A team is not only a group of people put together to work on a project, it’s important to make sure the team members work together so the whole team can be more effective, efficient, and productive in achieving its goals.
However, building a cohesive team is often a tricky task. While work team building activities can certainly be effective, relying on overused activities can be counterproductive, leading to team members feeling demoralized and even embarrassed due to the cliché.
Every team is unique, and every team member is also unique, so it’s crucial to choose work team building activities that are the right fit for your team’s specific needs and preferences.
In this guide, we will discuss how.
Benefits of Work team Building Activities
- Building camaraderie and cohesiveness
A very common issue in teamwork is the lack of or poor communication between different team members. Your team members may come from different backgrounds, and for remote employees, language and cultural barriers can also be an issue.
When implemented properly, team building activities can help break down barriers, build camaraderie, and develop communication skills in individual employees. Various team building activities are designed for team members to learn more about one another, which can be crucial in the long run.
- Repair broken relationships and strengthen healthy ones
Workplace relationships are always dynamic and are prone to conflicts.
Again, your team may consist of people with different working styles, personalities, and priorities, so team building activities can be a great way to break down barriers, repair conflicts, and strengthen already-working relationships.
Team members with better relationships are more likely to collaborate with each other and help each other in achieving collective goals.
- Better customer service
Happy and satisfied employees are more likely to provide better services to customers and/or make better contributions in delivering a better product, which in turn will lead to better customer service.
- Improved productivity
When your team members work together as a cohesive team, they’ll naturally be able to accomplish more than the sum of their individual efforts. When implemented correctly, work team-building activities can help facilitate cooperation and collaboration in your team.
Work Team Building Activities: Best Practices
As discussed, work team building activities are only effective when they are done right. If not, they can be counterproductive and may discourage and demoralize your team instead.
With that being said, here are some best practices to follow:
Know your goals ASAP
What is the purpose of the work team building exercise?
You are going to use your employees’ valuable time for these activities, so it’s important to make sure they are purpose-driven. Don’t do team building activities just for the sake of having some fun or taking a break, but these activities should be designed to solve clear business challenges: resolving conflicts within a team, onboarding a new employee, and so on.
Know your participants
Different team members may have different preferences and needs: some may be more ongoing in nature, but some may be more introverted.
Choose an activity that is inclusive for all participants so everyone can actively participate. For example, if there are some of your employees with physical disabilities, avoid activities that are physically challenging.
In general, work team building activities should be challenging enough to engage the participants, but they shouldn’t potentially leave out, or worse, humiliate participants.
Time it well
As a general rule of thumb, the work team building activities should not take your employees’ valuable time so they have to compensate with extra hours, also, they should occur during normal business hours.
Monitor your employees’ workloads, and plan the event during the least busy time in your schedule. Revise deadlines and invest in temporary staff if necessary to maximize participation.
Also, check vacation schedules, so the team building activity doesn’t happen when too many members of your team are on their day-offs.
Monitor and evaluate
Monitor the execution of the activities, and evaluate how your team performs after the activity is over. Check whether there are any positive reinforcements in your team’s or individual employee’s performance based on the objective(s) of the activity.
Collect feedback from participants so you can gather valuable insights about the activity and your team’s thoughts about it.
Evaluate whether the team building activity has a lasting effect in weeks and even months after the activity, and assess what’s working (and what’s not) so you can design your future activities better.
Many work team building activities are competitive in nature, but it’s crucial to remind participants that these activities are designed to improve teamwork and collaboration, and they shouldn’t focus on winning the competition alone.
To tackle this issue, it’s generally better to choose activities that encourage participants to work together in teams to solve a problem. Or, if it’s a competitive activity, break down participants into teams so they’ll still need to collaborate with their designated team.
Go offsite when you can
If possible, organize the team building activities offsite so your team can “escape” the confines of your office. A new environment may encourage participants to more freely communicate and share with others. This doesn’t have to be too complex: go to the nearest park (for outdoor activities), and you can book an offsite meeting space for indoor activities.
Consistency is key
When an activity brings positive results, you may want to plan it as a regular event. Consistency is key if you want your activities to produce lasting effects. However, don’t conduct the activity too often, or your employees might get bored with it.
Whatever the work team building activities you plan, ideas won’t really matter without the right execution, and this is why it’s crucial to have Eventtia to help you plan, manage, and seamlessly implement the work team building activities with ease. With Eventtia, you can effectively plan your event, monitor and track participants’ participation during the activities, and more.
By following the tips and guidelines we’ve shared above, you are now ready to plan an effective work team building activities program for your team to improve their morale, cohesiveness, and ultimately, productivity.