As soon as you mention “team building,” your employees probably roll their eyes and groan. After all, there’s something inherently cheesy about getting people up from their desks and making them do slightly embarrassing activities. We all like snuggling up in our comfort zones where it’s nice and safe.
Still, you can make your team building real and authentic, without using a false talk show host voice, or worse, that same tone you use when you’re trying to convince your kids to eat their broccoli. You know, the high-pitched, “Come on, you’ll really like it. Don’t you want to at least try?” There’s no better way to make your employees feel like kindergarteners. Bring a genuine desire to connect and your employees will start looking forward to the experience.
Why Team Building is Important
The benefits of team building far outweigh the negative aspects. This is your opportunity to get to know the people you share an office with every day. As an added bonus, a good team building session:
By the time the clock strikes two o’clock, you start to feel a little squirrely at your desk. If you give your employees the opportunity to stretch their legs, they will come back ready to crank out the latest project or file like there’s no tomorrow! Team building is a great way to increase productivity and help them make it to the end of their shift without going crazy.
Walking with an egg on a spoon is probably one of the greatest feats a person can accomplish. In all seriousness, though, your employees will discover they’re capable of completing extraordinary tasks in a good team building session. These skills will translate over to not just the workplace, but their everyday lives as well.
Some team building exercises involve prompts like: “What would you bring if you were stranded on a deserted island?” or “What would you do if you were stranded on an island of desserts?” These get the creative juices flowing and yield some pretty interesting answers.
Sometimes things aren’t black and white. A good team building session encourages your team to think outside of the box and expand their ways of thinking. The best part is they can use this skill on the job, regardless of their department. The ability to think on your feet shouldn’t be underestimated, especially in this fast-paced world.
Your employees want to know they can always rely on each other. Building a team comes from having the assurance that all the legs of the caterpillar are walking in the same direction. At the end of the day, you want to know that Scott from Accounting will process that invoice and Jean from Marketing is on top of social media updates.
How to Plan Team Building
First, take away any thought you have about what team building should look like and instead do activities that make sense for you and your team. Go bowling, paint a canvas, complete an escape room challenge, skydive… whatever it is that will actually create a moment of bonding.
If you don’t have it in the budget to do an elaborate activity, keep your team building close to home. There are plenty of exercises you can do right in the office! Liven it up with food, drinks, and music; maybe loosen your tie and let everyone come to work in sweatpants. Whatever you do, be sure to show your team that you value them as both employees and people.
Before building your team, you have to build a work environment where your employees feel valued. Offer coffee in the break room, have community snacks, maybe throw in mandatory nap time. The better you treat your team, the better they’ll treat your brand!