What kind of activities you can do with your employees to improve team building
It is a Saturday morning and a few people come out of a hotel wearing their jeans/shorts and T-shirts. They are all drenched in sweat, and they form teams while trying to catch tennis balls. In normal days, you see them dressed formally with ties and briefcases and talking in low tones. But now the scene is quiet different, they have all left their quiet selves behind, and have assumed a new one – a boisterous one, where they play with one another and compete against each other good naturedly. This event has brought them all closer together and the next day when they get back to work, they come with renewed energy and happy faces.
Importance of team building activities
This proves that every business whether small or big must have teams that work closely with each other and create a sense of teamwork that is crucial to their success. Playing together like this generates a feeling of friendship and trust that would help them in their work as well. Team building activities are highly critical in fostering teamwork that would last for a very long time.
There are agencies that help these companies to conduct team building activities among their employees. Elaborate programs and games are arranged as whole one day or two-day programs so the employees can forget about work and concentrate on relaxing their minds; this would lead to better efficiency at work.
There is more to team building than what meets the eye
Team building is not an activity that can be considered as a quick-fix solution to any plan. It is something to be conducted with careful planning, and must be evaluated and closely monitored. In order to have a fully functioning team in your office, you must follow a few easy steps:
The first step
It is called the forming stage, where the fundamental basis of team building is formed. The staff members are all brought together with the purpose of team building, and there is a kind of bonding exercise. There would be leaders within the team members and you incorporate activities that would inculcate the company’s working culture.
The second step
Is where all the team members join together to explore their inner potential and work towards one common goal – to make their team win in whatever activities they are participating in.
The third step
This is the operational stage where the team members become clearly aware of their goals and get a firm understanding of their own roles and that of their colleagues. They go to a performing level where the team realizes the importance of their functioning as a collective unit in order to achieve success in their activity. This kind of team building exercise is much better than all the seminars and conferences that inculcate the importance of team building in the form of boring lectures.
Team building activities can be conducted as both indoor and outdoor activities. Of course, it all depends on your budget and the time of the year. Here are some activities you can encourage your team/employees to be a part of:
Cycling for a common cause
You can arrange for cycling events and raise fund for charity. This enables all the members of the team to participate in a fitness event and at the same time contribute to a common cause. You can invite the family members of your employees to participate in the events. Make it an adventure, an organized team event that would be covered by the local media as well. And of course, not counting the exposure you are going to get through the social media. If you include charitable organizations in this activity, they would have their own guides that would plan the route, carry food, medical aids and support along the way. The same can be said for marathon events as well.
There are agencies that would help you conduct this. All the teams participating in the culinary event would put up their own stalls with the dishes prepared by them and there would be a winner, with a prize of course! The topic for the culinary event could be desert treats, chocolate challenge, fast-food magic, healthy delicacies and so on.
This is another interesting event but of course, no technology encroachments are allowed. The beauty of the event is that it can be played by teams ranging from 20 to 500, but no smartphones or tablets are used. Through this event, you will be able to learn a new side of your colleagues and team members. This is done in the purely conventional style.
Several game events can be planned according to the age-group of the team members and the company’s budget. These games are planned so the team members can utilize their creativity, communication skills and problem-solving skills. Some of the games in this category are classification game, ice-breaker game, coin logo, sneak-a-peak game and the great egg break. All these games are designed to break the ice between the team members and get them all together.
You can pretend with your employers that you are all castaways at an island, and make a cardboard boat that would take you all away from there. In order to make a seaworthy boat all the team members would have to collaborate with each other, communicate effectively and execute a good plan. The hotel where you are conducting the activity must have a pool so you can ‘test’ your boat.
The concept of team building has now been ingrained into the very fabric of every company’s strategic planning exercise because they have realized that conducting team building activities is no longer a frivolous expenditure, but something that leads to immense success. The results garnered from true team cohesion can never be undermined.
Pictures: Flickr.com/ woodleywonderworks/ David Amsler/ Marc/ Michael Cardus
The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.