When most employees hear the words “team building” the prevailing emotion is that of dread. Mandatory fun just isn’t really much fun for anyone, and certainly doesn’t foster feelings of camaraderie. Spending time together outside of work can bring employees together, but in a busy workplace, that time away has to serve a purpose. Click To Tweet
Where Team Building Goes Wrong
One of the biggest reasons businesses provide team building opportunities is to get results. Through a series of fun, casual group events, teams build skills like communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution. Effective team building activities help foster genuine connections and mutual respect. So where does it go wrong?
- Disregarding Employees
- After-Hours Activities
- Making More Work
- Ignoring Employee Limitations
The only thing worse than a trust fall activity is a disorganized trust fall activity. If you haven’t carefully planned the day’s events, your employees will know it. Waiting around while someone figures out what’s going on is no one’s idea of fun.
On the opposite spectrum of team building preparation is over-scheduling. When every moment of the day is planned for, there isn’t much time for employees to relax and mingle. Your event should be a balance of scheduled activity and casual, unstructured time.
3) Disregard Employees
What do your employees want to do? If you haven’t asked, you’re doing it wrong. Give your staff several options, and ask for suggestions if they have something else in mind. Taking their interests into account when you plan your activity will only help make it a success.
4) An After-Hours Event
Don’t take it personally, but your employees do not want to hang out with you or their colleagues after-hours. They want to be at home, watching Netflix. Make sure your team building activity is during working hours.
5) Making More Work
Don’t mask work with the label of team building. Ordering pizzas during a rigorous brainstorming session is a nice gesture, but a team building activity it is not. Don’t bring work into the equation at all unless it comes up naturally.
6) Ignore Employee Limitations
Not all your employees can (or want to) participate in physically demanding activities. Make sure you take the limitations of your staff into account when planning a team building event. Not sure? Refer to point 3.
A Positive Experience
Getting your employees to collaborate, communicate and get to know each other better is a noble goal and a smart business move. Don’t overthink it, plan but don’t go nuts and above all, get feedback from your employees to ensure they’ll actually want to do.