Who should consider team building?
There are no special qualifications for team building. You and your coworkers can benefit hugely from team building activities no matter what industry you’re in. Also, whether there are a dozen of you or a hundred, you have plenty of options to look into. It’s only a matter of finding the right fit for everyone: something that each member can participate in, where they can feel involved and fulfilled by the end of activity.
Team building isn’t just possible for anyone - it’s necessary. It’s great to have individuals on your team with stellar credentials and heaps of experience, but it’s even better when they can also shine as parts of a well-oiled machine.
Professional working relationships are made stronger by personal bonds. Studies show that there’s an important connection between personal bonds and employees’ engagement levels. Basically, when an employee has satisfying friendships with their fellow workers, they are much more likely to be fully engaged in the workplace. In the long run, this has a positive effect on productivity and profits. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Team building themes for your next team building activity
When planning your next team building session, you’ll have to consider a few different factors as you narrow down your choices. Do you want to hold it indoors or outdoors? Aside from personal preference, the weather might dictate this one. How many people will join the activity, and what would they like to do? If you feel the need, you can consult with them directly or ask for their suggestions.
Most of all, what is the purpose of your team building activity? This should go beyond just “To have fun as a team.” While the bonding is going on, what message would you like to send about your company and your team? What skills can everybody develop from this activity? Team building is a fantastic opportunity to “train” team members while having fun, without the pressure of deadlines or assessments.
Go-karting or bumper cars
Letting loose is part of the team building experience, so it’s perfectly acceptable to go a little wild, as long as no one gets hurt. Go-karting and bumper cars both provide the thrill of getting behind the wheel and racing around. It’s a welcome relief from getting in a car only to sit in traffic for hours. Bumper cars can easily be found in indoor entertainment hubs, while go-karting usually takes place outdoors because it requires more space.
These activities are an action-packed, exciting escape from work duties. They encourage friendly competition which allows coworkers to let their guard down and temporarily forget about all the formalities they need to observe in the workplace.
We all have traditions that we follow, whether they’re personal rituals or habits learned from our respective cultures. There’s a lot to be learned from interacting with someone who grew up in a different place, with a different set of norms. Team building can come in the form of each team member revealing a bit about themselves by sharing a tradition, food, or story from their country-sharing a tradition, food, or just a story from their country. This works even if your team isn’t really an international one, as different regions and provinces have their own distinct identities, too.
Aside from being a celebration of diversity, this team building activity helps foster trust and empathy among teammates. By getting to know where each person comes from, you also gain a better understanding of them as a coworker and as a human being.
The possibilities are endless in “adventure club” because there are dozens of ways to embrace the great outdoors. From hiking to kayaking to camping, getting information and making arrangements for outdoor recreation often requires just a few clicks and phone calls. If some team members are inexperienced and feel nervous about joining a rather intense activity, there are many beginner-friendly options that don’t call for conditioning training or knowing how to tie different knots beforehand.
Being in an unfamiliar environment together spurs bonding and creativity in the team. It’s also highly relaxing to appreciate nature, especially if you’ve been in the daily grind for a long while, living in the hustle and bustle of the city. A fun bonus is the many photo ops you’ll be sure to have on your trek together.
You may not be aware that your team is made up of performers - that is, not just strong performers in your workplace duties, but stage performers who can wow a crowd. A variety show, talent show, or open mic can be a fantastic avenue to showcase your team’s skills in a non-work-related way. Whether it’s singing, playing an instrument, dancing, or doing stand-up comedy, asking team members to perform tells them that they can bring their real selves to work. You can even encourage coworkers to collaborate among themselves. For example, a pair or group of employees could perform a song together.
Collaboration is an important skill in and out of the workplace, and a variety show gives coworkers a chance to learn to work well as a unit while doing something they enjoy. A show where everyone has the opportunity to own the stage also promotes mutual support among teammates. Free entertainment for everybody is just the cherry on top.
Whether you’re hosting a get-together at the office or taking the whole team up a mountain, there are so many ways to strengthen the bonds between coworkers and help them build their skills at the same time. Your next team building session could be a chance to take a step away from the standard pizza party or swimming and drinks kind of activity. Take the time to plan something that your team doesn’t expect, where they can all have a memorable, enjoyable, and meaningful experience.