
What types of activities would interest your employees? Are they more interested in outdoor-related activities, or maybe they’d prefer challenging team-oriented games?
When everyone is interested in and enjoying the activity, those team building skills will stick. Everyone is at ease, and employees have the chance to bond over a common interest.
Take the time to find an activity that’s a good fit for your team and the outcome will surpass your expectations.
2. Get Out of the Office
Some companies prefer to do their team building events at the office, but this can make it difficult to boost morale and get out of the workplace mindset.
Consider hosting your team building activity someplace outside of the office. Host a company picnic, but incorporate engaging activities that boost morale and team building skills.
“Forget that dull picnic where people just hang out and drink until the giveaways are handed out,” says The Wow Factor, a party equipment rental company. “Liven things up with inflatable and non-inflatable fun, performers, competitions and prizes that match your theme.”
Hosting the event outside of the office also minimizes workplace distractions and gives employees a chance to get out for the day.
3. Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page
Team building activities are most successful when everyone is on the same page. Make sure everyone knows what’s going to happen and the goal of the event. Employees should know what’s expected of them. You don’t necessarily have to divulge every last detail, as you may not want to influence their behavior, but they should have some idea of what lies ahead.
If employees don’t know what they’re walking into, you may not get the results you want.
4. Be Smart about Pairing Employees
Part of the team building exercise is pairing employees in groups to work together. If the goal is to have employees better work together, then you might consider breaking up “cliques” or groups of employees that normally hang out together in the office.
These friendships are great, but they can also be detrimental to the exercise.
Instead, consider pairing employees with people they may not usually socialize or work with to improve dynamics in the workplace.
5. Apply it to the Real World
Team building exercises are designed to forge positive relationships, boost morale and create a sense of community among staff members. Consider hosting these types of events at least once a year to continue the momentum and maintain the results.
Some companies make team building a monthly event. If you have the time and resources, you might consider doing the same.