Team building is a popular way of fostering a great company culture, as it gives employees the chance to get out of the office and spend some time together.
There are a number of activities, ranging from adrenaline-filled sports to exercises that require teamwork, and the type of team building you choose will be linked to the ultimate aim you are looking to achieve.
One thing’s for sure – a really well planned team building exercise can have a transformative effect on an organisation, turning a collection of individuals into a tight-knit group.
But with so many team building exercises available, what type of activity should you choose? Let’s have a look at some of the most common.
If you’ve just finished a particularly tough business quarter or completed an important conference, why not take your staff on an away day to help them recharge their batteries? There are a whole host of fun activities, including archery, laser clay shooting and human table football, while the vast majority also have a competitive element. Not only will this strengthen the bond between the team’s members, but a few new social relationships may also be created. Company away days have long been accepted as a vital part of any team development programme and they can help to drive business success.
Have you spent a lot of time and money creating a set of values that are meant to underpin everything your business does? There is no point going to the effort of having values if they are not communicated effectively to staff, and that’s why it’s a good idea to have a support day demonstrating what is acceptable employee behaviour. A mixture of presentations, problem solving exercises and branded merchandise can be used to make sure corporate values do not become little more than a box-ticking exercise.
One of the best ways to make a difference to your local community is to let staff have a day or two off to volunteer at a charity. Whether it is physical labour (such as building a garden for a children’s centre) or simply acting as a defacto worker, this can really help to raise the profile of local initiatives. It also gives businesses the chance to share their key corporate messages in a fun and meaningful way. Staff will return from such activities motivated and happy to know they work for an employer that takes an active role in fostering a community spirit.
Sometimes your employees just need to be able to let their hair down and enjoy themselves for a bit. This is where fun days come in, and they can be based on mystery tours, sports days, popular game shows or something a little more outside the box. This not only allows them to let off a bit of steam, but also means colleagues can see each other in an environment that is outside of their comfort zones. This type of activity is great for fostering team spirit and boosting motivation levels.
Why should work parties only happen once a year around Christmas time? By encouraging staff members to socialise out of work, businesses can underpin a strong collaborative team ethic. Again this is a chance for people to relax and focus on building up non-work related relationships with each other. If they can have a theme, such as 1920s New York, it is even better. Companies should aim to have some kind of paid-for function every quarter as a demonstration of their commitment to their staff. Indeed, they can even appoint social ambassadors who will be tasked with devising the format of each event.
Everyone loves to learn new skills, so why not base your team building around something creative? Whether it is ice sculpture, cocktail making, painting or t-shirt printing, these events offer a relaxing environment in which guests can enjoy themselves while developing team skills. You never know, some of your staff may turn out to be extremely talented at one of these activities and turn it into a hobby.
Book clubs are a great way to stimulate conversation within a team. The format is simple – everyone reads the same book and then they all get together to discuss it. Not only does this let people share opinions on a matter of common interest, but these clubs also let you find out interesting things about your colleagues and get you to read books that you wouldn’t have otherwise read.