What is a team building activity?
A team building activity is an activity designed to strengthen the relationships and define roles between members of a certain organization. People recommend them because these occasions offer a break from the day-to-day routine and allow coworkers to interact with each other in a casual and relaxed setting. These activities are said to:
- Improve productivity
- Increase motivation
- Foster problem solving
- Boost creativity
- Enhance communication
- Keep employees motivated
- Develop problem solving skills
Morale building VS Team building
The first are designed to make people happy. These activities include going out to dinner and staying late on Fridays for a pint with colleagues. While they might be enjoyable, they don’t necessarily take people out of their comfort zone. A team building activity should be fun as well, but if it isn’t also challenging then it will never serve its purpose. Remember, morale is for happiness and team is for productivity.
Better collaboration = Better Productivity = More Profit
The do’s of a team building activity
As this poor man above can attest, team building activities can go very wrong when not carefully planned. In order not to have the Head of Marketing and the Content Manager shoot paint balls at each others groins, it is important to consider the what’s, who’s, and when’s of the outing.
Before the activity
Choose something everyone will enjoy
It will be impossible to please everyone, but at least choose an activity that most can enjoy
Consider the final goal
What do you intend to accomplish? Do you want to improve communication between departments? The final goal will influence the activity selection.
Plan it during work hours
Nobody wants to miss a potential lead or fall back on a client, but office activities must be planned during work hours because otherwise coworkers might recent you for taking their spare time away from them.
Get people out of the office
Whenever we step into the office, we get into “work mode”. Get away from the telephones, boards and computer screens in order to have people fully concentrate in the activity.
During the activity
Set clear tasks and goals
Just because it is an activity that’s taking place outside the workplace, it doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a clear purpose, even if it’s just to “have fun”. Make sure everyone in the team knows which these are and stick to them.
Allow everyone to voice their opinion
Even if they’re the lowest rank. This can be done by giving them a saying in the selection of the activity or giving them a management position for the day.
Set rules together
Encourage participation when it comes to setting up rules and boundaries. People are more accountable when they break laws they helped create themselves.
Don’t forget you’re still the leader
Studying its team members and taking notes on their behaviour. What they do or not do, should give you some insight on what you can apply to the everyday corporate routine.
After the activity
Ask for feedback
Your coworkers will give you a different perspective on how the outing played out. These opinions will give you valuable information you can use on your next pursuit. Maybe the goals need to be adjusted, or perhaps your coworkers would prefer a different type of plan. Whichever it may be, take notes so you can apply changes next time.