Team building can pay dividends for a company if done correctly and here are some tips for you to do so.
1. Create a Common Vision
Aligned visions among team members guarantee team building and organizational success. Take the time to vision as a team – what you want to achieve and where you want to be in the future. With such visioning, the team can acknowledge and celebrate its current achievements.
2. Come Up with Mutual Goals
Make sure that all your organizational and programs are clear and backed by all team members. All members need to understand how their efforts contribute to the achievement of the bigger objectives.
Ask yourself if every team member understands their role in supporting the bigger organizational objectives and if each of these objectives are clear to every team member.
3. Define Roles and Responsibilities
A common problem among organizations and teams striving to move forward together is the failure to clarify individual roles and responsibilities. Such clarity helps guide the team towards achieving organizational visions and goals.
Ask yourself if the staff understands their individual roles and responsibilities and if they understand where such responsibilities overlap with those of their fellow team members and other departments.
4. Seek Managerial Support
Managerial staff like supervisors and managers contribute significantly to “keeping the learning process alive.” Make sure that managers, supervisors, and other major stakeholders are keeping up with the needs of other staff members and how they can make the team building efforts more fruitful. Managers also assume a critical role in ensuring that the lessons learned from team building activities are incorporated into the daily office life.
Ask yourself whether there are systems put in place to support and make the learning process sustainable, like having a functional coaching program, and whether such matters can be discussed during staff meetings.
5. Incorporate Engaging Activities
Team building can be fun and challenging in equal measure and helps teams attain their real potential. It is essential to engage all the participants and challenge them positively throughout the process. Experienced external facilitators would also be great additions to team building programs as they support efforts and even mentor the individuals tasked with training your staff.
Ask yourself the activities and exercises that would be best for the team members and the topics that would be relevant to them.
6. Get Space Away from the Office
Team building sessions are best done away from the office where voicemails, emails, and even the in-office experience may prove to be distracting. By choosing a different environment, you can avoid such distractions and make the best of the session.
Ask yourself which kind of environment would be best for the team, whether a more “corporate” environment or the outdoors. Try a round of night golf, get your night golf supplies by Premier Glow.
7. Formulate an Action Plan
Come up with an action plan and incorporate it into the daily office life. Most team building programs lack that connection to the daily business or organizational undertakings. It is, therefore, essential to create a connection to the organization and the daily life of the team members when designing an action plan as it helps the members apply the skills learned easily.
Skill application can be achieved through follow-up by managers in staff meetings. Coaching may also come in handy in ensuring that the knowledge and skills learned are continually applied after the team building event. Find out whether personal or team coaching works best for your organization.
Ask yourself what the organization can do to support and sustain the planning of personal and team activities, the systems that are in place to enable you to revisit the action plans. Such systems could be staff meetings, internal/external coaching, and supervisor check-ins.
8. Take Time to Find Out What Team Members Need
Creating an environment in a team or organization where communication is open and where members can comfortably channel their opinions and needs is key to making team building efforts more fruitful.
Before the team building event, get to learn what each staff member is looking to improve their efforts and results. Facilitators and/or team building committees can help do this by sending email questionnaires and organizing focus groups or personal meetings.
One of the commonest downsides of team building initiatives is that they hardly match the team’s needs. It is, therefore, important to take the time to know what each team member wants.
Ask yourself what the top three priorities of the team members are and how best you can find out from individual members.
9. Make It Regular
One team building event in a year could go a long way in boosting the team’s spirits in the short-term, and it would be vital to ask yourself what effect it would cause to have these events more often.
Having the same facilitator in successive events proves better response and positive results, which is evident through improved trust levels and understanding among team members.
Ask yourself the amount of time the organization can dedicate to team building in the current year and how it would be like.
10. Enjoy Yourself!
Team building events should be fun and interaction with all team members and still be relevant to the team. Together with your facilitator(s), decide on the structure and topics from which the team can benefit the most.
Ask yourself how the organization would define fun, given its culture and principles.
Be sure to incorporate some of these ideas in your upcoming team building event, be it a retreat, workshop, or staff coaching, to build a productive and resilient team.