As a business owner, your employees are among your most valuable assets. Your people power your systems, serve your customers, and deliver your products and services. That’s why it’s so important that you develop strong, effective, cohesive teams – and that’s one of the reasons I focus on teamwork often in these posts.
One effective tool in the process of building strong teams involves breaking up the daily routine and creating a “team-building” activity. There are many ways to go about this – ranging from a simple lunch together as a team to an intensive, multi-day retreat.
Done right, team-building activities are an effective way to bring your team closer together, to facilitate better communication, and to make your team more effective. Here are a few tips for planning your next activity:
Make it fun. First and foremost, you want your team to look forward to these activities. If it becomes something they dread, they’re not going to be engaged and you’re not going to get a positive return on your investment. There are plenty of opportunities to bond as a team and have fun at the same time.
Be intentional with your time. You’re investing time and money into these activities – and while it’s important that you make it fun for your team, you also need to get results. Think through what you want to accomplish. Are you hoping to foster better communication? Create a stronger sense of community? Or simply help your team get to know each other better? Define your objectives and structure your time accordingly.
Keep it fresh. Team activities quickly lose their appeal if it’s always “the same old thing.” Make a point of varying your activities so that your team continues to look forward to the next one.
Encourage communication. Communication is the fundamental ingredient to an effective team. So look for ways to “force” your team to communicate during your activities – whether that’s solving a problem together, engaging in a team competition, or whatever the case may be.
Consider an outside facilitator. Bringing in a professional to facilitate team activities can be a good investment. A trained facilitator can help you define your objectives, plan your outing, and make sure that everything is properly executed. It’s an extra expense, but it will likely make your time together even more valuable.
Do you regularly engage in team activities or retreats? What are your best tips and ideas? Leave a comment on our Posts and let us know what works for you!