Team building is an investment. In the nature of any business investment pursuing this avenue carries a certain degree of risk. The risk that you are making mistakes in the process of building a team is very real and should be considered by project managers. Our job at TBME is to eradicate these common mistakes and misconceptions to ensure your organisation is getting the most out of your investment.
Below are four common mistakes in organisational team building:
Your experience should be entertaining, but not at the expense of your greater organisational goals. Your objectives must clearly resonate through the experiences you create. Setting clear objectives before choosing an activity will make sure that you choose the right activity for your team. If you want better team work, and to focus on the message that “we work as one”, then don’t choose an activity that focusses on competition. Similarly if you need to work on problem solving and communication then select activities that have this as the core learning objective. This will also assist in transferring the skills you want back to the workplace – thus increasing productivity. As Stephen Covey said “Begin with the end in mind”
Director of TBME, Ross Judd, explains that a common mistake in conferences is the timing of the team building event.
“All too often it’s left to the last item on the last day. People do that because they want to finish their conference on a high. Ask yourself though, would you rather start or finish your conference on a high. At Team Building Made Easy we think it makes much more sense to start your conference on a high and reap the benefits of your team building activity throughout the rest of your event.”
Judd continues “Look at it this way. Team building activities create greater networking, increase energy, connect people, and generally create a great vibe. If you do them at the start of your conference you get the benefit of that vibe for the rest of your conference. People will interact more, share, participate, and contribute more to your team building conference. In fact this increased contribution may help you achieve your outcomes more effectively.”
Similarly holding a team building activity after 5pm on a Friday afternoon is also not a great idea. Most people are keen to get home and start the weekend. They will be preoccupied and may be annoyed being there – thus not happy to participate. This will not give you the outcomes you are wanting from your team building activity. It also shows to your team, that you don’t think that team building is important if you won’t make time during work hours for the event to be run.
Don’t pursue silly games for the sake of novelty. The mind of your participants will wander and disconnect very quickly. Remember your team are adults. They do not want to be made to look silly or made fun of in front of their colleagues. Team Building should be used to break down barriers and improve communication among team members. You do not want your team to walk away from an activity feeling resentful and that is was a waste of time. Many people have a low tolerance for any activity that is seen as childish or irrelevant.
Organisations shouldn’t choose experiences purely by what is “hot” at the time. You need to carefully match relevance, resonance and utility in order to generate real value out of your team building activity. A poorly chosen event can do more harm than running nothing at all.
Contact Team Building Made Easy who are experts in the field. We can make your life much easier by taking all the hard work and research out of organising your event. Remember Team Building was meant to be easy.