Team building isn’t all about doing trust falls and singing “Kum Ba Yah” together.
It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to make sure that a team-building event actually does its job—creating a more cohesive, effective, and productive workspace.
Of course, doing so is much easier said than done. After all, if it were that easy, most companies would have highly productive offices. But, that’s not the case, and while we can’t really say that ineffective team building practices are to blame for it, it certainly doesn’t help that they don’t know how to get the most out of their team building opportunities.
1. Schedule the activity during a workday or, preferably, during work hours
Many companies make the mistake of scheduling a team building activity after work. That’s often counterproductive. This is because most employees have already made plans for what they want to do after work, and the last thing that they want to do is to do something with work-related people after work.
Basically, you’re taking away time that they should have had for themselves. The worst part? They won’t get paid for doing it!
So, schedule the team building activity during a workday. It doesn’t even have to be for the entire workday. For example, you can book an escape room and call it a day early so everyone has time to enjoy themselves and still be able to go home or do whatever they want after the end of regular work hours.
Remember, you want the team building activity to be done when everyone is together—not when everyone already has plans or when they’re out on vacation.
2. Focus on encouraging collaboration
“Winning” as an incentive is nice and all, but more often than not, employees forget to learn something from the activity because they’re so focused on beating the other teams.
By choosing an activity where collaboration is the focus and main goal, your entire office is much more likely to have walked away having learned something new and different about themselves and their colleagues.
3. Don’t do it inside the office
It is possible to have fun inside the office, but when the goal is to focus on something that’s not work-related, then taking the team building activity elsewhere is a better idea.
Even if it’s something that the entire office can do in the meeting room, doing the activity offsite remains ideal if only just to get the entire team out of the confines of their regular workspace and somewhere different.
4. Ask for feedback
As well as the team-building event might have gone, there are always ways to make it even better.
Going to an escape room in Singapore might have worked once, but doing the same thing over and over again isn’t conducive. It’s important to ask and gather feedback from all parties involved to know what they liked, what they didn’t like, and how the office could improve in the next team building activity on the calendar.