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.
Team building hasn’t always had a good reputation and often the phrase “team building” leaves employees cringing and wanting to run for the nearest exit. Despite its reputation, team building is a really important investment for businesses. It gets teams away from their desks, builds trust, encourages communication and highlights attributes of team members.
There are some key things to remember when doing some team building though.
Don’t make it feel like another day in the office
The most successful, memorable team-building events are ones that don’t feel like a day at the office. Spending time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common goal allows any employee bonding to happen more naturally than if there is a huge corporate focus on the team building process.
Ditch the routine
It can be tempting to do the same thing each time to keep the routine and to save time trying to organise another event, but trying new things with your staff can generate some more excitement and good energy amongst employees, which in turn benefits the business itself.
Choosing something unique and slightly outside of people’s comfort zones can encourage the team to encourage and support each other in new ways. Forget the annual picnic and broaden your horizons.
Team building is an investment, not a splurge
Whilst you aren’t expected to spend thousands on team days out, you shouldn’t skimp either. You should spend some time thinking of ideas that the whole team will enjoy and invest a good amount of money making sure it will be a day that will create a buzz and get everyone talking.
It’s important to make your team feel valued and appreciated and to show them that they are allowed to have some fun.
Keep the positive energy going
Instead of letting motivation and excitement fall flat straight after your team building session is over, think of ways that you can keep the energy flowing. This could be anything from starting your week off with better and more energised weekly meetings to purchasing new artwork to brighten up the office. You want to create opportunities for people to interact with each other outside of a meeting room.
By getting employees to communicate, this could open up discussions that lead to ideas for your future team building days.
Team building has so many benefits for businesses. If there has been laughter and lots of discussion between your team, then it’s likely you’re on the right track to successful team building.
There are some businesses that will try and discourage fun in the workplace and who will steer clear of fun in the workplace or external team building activities, fearing that it could cause too much distraction and negatively impact the overall performance of staff. By doing so, these companies are missing out on a number of opportunities to save money and develop their current team.
Check out the ways fun can give your business a boost:
1. Fun combats stress
Playtime shouldn’t be reserved for children, adults need time to indulge in something enjoyable and fun too. By participating in an activity that gets us moving, makes us laugh, or that sparks our curiosity adults begin to feel more energised, more motivated and less stressed.
2. Experiences create longer lasting memories
As we take part in an activity we are using all five senses and we will often learn more doing something by doing, compared to when are reading or listening. Any lessons learned during a period of fun or activity are therefore more likely to be retained within our memory and any information learnt can be used later.
3. A change of pace shows different sides to a person
When staff relax or partake in fun activities, we often see a different side to them. This allows you to highlight the different personalities within your team and evaluate any strengths and weaknesses. You will get to see how they work and how they interact with people and also what they enjoy doing. This will help you to understand your team more and understand what motivates them other than money.
4. Allowing people to have fun encourages creativity
When different ideas are shared they can develop, which can help teams to identify new opportunities or solve current problems that they may be facing. By allowing teams to have fun, different individuals will often unleash their more creative side, allowing for a workplace that is driven by creative and innovative ideas, which can be worked on with the rest of the team.
5. Humans need interaction
Humans beings are naturally sociable, and most of us need to interact with others face to face. By doing this we develop a feeling of trust and loyalty, and even in some cases friendship, that can be a huge benefit in an office environment and make it a more enjoyable place to work. This feeling of membership ultimately makes staff feel more committed to their team, their work and the company they are working for.
Take a look at some of the ways you can have fun outside of the workplace with Team Building London.
Everybody loves a good story and storytelling can be found in a range of forms, from books and movies to office jokes and music. It is ingrained into everyday life and each of us has our own preferred style of storytelling, but the importance of stories is how they can shape us and teach us.
This story puts into perspective our working habits and our approach to the things we do…
Lisa, a working mum, took two highlighters and used these to shade in her work diary for the coming week. She shaded some appointments green for boring, others yellow for energising. As expected the tasks such as meetings, listening to presentations, reading reports and attending statutory training were shaded green for dull and de-energising.
When she reviewed her week, Lisa noted that 80% of her time would be spent doing tedious and uninspiring activities. Lisa compared this to the energy and enthusiasm of her 6-year-old daughter whos days were full of laughter, ideas and discovery. Why shouldn’t Lisa’s work week be more like that?
Not content to live a life dominated by ‘green’ engagements, Lisa decided to try to turn her diary yellow by seeking out stories.
As a result, she restructured the agenda of her weekly meeting and approached it as if it was a film. She identified the perils, plot and ensured that the discussion concluded in a happy ending. She continued to change her week by challenging the finance director to replace spreadsheets with stories in his monthly presentation and, rather than read the pile of reports on her desk she visited each of the authors and asked:
· What challenges did they want to overcome?
· What could get in the way?
· Where could they end up?
Not only was she able to switch some of the events in her diary from green to yellow, but Lisa also felt more energised and engaged at work. Tough problems had been solved, exciting new initiatives launched and the team morale was higher than she’d ever known.
To be the best you can be in the workplace, you need to embrace creativity and start seeking the stories.
Every year thousands of people take part in various runs and marathons, pushing themselves to the limit. They are constantly training and improving, just as businesses should be.
Despite their differences, men and women of all ages take part in these events with the shared desire to reach the finish line. To make it to the end goal and to keep improving on their previous time, these sportsmen and women are constantly training, adapting and investing in the right kit.
If people didn’t train for these events, they would be wholly unprepared. Perhaps the same is true in organisations. Some companies think that the odd team outing or team building session will be enough to energise their team and get them to where they need to go.
Just as we prepare for sporting events, businesses should be investing in staff and providing consistent team building days combined with effective training and tools to keep motivated back at the office.
Most team meetings are regarded as tedious and unnecessary when they should be creative and energising. We can help team leaders not just when they are with us for an Away Day but also when they are back in the office preparing for that dreaded team meeting. If you’d like to inject some passion and energy into your team meetings please get in touch to organise a free consultation.
Over the years, we’ve seen businesses becoming more focused on their employees and how they work together. Whilst workplaces are still hardworking and in some cases competitive, the importance of collaboration and friendship between staff has been seen as key to continued success.
As a result, team building activities have increased in popularity. Team building activities can range from a short activity to a retreat lasting a couple of days depending on the needs and desires of each group. Team building is seen as a fun break from work, but ultimately there is a purpose behind them, which is to develop the skills, knowledge and relationships of your staff.
There is a range of benefits to be had from team building, such as:
Team building activities can help to create momentum and make employees feel invigorated and more confident in their own, and their team’s ability.
By working together teams can motivate each other and feel supported through each task. This can in turn increase productivity, as everyone is working together and bouncing off each other.
There are some team building activities that require more thought and creativity than others. Within your employees, there will always be people who have different ideas and approaches than others in the team.
Whilst this can sometimes feel negative due to conflicting ideas, allowing everyone to voice their ideas and have an input can actually have a positive effect, by “cross-pollinating” the business with different ideas.
Team building allows people to unleash their creativity and makes them realise that they are allowed to give an input, even back at the office, to help contribute to tasks and ideas.
This is perhaps one of the main benefits of a properly planned team building session. By taking employees away from their desks, away from work and away from the confines of the office they are able to have a better space to have some fun and get to know their colleagues.
Team building activities can be a powerful way to develop communication and trust, whilst helping to develop your employees further. To provide full benefit, they need to have a real purpose and be properly planned, rather than just being a “fun day out”.
David Graeber, the anthropologist, recently published a book which stated and unraveled why up to 40% of us secretly think our jobs aren’t necessary or could easily be done by a software or mechanism.
To back this theory, a survey carried out by YouGov in 2015 found that 37% of people believe that their job makes no “meaningful contribution”.
Alongside many wonderful facts and theory’s, we are reminded of John Maynard Keynes’ 1930 prediction that by the year 2000 due to technical advances the working week would have reduced from 40 hours to 15. The unfortunate truth is that this hasn’t happened.
If we were to reduce the working week many people wouldn’t be able to afford to feed their families. Besides, people are seriously connected to their jobs and most will spend more than the required 40 hours a week working or thinking and mulling over their work at home.
The technological advances that we have created have prolonged the hours we work rather than shortening them because we can now access emails out of hours and are connected to work with our mobile and desktop devices.
Some companies have invested in policies such as Zmail, where email servers are closed off out of hours and at weekends so that the staff can have separate lives from work and then be able to come back in refreshed and re-motivated.
But even if we do have time to shut off, many come to work and feel sluggish and slightly angered due to the fact that they don’t think their job is worth anything or having any contribution at all to the world around them. In fact, they just stay because they’ve become committed and the money is good.
People tend to go along with the majority and conform along with everyone else who feels the same way. They then pretend and mask the fact that their jobs don’t really do anything or are needed for anything.
Employment is at an all-time high at the moment and more and more people are seeing the likeliness that they’ll find a new job If they quit and get a new one. Smaller start-ups and roles in public service are now seen as more professional and respectable, meaning there’s a larger threat to larger multi-national companies with all of these ‘pointless jobs’.
These larger companies are working hard to make themselves seem like worthy companies with the use of an annual volunteering day or some wonderful imagery in the company report. Unfortunately, people aren’t that gullible and it’s time to revisit and reinvent purpose at all levels within organisations for all teams and individuals.
For a purposeful conversation, contact us here.
In most businesses, smart leaders are put in jobs to support other smart individuals. Sometimes it is clear that your own intelligence is being put down and potentially drained by a leader, Liz Wiseman in her book ‘Multipliers’ calls these people ‘Diminishers’. In other instances leaders bring out the intelligence and capabilities of their team, Wiseman calls these ‘Multipliers’.
Diminishers will often generate less effective teams, whereas the effect of a Multiplier can be significantly great.
Liz Wiseman explains that the differentiating traits between diminishers and multipliers aren’t all that many, but they are incredibly important. She explains that there are specific actions you may not even realise you do that are effecting the effectiveness of your team.
Multipliers create an environment that allows for flexibility. Your employees have different flexibility and creative needs and they need to be offered the opportunity to express this in order to fulfil their full intelligence.
Diminishers will create a work environment which is highly controlled and limits resources and creativity, therefore suppressing the intelligence of their employees. They limit the flexibility and encourage order because they believe success will come from them, not from creating an environment in which each individual employee can flourish.
Diminishers will believe they are the driving success for their team and will push their teams in the direction they want to go in.
Multipliers will get to know their employees and their specific skills and tailor challenges to their teams that will challenge them to improve as an individual and as a team. They also provide as many opportunities for their staff as possible, believing in constant improvement and development.
The way you make decisions around the office can determine whether you are a multiplier or a dimimisher.
A multiplier would include the whole group in discussions around decisions that need to be made, whereas a diminisher will make decisions solely, with little debate or input from others, dimishing team insight.
There are many other insights that Liz Wiseman explains in her books, and you can get much more details from reading those, but take a moment to reflect on your practices and asses where you think you fall. Most people lie somewhere in between the two, the hard part is assessing where you stand objectively and then making the changes to become more of a ‘multiplier’.
Up until now it has been assumed that an intelligent leader is a good leader. But new research into IQ and leadership suggests that being too intelligent in relation to your employees could have negative effects on how they perceive you.
How many times have you left a meeting feeling like you have achieved nothing? Next time you need to get your team together, consider one of our ideas for alternative meetings to get the most out of your time. Continue reading