No matter how big or small your company is, there are numerous benefits to a well-organized organised team-building event. Leaving the corporate environment and enabling your employees to interact with each other outside of business hours can result in a significant improvement in their motivation, level of productivity and overall communication. Your older employees can kick back and relax, imparting their wisdom on the younger ones who are still trying to learn everybody’s names and positions. Although team-building can be very efficient, sometimes it feels forced, it doesn’t produce the desired outcome, and the organisation becomes a nightmare for everyone. In order to make the best out of this idea, make sure to follow our guidelines and to be creative in your approach. Your employees will thank you afterward!
Know Your Audience for the Best Possible Outcome
There are more types of team-building events that you can count, but not all of them are for everyone. Your company, as well as your employees, might have a very particular taste. If you don’t get it right, especially if it is the first team-building event, the repercussions could be very damaging. A night out at the local bar or a cooking class? White water rafting or a spa retreat? The possibilities are endless, which can be overwhelming. Before you start organising anything, talk to your employees and try to get some constructive feedback. You might not be able to adhere to everyone’s wishes, but at least you can make sure that the majority of your employees are excited and eager.
Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside the Box
Once you are aware of the needs and desires of your employees, it is time for planning and organising. The good news is that when it comes to team-building, you can be very creative and have a lot of room to experiment. For example, if you have a lot of young people in your company, you can opt for a more active choice, such as paintball, archery or laser tag. For a company with a lot of parents, a fun picnic where they could bring their families would be a great idea. And going to a whole new city, for an overnight stay, where they could explore, relax or stay late is one of the best possible choices. Cities such as Barcelona, Prague, and Zagreb offer a lot of possibilities for companies looking for a unique experience for their employees.
Make Sure That the Whole Company Is Equally Involved
One the ball starts rolling, you will hear all sorts of excuses, suggestions, and comments. Some employee will definitely refuse to participate in anything, but there are some useful tactics that you can use in order to get them to change their mind. What is more important is that each department is equally involved and there is no division based on hierarchy. No matter how well a team-building event is organised, if everyone stays in their own circle, you will reap no benefits.
One of the ways to avoid this is to mix and match the teams so that people can mingle with colleagues they haven’t even met. Also, you should encourage open vertical communication, and loosen up the atmosphere. One of the things that can help you is the no-shop-talk rule. Many will be tempted to discuss the upcoming quartal, budgets, strategy, personnel decisions… You can come up with a fun punishment for everyone who breaks the rule. There is nothing like seeing the VPs getting wet from a toy gun for breaking the rules to relax the crowd. In order for this to work, set expectations with the top management. If they are not up for it, the whole idea will fail. Don’t make anyone uncomfortable, but keep your eyes on the end goal, and practice your negotiation skills.
Follow Up After the Event, in Order to Make the Impact Long-Lasting
Even if the event you’ve organised has surpassed your, and everyone else’s, expectations, without proper follow-up, all the hard work will be lost. One of the easiest things you should do is get back to your employees with a questionnaire and ask for constructive feedback. If you have managed to create an open, friendly atmosphere, encourage that kind of culture with more events in the months to come. Team-building events are usually organised once a year, so a small gathering every month can be a great way to impact the company culture, and make that impact really visible and long-lasting. If, by any chance, your event has failed to meet its goals, gather all the feedback and come up with a better strategy for next time. Keep your head up and don’t give up. It might be exhausting to perform such a difficult task, especially in big companies, but the end result can be magnificent.