The Do’s and Don’ts of Team Building
Here at Wildly Different, we know planning your own team building event can sometimes be incredibly daunting. This month, I’ve asked our Sales and Marketing team to share their thoughts on the major Do’s and Don’ts for Team Building events.
1)DO a Corporate Team Building Event!
The Number 1 “Do” of team building is to do it! Investing in your team is the best thing you can do to make your business a success. If your team is happy, your business will be better, and turnover will be lower.
Our marketing guru and Manager of Making it Happen, McKenzie, recommends “…keep your employees happy! The most important asset EVERY company has are its employees. The ROI for keeping your workforce happy includes increased productivity, trust, sense of belonging, connection with their coworkers, higher employee retention… you get it!”
Lisa, our Chief Experience Officer, says, “According to a Gallup poll, 70% of employees are disengaged. No surprise when you think that more often than not employees work in cubicles and communicate most of the time via email. Team building events can help you overcome this disengagement. They allow your team to connect with one another. After a team building event, they’re able to relate to someone not just as “that guy who works in accounting,” but as “Bob, who is super creative, funny and smart” because they got to interact with him as a human being during the event. As Plato once said, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Also, today’s workforce craves experiences and wants to have fun at work – team building events check both of those boxes. Statistics show that companies with happy employees increase productivity by 12% and outperform the competition by 20%.”
2) DON’T Make your Team Building about Work
McKenzie says, “To really get your employees to engage, you need to remove “work” from the equation. Groups that do off-site events, during normal working hours (so not cutting into their employees’ personal time) are always more engaged than teams who are trying to do something in their own office. This helps to remove the employees’ sense of “I need to answer that email from XYZ client” or “I have a million things on my to-do list.”
A major part of Team Building is making your employees feel appreciated. Remove work from the equation and you allow your guests to feel valued and really enjoy the team building event.
Kerri, our Director of F&G (Fun & Games) says that “when colleagues interact outside of their normal work environment, they are often surprised about what they learn about each other. Many will find some commonality they didn’t previously know about or learn of someone’s skills or hidden talents. This new knowledge doesn’t need to be “debriefed” and discussed as to how it will be used in the workplace. People will naturally be better work partners and have better relationships when they get to know each other outside of their specific job responsibilities and roles.”
4) DON’T Make People Uncomfortable at your Team Building Exercise
It’s important to remember to be inclusive of all your employees. Whether it be the topic of the event or the physicality of the games, make sure everyone can participate in your team building event comfortably!
McKenzie says “Every team is different, and it’s important to select a team building exercise or activity that your group wants to participate in! Not sure who invented the “Trust fall” but trust us, no one WANTS to do that.”
Kerri says “The reason that teambuilding sometimes gets a bad rap is that people feel like they will be uncomfortable during the activity. Everyone has different personalities and while some people love the spotlight, others shy away from it. Make sure that your activity engages everyone but don’t single out individuals and require them to do something that they may be embarrassed about doing in front of their colleagues. Don’t encourage people to “overshare” or focus on conflict.”
5) DO Advertise your Corporate Team Builder
If you’re excited for the event, then your team will be excited too! Invest in advertising your team builder and build up the excitement. Hang colorful fliers, post on social media, and, most importantly, talk about it!
Our Special Ops Agent, Austin, says, “Word of mouth is always the best. You can post on social media and advertise it like it’s the best event in the world, but what really sells events is hearing from other coworkers. When we have a successful event, we LOVE getting reviews and feedback to share with other people to give them proof of how beneficial team builders can be. However, when we don’t advertise, it’s always great showing videos and pictures of the event that really capture the reactions of the team as further proof that it’s a great time.”
If you don’t have a past event to reference, consider asking your vendor for photos and videos of the team building event you chose. Share them with the office to help spark excitement and curiosity.
6) DO Your Research
Corporate team building activities can look like a million different things. Make sure you know what will work best for your team! If you’re going with an outside vendor, make sure you ask lots of questions and research who they are. If you need serious business games, you may want to look to a trainer or professional facilitator to partner with you. Just want to have fun? An event will only be fun if its well organized and appropriate for your audience. Listen to your potential vendors and see if they understand your vision. Here are some great questions to ask a team building company!
What are the demographics of your clients?
Austin says, “From a Marketing standpoint, it’s always good to ask what the demographic of their employees is! It’s good to know before going into an event what kind of personalities you might see, so you can base your event on that in regards to things like your demeanor, the types of games, the type of music, whether or not they’re comfortable with getting their picture taken, etc…”
How long has the company been in business?
The age of a company isn’t always the most important thing, but experience is definitely something to consider! Companies who’ve been around for a while are a testament to ingenuity, skills and quality service. Even if they’re a little more expensive, an older company that has stood the test of time is worth strongly considering.
Who have they worked for in the past?
McKenzie recommends, “…If you’re not sure what type of event you would like to do, ask if they’ve worked with a company or team similar to yours, and if so, what team building events they recommend based on your team’s background and demographic.”