There are many reasons why team-building efforts and exercises can become a complete waste of time. Still, there are many ways how to prevent that from happening and to ensure that it is time and money well spent. The desired outcome for any team building activity is that every member of the team should feel more like being part of the team. Their ability to tolerate each other more, to work in cohesion and to cooperate to create unity, should increase. To be able to achieve these outcomes, effective team building should comply with certain elements.
Needs and Environment
Every group of people is unique. Their personalities and circumstances differ. They might have different challenges, desires and goals. Hence these characteristics must be taken into account when an approach is taken. The best way to determine what solutions would work best for the team is through individual consultations.
As soon as when something becomes compulsory, there is already an element of negativity attached to it. Hence give employees the option of opting in or out. Having the choice to decide for yourself whether you will be part of it, will bring much more positive energy to the event and even those who were initially not feeling positive about it will also join, in out of fear of missing out. In the end, you don’t want a group of people who think that they were forced to be there. Rather let them choose.
Being Professional is Vital
Don’t include silly exercises which might let people feel uncomfortable with the situation. Whatever you decide to do needs to be suitable for the workplace environment. Also, don’t require that people share personal information with which they aren’t comfortable to share. Stay clear of any form of eccentric exercises.
Every exercise or effort put into the day is meant to apply to the work situation. If people at the end of the session feel that it was nice, but are still are unsure of how to use what they were taught in their working environment, the effect of the course will be short-lived and deemed unsuccessful. Hence every topic should be able to be transferred to their specific situation.
Optimize on Common Goals
During these sessions, it is better to focus on what they are doing right. This sets a positive mindset, which helps people to feel more relaxed, share in the optimism and be willing to cooperate more to find creative solutions. The last thing that anybody wants is to do is to sit at an event where the emphasis is placed on all that is wrong within the company. These sessions can’t be once-off events and then hoping for the best. Set periodical dates to reassess, refresh and encourage.