Having a happy, joyous, healthy, and engaged workforce leads to smoother functioning of an organization. Many positive results can be observed in employee motivation when employers and their workers mutually respect and trust each other.
Good employee relations help reduce workplace conflict, raise staff morale, and increase overall productivity. There are various modes by which a company can improve employee relations and help to make the workplace coherent and constructive.
We often treat Team building activities as nothing more than just another event. But when you get down to it, they play a central part in creating a stable, productive, and goal-oriented team. Take a look at the importance of team building in the workplace and how it holds the key to the success of your business.
75% of employers rate collaboration and teamwork as “very important”.-Queens University of Charlotte.
How to Plan a Team Building Event Like a Pro
Unless you have hosted a team-building event before, however, you may find it difficult to orchestrate one which will benefit the team. Pulling off a great team-building day (or week?) is not the easiest of tasks, but here are a few tips to point you in the right direction –
1. Know your budget
Before you make any plans or consider any other aspect, you need to have a rough budget outlined. What are you or the company willing to comfortably spend on your team building event? The budget you settle on will determine the types of activities you will be able to source, or the location you will be able to travel to if that is what you had in mind.
2. What is your goal?
What are you trying to achieve with your team building event? There’s no right or wrong answer to this, but it’s a good idea to have some goals in mind for it. If you aren’t 100% sure, why not ask your team for some ideas?
When you know what you want to achieve from the team building event, you will be able to select an activity or location which is best-suited to it. Letting off some steam in an adventure park is not quite the same as going through an escape room challenge, or going on a mystery tour.
3. Give it a time
Don’t plan a team building event, pay for everything, and then suddenly spring it on your employees that it will be taking place next week. You need to allow plenty of time so you can make thorough plans and enable your employees to make any arrangements so they can attend (such as babysitters, etc.). This is especially the case if it involves travel.
4. Decide on a location
This will very much depend on your budget: obviously, the more money you have the better the location will be. If you are based in Europe, why not take your team building event abroad to a city such as Prague? There are destination management companies there that can help you out with the logistical side of things, so you will actually be spending less time on the actual planning that you may think. It is a beautiful, relatively budget-friendly European city frequented by millions of tourists each year, and you can do anything from adrenaline-filled activities, to just having a night on the town.
5. Promote full participation
Encourage the full participation of your employees by notifying them of the team building event early and by promoting it. Some employees will be keener than others and because you can’t force them to go, it is important to try and persuade as many people as possible to come. Of course, you will need a rough idea on numbers before you book anything, so the sooner your employees know about it and can RSVP to their invitations, the better.
6. Don’t make it corporate
Although there will be some corporate elements to your team building event, the overarching feeling should be that it is a fun, relaxing environment where your employees are able to unwind. Yes, the company is paying for it and yes, it is a team-building event, but you should allow your employees to do what they want to do. Forcing them to sit through corporate presentations or constantly talk about work will do nothing to help boost engagement.
7. Keep things personal
Whilst the event takes place, everybody who attends should understand the relationship between their actions and teamwork. To be a successful team, each member must commit to adopting any new behaviors and information they have learned during the event. You should be regularly engaging with your employees and gauge how they are feeling, what they think, and how they are responding to the event.
8. Document it
Hire a photographer or videographer to document the event and have it posted on your social media pages. You can also use pictures and videos throughout your company’s marketing material, company-wide bulletins, and newsletters. By keeping the memory of the event alive, your team will be excited for future events and the people who did not attend the first time around will start showing up.
A team-building event can be very beneficial for a company that has been suffering from low employee morale and engagement, however, it needs to be done properly. A poorly planned event can leave a bad taste in the mouths of your employees and they may avoid the next one
The Impact and Importance of Team Building in the Workplace
1. Team building creates a culture where everyone feels empowered to make a difference
Putting on regular team building activities is essential if you’re going to show your team that you value them. By bringing the team together, you can remind everyone why they’re there — to make a difference.
2. Team building boosts morale and employee retention so that you can keep the best and brightest
High employee turnover is a serious problem with any business. Not only will you have to invest time and money in recruiting a suitable replacement. You then have to spend considerably more time getting them up to speed and integrating them into the existing setup.
Regular team building allows you to assess the mood and sentiment of your team, and address any causes for concern. Think of it as taking the temperature of your organization so that you know what everyone’s thinking. It’s a no-brainer to see why the world’s most successful businesses invest so much time and money into team building activities.
“I work with a team of writers. I believe that showing them that I value their efforts is essential. Team building activities are a big part of that. I think if I didn’t do them regularly, then I wouldn’t have a team waiting for me on Monday morning!” — says Lucy Thompson, a Service Manager, at a renowned Publishing company.
3. When your people network with one another they’ll come up with new ideas
People are always more likely to approach colleagues they know, rather than those they don’t. We can say this about more senior staff members. This doesn’t mean you have an especially uncommunicative team, it’s just human nature manifesting itself.
Regular team building activities will open up new channels of communication within your organization. This comes with some benefit too. The issues faced by one team is often solved by someone sitting just a couple of desks away. Creating a culture where everyone feels confident enough to approach people they don’t speak to all that often is essential. Think of it as a chance to create a network that connects the smartest people in the business.
4. A bit of friendly competition is a sure-fire way to get more done
If you incentivize your employees and cultivate a little bit of friendly competition, they’re bound to get more work done. You don’t want to go over the top with this, or perpetually have competitions running. Otherwise, you will create a slightly overbearing culture.
Run something every now and again however, and you’ll be able to breathe fresh air into the typical working week. Your staff will want to go above and beyond. Your managers will be able to extract the extra efforts from employees that they’ve been looking for. Consequently, your business will grow.
Make sure to congratulate any runners up as well. You should applaud their extra efforts as well. So, make them feel valued by saying a few kind words when you hand out the prizes. That way you’ll be able to keep everyone onside.
5. People communicate better when they know the other person
Not only does striking up a relationship make it far more likely that people will connect in the first place, it also means they’ll get more out of each exchange.
Team building allows you to get people on the same page by showing other members of the team what makes them tick. As your team ages and gets more experience of working together, this process will happen naturally. But if you want to accelerate, especially during a period of hiring, then team building is always the best way to do it.
Give people a problem to solve that is independent of their experience level in the company. This will put everyone on an equal footing.
It also provides your team with the perfect chance to gain some insight into what every member brings to the table. You may even come to know that the quiet new hire has innate problem solving skills and needs to be fast tracked!
6. You have the chance to show your team that you value them
The final thing to say about team building, is that it’s your chance to say thank you for all the hard work. Your team comes to work every day to pay their bills and look after their families. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the process.
If you can put on activities that show them that you value their input, then your whole business will get better. It’ll make it far more likely that people come to you with issues, suggestions, and new ideas. Three things that as the boss, you need to hear about if you’re going to have the chance to change things.
We can never overstate the value of team building. Many people see it as a cliched exercise where you just go through the motions. View it as a chance to get the most out of your most valuable resource (people). Soon, you’ll see why it’s so important to the success of your business.