Team building events tend to be dreaded by employees. Just the words create an impression of a long boring day involving menial tasks and nonsensical activities that can really backfire if not run properly.
Since the goal is to help improve attitudes and create a better sense of belonging which hopefully, in turn, results in improved productivity, you should consider all the elements of your event to help add to its success.
Here we look at the top things to consider before you begin organizing your team-building event.
Not all team-building events have the same goal. In some cases, it might be to reduce conflicts, while in others it might be to allow people to get to know each other better outside of work. You might even be trying to use culture-building activities to help people become more attuned to the corporation’s goals. Regardless, team building without objectives is sure to fail. Some questions to ask yourself might include:
- What challenges do you face as a team?
- Have you created a culture where everyone feels they can be heard?
- Is leadership clear in your organization?
- Does your team lack motivation?
- Is there a lack of creativity and innovation?
- Are there ongoing productivity issues?
- Does everyone get along or do some people tend to remain on the outside of the team?
- Is it a relatively new team or have people been working together for years?
These questions can help pinpoint your goals so you can make sure your activities are appropriate.
Next, consider your budget so you know how to prioritize your planning and activities. Can you book an event space, go to a hotel, choose some other type of site, or do you have to keep things cheap and cheerful using space at work? Can you hire an expert to provide instructions and activities for the day, or do you have to come up with ideas on your own? Can you serve a nice meal or are you limited to coffee and muffins?
Younger, hipper companies tend to have younger, fitter employees who might be less intimidated by forms of physical activity. If you intend to take people out for the day, make sure you plan activities that will be suitable for everyone in the group.
Bungee jumping, for example, might not be so great for someone with mobility issues or who is pregnant. While physical activity is important, it is a good way to alienate team members or even create resentment or embarrassment.
Some team-building focuses on an event that might be food or beverage based. For example, you might plan a wine tasting tour, or have a cooking class. These are trendy, fun ideas, but is everyone in the group able to participate? Diet limitations either by choice or due to health issues could make it difficult for some to be involved in this type of activity. The same can be said for meal plans, which we touch on in more detail below.
For all intents and purposes, it’s not uncommon for businesses to plan their team-building after hours or even on weekends. However, you have to consider expectations for attendance when you choose something outside work hours. It really isn’t fair to expect people to attend if you plan things on their personal time.
It might make more sense to include the team building during work hours so you a) improve attendance and b) reduce harboured resentment by people who really don’t want to be there. This can work against your team-building efforts.
We’ve alluded to the importance of inclusion but here we stress the importance of involving everyone. This requires you to create a positive culture so that you can help bridge differences and separations amongst individuals or departments. Part of your requirements to create an ideal team-building scenario is to make sure as many people as possible feel positive about the activities, and see the value in their participation.
Consider Your Audience
Is the team-building exercise a combination of managers and their teams, just managers, just team members? This is important as the tone of the experience can change based on the level in the organizational chart.
Leaders might be more reluctant to participate if your plans seem unprofessional or worse, might undermine their authority. Team members might also lack responsiveness and engagement if you are planning things that seem immature or fail to respect their roles. You have to tailor activities to suit your audience, so you provide positive experiences that help meet your goals.
Who should lead?
Your budget will determine the best person to lead the team building. Sometimes an outsider is better able to encourage people to participate in more meaningful ways as they don’t have the concern of nurturing respect and existing relationships. An expert in the industry, or specific to team-building might get better results than a staff member winging their way through the activities. This might make it seem the day lacks purpose, importance and focus.
Where can you hold the event? What do you wish to include in the day? Will you need to feed people? Will there be presentations requiring special equipment? How many people will be attending? Is it just one department requiring a small space, or the entire company with each department or level of worker requiring their own space? All of these things will affect the type of event space you choose.
Also, are you planning an event in hand with the team-building such as cocktails and games, some form of entertainment, an elegant meal, awards etc. or is it just a day of activities? Is the venue meant to be the activity such as a golf course, amusement park or wine tasting tour, or just to provide a meeting place?
Meals and Refreshments
In hand with the event space, how do you plan to feed the team? In most cases, you are looking at some form of welcoming breakfast spread and lunch. For whole days with an event tacked onto the end, a major meal might be called for. Ensure meals are easily available through caterers or in the venue itself. Finally, be sure the meals take everyone’s needs into consideration so no one goes hungry.
For more information about a Vaughan event space, call Château le Jardin at 1-888-529-8573 or contact us here.