Tips for Planning a Team Building Event
What do you think of when you hear the term “team building?” Some tend to think of brightly coloured shirts with team logos, ropes courses, human pyramids and classic teamwork games like straw towers and trust. These are the scenarios that are typically shown in the media and what we have come to see as the norm, so much so that when we hear the term “team building” we all cringe a little inside.
Here’s the thing, though. Team building is essential to all businesses, whether you have 3 or 3000 employees. Not only does it boost company morale, it helps us understand each other’s personalities better, which leads to more effective teamwork. Plus, it can just be plain fun!
In June, just four weeks into working together, our team went axe throwing. Only one out of eleven of us had done it before. Some of us were afraid it would be difficult and some of us were afraid of injury, but in the end, we all had a blast. Everyone did quite well, considering we were all pushed fairly far outside of our comfort zones.
We didn’t wear matching shirts, we didn’t build a pyramid, we simply had fun trying something new. That’s all it took for us to grow a stronger bond.
When it comes to planning a team building event, there are three things to keep in mind:
Keep it simple - When you try and plan something that is too elaborate or complicated, people are going to check out and not enjoy themselves. When there is too much involved in an event, people don’t get a chance to connect because they are too busy trying to keep up. You can plan things like going out for dinner as a team, attending a concert together, or even just playing games over lunch. At Spark, we have a daily morning check-in where we share what we did the night before or what we are up to for the weekend and how we are feeling. It’s small, but it has a mighty impact on how we relate to one another throughout each day. Keeping it simple provides genuine communication and openness.
Try something new - If 2/3 of your team has already done an escape room, then maybe try to find something different. When you learn together, you grow together through having experienced something new - no one else can have that but your team. Take the time to ask your team what they would like to do instead of planning it for them. By coming up with an idea together, you also present an opportunity for team growth.
Don’t be afraid to spend money - All companies have budgets and not all of them will be able to afford the same experiences, but don’t be afraid to spend. Look at what the experience has to offer and take time to think about how it will benefit your team in the long run. It is important to be mindful of your budget, but too many companies aren’t willing to spend money on team building. Your team is the most important part of your business and if you aren’t willing to invest in people, they aren’t likely to invest in you.