Sometimes team building exercises are a success and others are a huge waste of time. The key is to choose the right game or exercise that aligns with your objectives. If done correctly, professional development, clear role clarification, improved collaboration, or better communication are a few benefits that you may achieve.
The place to start in choosing a team building exercise is to undertake an evaluation. If there are problems, you need to determine the causes. If there are no problems, you should identify how best to maintain or improve performance. A poorly chosen exercise can actually waste everyone’s time and have a negative effect.
There are literally thousands of team building exercises. The most popular “activities” are not always the most beneficial. Baseball games, company picnics, and other social events are valuable for employee morale and are an excellent “thank you” to your associates. Outdoor activities are usually very fun, but often suffer from the problem that it is difficult to translate the benefits back into the workplace.
The most effective team building exercises integrate programs that combine outdoor events with ongoing activities in the workplace, such as:
- Group discussions about objectives, roles, processes, time management, resources, etc.
- Personality styles and individual / team roles
- Lunch & Learns where topics are relevant to everyone
- Meetings designed to share success stories and lessons learned
- Joint break times with communication exercises
Don’t expect a single event to change your culture. Successful team building is an ongoing process that takes place within the team over a long period of time. Remember to choose activities that align with your teams’ initiatives or issues, and make a long-term commitment. You will experience improved tenure, engaged employees, and most importantly happy customers.
What has been your most successful team building activity? How did taking part in it benefit your team and/or your business? We’d love to learn from your successes.
About the Author, Chris Carlson, Aureus Group Regional Manager, CPC
Chris is an experienced executive in the staffing industry. She has extensive experience in developing and implementing operational analyses and programs and has assisted hundreds of firms streamline processes and upgrade the competencies of its workforce. Finding innovative ways to generate new business and build teams is her passion. She has developed and executed many successful strategic marketing plans. Chris began her career at Aureus Group, a full-service professional recruiting firm, in 1994 and currently serves as the regional manager of Aureus Group specializing in the Finance & Accounting, Systems and Executive search areas.
In addition, Chris is a Certified Professional Consultant, and has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.