Team building events can grow the social fabric of your business
Leading employee team building events is no easy task. You need to consider factors ranging from how fun something is to whether it’s safe and accessible for everyone. Plus, it has to accomplish your goals—there’s no point planning an elaborate event if employees end up dozing off or failing to collaborate.
A well thought out employee team building event should help not only the employees, but the company as a whole. That’s why, if you’re tasked with leading one, you should make sure you understand what you’re after so you can pick something that aligns with your goals.
1. Understand your motivation to lead team building events
When you think about the benefits of employee team building exercises, increased productivity and motivation are often the first things that come to mind. Some of the following factors may help explain the boost in confidence and efficiency these activities can provide:
- Employees feel respected, valued and appreciated by their employer.
- Many activities encourage communication.
- Employees build friendship and trust.
- Activities can encourage, and some require, collaboration.
- People can discover their strengths and weaknesses.
- Those who are “natural leaders” will find themselves asking others to contribute. This can help build respect, humility, and equality.
- When employees work towards a common goal they have to work together.
- Remote workers can meet and bond with other employees.
- The right activity can highlight employee creativity and problem-solving skills.
- Competition, when well balanced, can encourage employee motivation.
When employees gain a better understanding of each other through enjoyable tasks or events, they are more likely to treat each other with respect in the workplace. Ultimately, that can help them collaborate in a more efficient and timely manner.
2. Take to the sea
You might choose a water-based event to surprise your employees. Not only does it offer an appealing locale and activities, but it can also encourage employees to take a step out of their comfort zone.
You might choose to treat your employees to a private ship charter, including gourmet meals, live entertainment, day excursions, or even a themed party. This gives your employees a chance to bond as a team without any obligations pressing down on them. No matter what, sandy beaches, glistening waters and the chance to dunk yourself under the sea’s refreshing surface offer an appealing change of pace from working in the office or at home.
Other water-based activities include:
- Jet skiing
- White water rafting (if you’re feeling brave)
The possibilities are endless, even if you stick to land-based beach activities, like flag races, volleyball, or sand mazes (where one team member is blindfolded).
3. Scavenger hunts and escape rooms
Scavenger hunts and escape rooms rely on group collaboration, pooling everyone’s expertise and critical thinking skills. Even if one person dominates one section of the puzzle, the next will likely require a fresh set of eyes.
If an intense session focused on listening and cooperation is your goal, these activities might be what you’re after. Keep in mind that they can be intense, and when groups fail, it’s often because they can’t collaborate. If you’re leading such an activity, make sure you stay hands-off enough to let your employees show their ability to come together on their own, but don’t be afraid to offer encouragement either.
4. Indoor events
Whether it’s the unpredictable weather or the changing seasons that keep you from planning an outdoor event, there are still many indoor team building events to choose from. These could include:
- A cook-off—While this may not result in the best cooking, it will almost certainly result in some enhanced team chemistry.
- A game tournament—This could involve either board games or video games, depending on your workplace.
- Trivia—A classic, fun group activity, trivia relies on a joint pool of knowledge.
As with many outdoor events, make sure you let your employees take the lead here, and give them enough space for different voices to emerge.
For those who hate the sound of their own singing voice, karaoke may seem like a cruel choice for a team building exercise. Still, if done right, it can allow everyone to let their guard down and have a good laugh.
If you want to take this event to the next level, consider adding a competitive element. You could put your employees together in groups and task them with coming up with the best group song (choreography optional but recommended). To succeed, they’ll need to inspire and encourage one another, all while making use of everyone’s talents.
6. Adrenaline-inducing activities
Allowing your employees to blow off some steam through high-energy activities can build camaraderie. Relevant activities include:
- Laser tag
When leading these activities, keep an eye on the competitive dynamics that emerge. Healthy competition is good, but make sure people keep the focus on having fun. The last thing you want is to have an activity that creates stress rather than relieving it.
Leading an employee team building event can be an exciting opportunity for you as an employer. Not only are you demonstrating that you value your workers, but you’re also providing them an opportunity to relax and, ideally, have fun while learning to work as a team and strengthening their relationships with co-workers. There are endless types of events to choose from, just make sure to align the event you choose, and the leadership strategy you take, with your goals.