Creating a team that works well together and trusts each other can raise their efficiency through the roof. It's great for morale too, but you've got to do it right to get the best results
Say the words 'team-building' and a lot of people will think of the same thing - some PowerPoint presentations, a spot of lunch, and the sort of activity that the execs would have done 20 years ago. Do that and you're only going to achieve the opposite of what you want. Unless what you want is unmotivated employees who are 16x less productive than the motivated ones.
Do team building right, putting useful skills in concert with a bit of fun and friendly rivalry, and your team will smash their next performance review. The key is choosing an activity that helps identify your team's individual strengths - do that and you can increase your team's efficiency by 12.5% providing that once you've identified the strengths, you allow your team to use them in everyday working.
Festival-goers, a model of efficiency
How to make a good team-building event
Know Your Team. Obviously the aim of a good team building event is bringing your employees together so they and you can learn more about them, but you need a good knowledge base to start. What's their age range, very general interests and even their level of fitness. Groups move at the pace of their slowest member, so bear that in mind when you're deciding if you're going to have them running around mazes or building bridges out of loo rolls. Also consider the area of the business the team works in - a sales team might enjoy being competitive, while an HR or finance team might prefer working together. Or if your event is going to be company-wide, consider mixing the teams up if you want company-side cross-working.
Think of Skills. If your team needs to communicate more, make sure your event involves talking to each other and not something like bowling where talking isn't required. If your team (or a couple of members) need to develop their leadership skills, choose an activity with revolving leaders. You could have them vote on a leader if you think democracy is important, or you just choose as many activities as there are team members so everyone has a chance to lead and shine.
If a skill you're trying to identify is Amish barn raising, we've really lucked out with this image
Identify the budget. Decide on a maximum cost per head before committing to anything. The costs of every project creep up in some way, but identify your ceiling and you won't get caught out when you're making those final payments. We're not going to suggest what that cost might be as it'll be different for every company, but this post on identifying your budget for rewards might be handy!
Include a Review. This can feature your team members directly or not, but no matter what you need to know what you were hoping to gain from the event, and whether you feel like it was achieved. Your superiors may ask how it went, or your employees, but you'll need to be able to provide an answer for them. It's also up to you as to whether this means there were 'winners' or 'losers' from your day, but best not to be too harsh about it if you want everyone to feel positive afterwards.
What is a good team building event?
Any event where you've thought through the points above will be a 'good' event, as it'll fit your needs exactly. But let's pick an example that might work for a sales team that needs a bit of a boost to their pitches and tactics.
Problem: Company A's sales team have been doing the same thing for years. Sales have stagnated, and average performances have made it unclear who's keen and capable to progress higher and further. The team is 20 strong, based in Watford, and the Sales Manager is willing to spend £200 per head to find the best sales performers, problem solvers as well as those who might motivate others.
Team-Building solution: A day out in London run by a sales trainer involving team tasks, choosing leaders for two teams of 10 and using sales skills outside of the office to demonstrate value. At £3,500 for the day, travel costs can be factored in to create a clear picture of what was spent, and with a 'board room' meeting at the end the employees will have been debriefed and know what skills to develop moving forward. With the Sales Manager receiving a breakdown of team performance, they can choose the degree that employees might need further training, promotion or leaving to their current work ethic.
Of course, what works for this hypothetical company might not work for you, or maybe it would - that's for you to decide. But if you need any help creating a great event to boost morale, improve skills or just reward your hard workers, bend our ears on 0844 272 0002 or send us an email at Contact@virginincentives.co.uk and we'll sort you out with a team-building day out (or just a few hours, whichever you're looking for) that everyone involved with will remember for years to come.
Header Photo by: Margarida CSilva