In any industry, culture comes first. It’s what drives your company from the ground up.
Culture establishes a sense of belonging and drive for new hires. It gives senior-level management and directors a sense of purpose, too.
The right culture reaches employees better than a brand message or a company mission. It encourages your staff to improve productivity on all levels, from communication to innovation.
This is why team building events are a must-have part of your yearly calendar.
They are a fun chance to step back from the craziness of day-to-day operations. It’s your way of pausing client calls and contract fulfillments to refresh your team.
Read on to discover some of the possibilities available with these events!
1. Improve Communication Strategies
Many researchers agree company communication is just as important as culture, if not more.
Improving your communication systems can be the difference needed to boost performance levels. It gets all teams on the same page and puts practices in place to stay there.
Notice if employees are listening well to one another. Do they communicate effectively? Or, do ideas and suggestions get lost in translation?
Whatever is going on, make the effort to close the gaps.
Bring Teams Together
Team building events are the perfect opportunity to redesign how your departments operate. The results can change the way the whole building functions as one.
For the best communication solutions, use this time to mix and mingle employees who normally wouldn’t interact in the office.
Create teams of accountants, HR, and digital marketing people. Have interns partnered with senior-level management, too.
Challenge the Thought Process
Have the assigned team building groups do tasks that challenge their way of thinking.
This can be a physical obstacle course, mind puzzles, or creative opportunities. Whatever you choose, keep communication at the heart of it all. Maybe even add an extra incentive like friendly competition or a team reward.
Then, watch how well these random groups create genuine connections.
Better interactions can sometimes be as simple as getting everyone out of their comfort zones. Many employers are amazed at the lasting effects of improved communication.
Staff returns to the office more receptive of everyone’s communication styles. They are often more willing to meet each other halfway, making a greater effort to listen and understand.
Often, conversations from team building events develop strong, lasting relationships between departments.
This reduces tension or stress across the board. It also lays the groundwork to improve communication systems moving forward.
2. Recharge and Refocus
Another reason to step away from the working environment is the chance to return as a fresh, focused team.
Team building events are almost like a group vacation.
Everyone is out of office and no one should be checking their phones. Instead, all employees are engaged in the day, using it as time to check-in with themselves and unite with their team.
Sometimes, all it takes is a game of soccer on the beach or singing karaoke to relieve workday stresses. Or, maybe you can plan a scavenger hunt around your city to make things more interesting.
It’s amazing how much this can help your team see work in a completely different light. It might be the refresher they need to take on a new project or bounce back from a failed pitch.
Plus, team building is more than just a field trip from the office. It is a purpose-driven day for the company and the individuals who work there.
This is a chance to use new, fun tactics to remind employees of what your company aims to be. It is both a special treat to show your appreciation of your team and a way of motivating them to be better.
3. Set Clear Goals and Stick to Them
After opening new lines of communication and regrouping as a team, you can focus on improving goal-setting strategies.
Your culture and your mission should be closely aligned with company goals. Team building events are your chance to check in and make sure everyone is clear about what each of these goals represents.
Make It Simple
One of the best ways to define a goal is to make it as simple as possible.
When you break things down as a collective unit, the message becomes crystal clear among separate departments.
Many times, this is the shift your company needs. Goal setting among one another reinforces the importance of working together. It’s a great way to wrap up team building events because it’s a chance to apply the skills worked on throughout the day.
Define the Purpose
Goals then become more than sales standards.
They turn into a foundation for more accountability and a better work ethic. With this focus in mind, productivity rates can skyrocket. Your team becomes more purpose-driven, which translates into everything they do.
Remind your teams about why you do the work you do.
Talk to them about the value your work brings to your industry and your consumers. Ask them to identify something they want to accomplish or improve for their clients and offer support to get there.
The more you break down goals into small actions and create a community of encouragement, the better your team will perform.
4. Introduce and Engage Remote Employees
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can only use team building events for the staff in your main office. If you have a team of remote employees, team building is not only available but necessary.
You can’t expect to coordinate an event for everyone to get together in the same physical location. But, you can plan an engaging activity that goes beyond regular emails and conference calls.
Some companies do this by introducing online groups and conversations outside of work-related topics. They create spaces for sharing common interests like pets, travel, and food.
Small interactions like this can turn casual conversation into strong relationships, no matter where your employees are. It allows people to see their coworkers in a new light, rather than just someone on the other end of the screen.
For more focused interactions, try introducing online games to play together.
This approach takes all the components of traditional team building and makes it accessible to anyone, anywhere. It creates an opportunity to collaborate and work on communication, strategy, and quick thinking. These skills then translate in day-to-day operations.
You can also use online-based team building events to celebrate your remote people.
If you have a big announcement or success to share, reach them with a small gift or schedule a laid-back conference call. This keeps everyone – near and far – connected and motivated.
The Basics of Planning Successful Team Building Events
No matter what you want to accomplish from these events, there are some basic rules to follow while planning.
Focus on bringing the experience to life in the best way possible. Think about how you can engage different kinds of thinkers and learners in your team.
At the heart of planning a successful event is defining what success will look like.
Do you want employees to feel a sense of community? Would you rather focus on encouraging their individual potential?
Narrow down your objectives to one or two themes for the event. It will help focus your planning and make the experience as effective as possible.
Once you know your vision for the final results, use some creativity to get there.
Remember, team building events are not an average meeting or lecture. They are the chance to treat your people to something unique, exciting, and powerful.
Think of ways to make your strategy stand out and tie it into the experience.
For example, maybe you take everyone to participate in an escape room to encourage better communication. Or, consider hosting a company-wide Olympic Games and having tasks focused on listening.
When it comes down to the day of your team building event, be sure to do one thing: have fun!
Get excited for the day and do things to build anticipation. Some companies even keep their team building events a secret until the day-of.
Whatever you decide to do, make the delivery something your team won’t forget.
Do Something Different
Taking the time to get out of the office and experience something new as a team is invaluable. It can be the refresher your culture needs to create more company successes.
Identify what needs to be improved, then bring solutions to the table in a fun and exciting way. From there, trust in your team to handle the rest.
For more ideas on how to boost your business from the inside out, check out our top business tips!