Author Archives: varnmedia

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How to motivate your team in 5 simple steps

Being able to motivate your team in the right way can have a big impact on the performance of the team and the general atmosphere in the workplace. To help you motivate your team, we have outlined 5 simple steps to follow to help give your team a bit of a boost. 

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5 tips to make your Christmas party memorable in the right way

The annual Christmas party is often seen as a chance to let a year’s worth of tension out in one go. But there are risks of it going downhill quite quickly!

We’ve got 5 ways you can give staff a memorable Christmas party, with no spills but all the thrills: 

1. Encourage people to mingle rather

Booking a meal for your team is a good idea, but a long table with a three-course meal could mean people get stuck next to other team members they don’t necessarily have the best rapport with. A party is better when people have the choice to mingle with people they want to talk to. If you are providing food arrange a buffet so people can socialise and do as they wish without feeling stuffy or it being formal.

2. Control the alcohol

There is always one person who gets their ‘money’s worth’ when it comes to alcohol so try to keep control over how much free drink is supplied. Instead of paying for a free bar, you could give people drinks tokens, or perhaps organise a tasting session so people still get to enjoy having a drink but won’t have free reigns completely.

3. Don’t be the first one there

Being the first person at an event is always awkward, and staff will often feel more relaxed arriving in groups and not being left on their own with the boss. For a bit of fun, arrange for your team to be split into groups and enjoy the London Black Cab Chase before they get to the party. That way people will arrive around the same time, or in groups, and have plenty to talk about throughout the evening.

4. Reward your staff with an experience

Your Christmas party doesn’t have to be a drink-fuelled fest and some members of staff may appreciate something a bit different. For example, spending a couple of hours enjoying our Chocolate Challenge will be much more memorable than a hangover the next morning.

5. An extra special Secret Santa

Instead of doing an office Secret Santa, why not take part in our Toy Factory London Team Building Event and work together as a real production line? The finished products can be donated to charity where children in need will benefit, giving Secret Santa a whole new meaning which will be remembered, and much less awkward than usual!

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Dos and Don’ts for good one to one meetings for your team

Feedback and the ability to discuss current working needs is crucial for the development of staff. However, many of us in a managerial position often find ourselves avoiding taking the time to commit to regular check-in sessions with team members despite knowing the benefits it can bring.

Some of the best leaders have one-to-ones with their team members every week or every month at a minimum, whether that be over lunch, whilst taking a walk or even travelling to a meeting. One-on-ones don’t need to be formal, but they should be clear to those involved for increased productivity.

Whether you do meetings once a month, or once a year, taking the time to sit down together and go a bit deeper with a dedicated one on one is worth doing. We’ve highlighted some dos and don’ts to help you make the most of these meetings.

The dos and don’ts of one on one meetings

Do:

  • Show your interest in the career goals of your employee, beyond their current role.
  • Provide a welcoming space for them to raise complaints or discuss problems
  • Be receptive to feedback about yourself too.
  • Create an action list to follow up on after the meeting.
  • Ensure feedback is constructive and balanced

Don’t:

  • Postpone them – this can send a negative message to staff and come across as a lack of interest.
  • Clock-watch – set aside a rough block of time, but allow as much time as is required for a more in-depth conversation.
  • Be too repetitive – try to have one to ones at different times of the week/month/year and change where you are having the meetings.
  • Spend the whole meeting talking – while feedback is helpful, you also need to listen.

How to scrap lengthy meetings for better productivity

More often than not, meetings leave us feeling bored or deflated. They are long, boring, and can be so disorganised that it feels like a complete waste of time. In the modern business world, there is no need for lengthy meetings that see little results and have no positive impact on productivity.

Instead, take a look at some of the ways you can change how you do meetings to benefit your team and your business.

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The importance of encouraging your team to get outside

Many of us will have every intention of adding some adventure to our lives but when it comes to actually fitting this in we fall flat, despite the health benefits that come from being outside.

Having time out and time to enjoy the great outdoors is vital for our mental health. From a business perspective, encouraging your staff to get outdoors at lunch or during their time off will benefit the whole team. Staff who feel supported at work and who can unwind outside of work are more likely to give it their all when they are in the office.

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Competitive vs collaborative team building, which is better?

Team building activities come in all shapes and sizes and will suit different teams. You have to choose between the type of activity, whether it is indoors or outdoors and whether you want it to be a full day or half day. One other thing that you might want to consider is whether you opt for an activity that is competitive or something that requires the whole team to collaborate.

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