The modern workplace can create stress for any team. With remote workstations, cubicles or hot desks – it can be hard to get to know anything about the co-workers whom you rely on every day. That is why team building – also sometimes referred to as team integration – should be an important part of every modern workplace culture.
Perhaps once solely considered the provenance of start-up culture, building a solid social core at your workplace has relevance for every team and every size business. Research has shown that when a team feels a sense of connection to their work, their output increases.
1 What do you want from your team building?
Why should you want to team build? This type of group activity builds trust and reduces conflict. It will also yield greater collaboration and encourage communication between team members. That is why it is so important to make sure everyone arrives for the team-building activity in an anticipatory state of mind, and with an eagerness to be there. Beginning the team building by checking in with your co-workers and taking their desires into account, brings them into the process early – and also makes the event’s success a greater probability.
2 What’s your availability and what’s your budget?
Start off your planning by listing some ideas about the type of event you have time for and the amount you will want to spend on it. Team building events don’t need to break the bank. A convivial atmosphere and group activity can span the range from board games to a luxury wine tasting.
Don’t forget to make sure that your co-workers are available – if it can’t take place at lunchtime don’t make it too late in the evening. Be prepared to cover the tab, but if there are some options that you will not cover, be sure and let the team know.
3 Different people enjoy different levels of physical activity
Walkathons, running clubs or city-wide scavenger hunts – who’s ready for an active day out? Before organising a team-building that involves a high degree of physical activity, make sure that all your co-workers are ready and willing. Remember, different people enjoy different levels of physical activity, and has nothing to do with their effectiveness as employees. Make sure everyone has a great time.
4 Everyone has different dietary needs
Cocktail mixers, baking classes, or wine and cheese tastings – is everyone ready to tuck in? Getting together around a table is a fundamental way to bring people together. However, before rushing out to plan a joint outing, consider whether your particular choice of activity is suitable for your co-workers. Be sure and check for food allergies or any other issues that might restrict the menu. Also, events that focus too much on alcohol have fallen out of favour in recent years, as social priorities have changed.
5 The right date will determine the participation rate
Holiday parties, quarter-end happy hours and other annual treats – does it fit everybody’s schedule? While the workplace calendar might seem paramount, it isn’t really. Once the day is ended, personal commitments take precedence. In a multicultural work environment, however, it’s important to keep tabs on those things that could limit participation in your efforts to bring the entire workforce together. When planning an event, offer several dates and be prepared to ask about the scheduling early in order to maximize attendance.
6 Make sure everyone feels part of a positive office culture
No matter how advanced our technology gets, the office culture is still important. And it is especially key when you are not only building bridges between people and departments, but you are also hoping to successfully bridge cultures. So hunt down the best local places for great team-building and be confident that your choice will make your team happy. Keep that open dialogue going and make sure everyone feels like they are part of a positive culture – and most of all, have a great time!
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