Brett Danielson asked:
One of the underlying concepts of a team building activity is that it is designed to foster at team spirit among the participants, and help them focus on what they need to do in day to day work in order to function effectively as a team. So you’ve just taken your team out on a wild weekend of river rafting and wall climbing, and everyone’s returned to work energized and ready to tackle the latest project. How do you know if your team building event actually served its purpose?
One important part of a team building weekend that is often overlooked is the evaluation process. It’s not enough to plan a fun weekend and hope that throwing your project team into the mix will bond them into a working team. A successful corporate team building event must take into account the goals and needs of the individual company and department in order to bring the group together. Before choosing a team building idea, your event planning team (and of course you’re using a team to plan the event, aren’t you?) should carefully evaluate each idea to see how it fits in with the company’s goals.
How do you ensure that your team building event will actually do its job? Here are some tips to help you plan a corporate team building activity that will help your team pull together.
– Have a clear purpose for the team building activity.
Sit down with the project team leaders and brainstorm. Ask them to define areas that need work and skills that need polishing. Once you have a clear idea of what needs to be accomplished, you can choose events that fit the bill.
– Balance work time with fun team building events.
Skip the overworked touchy-feely trust building events and choose events that are fun for all. Choose activities where working as a team pays off – perhaps a scavenger hunt or a spy mission. There are dozens of team building activities that will challenge your group to become a team without boring them to tears.
– Make time to network.
Building teams starts with building relationships. Make sure that you don’t pack so much activity into your team building time that your group has no time to kick back and relax. Schedule in some unstructured time when they can get to know each other outside work time.
– Put together a follow-up action plan.
Don’t let the team spirit die when the team building weekend is over. Make an action plan that will be followed to put all the great ideas and plans into effect once you return to work. The action plan should include time to evaluate what was gained on the team building event and whether or not all the objectives wer met.