Team Building Activities for the Workplace – Two Simple Steps to Adding More Values at Work

When building unity, motivating employees, and building corporate identity at workplace, managers develop team building activities. However, building a strong, identifiable, and competitive corporate culture require more efforts than simply going through exercises. Here are a few tips that will help managers strengthen teamwork at workplace.  

Becoming “obviously visible”

Wearing t-shirts (preferably in colors other than white), buttons, hats, making posters, banners, flags, and car bumper stickers all send signal to the rest of the organization that there is something important taking place at work. In an effective example, during the month of February, organizations implement the color pink in an effort to join the cause for fighting against breast cancer. The visible identity built on a well communicated mission statement alerts everyone that it is time to get involved. If the mission, the cause, and the idea of the message speak to the employees, they will effectively unite workers regardless of who is leading.      

Secret to motivating teams every time a team building game is played

When motivating adults to participate in activities and games, unless explained in advance how the practice would help them, not all adults become interested in playing team building games or activities at workplace. Spend time brainstorming with leaders for creative activities that would teach employees a new insight or refreshing perspective how the corporate mission, values, idea or a cause promoted is going to make an impact on the lives of employees. Well thought-out activities designed to add values will allow employees to realize managers are genuinely interested in making better work environment. If a game is played only for the sake of “filling” a team meeting time, it adds no benefit and better to conduct the meeting without the game.   

No matter how practical a game or activity may be, unless the team values such activity supports the purpose, it does not leave lasting effect. The best activity is something employees want to take action after spending time practicing – something they will take home and make them want to implement.

CHECKLIST:

  1. Become visible by wearing t-shirts, hats, posting banners
  2. Spend time coming up with creative activities so that the employees know managers are serious about the purpose of team building and teamwork unity.  

Team Building Tips For Groups Of All Sizes

For people who have trouble working with others, team building tips can be lifesavers. These little goodies hold the key to group success in just a few words. Being a member of a team can be a challenge and just because a collection of employees is referred to as a team, does not mean it is. Team members depend on each other to get the job done and leadership is often shared. Expectations are higher than for a group containing members who work independently.

Raising the bar puts additional pressure on team members. Many of them do not appreciate this because they feel pressured enough by the project goal. By effectively developing the team, pressure is removed. Each person is aware of the desired outcome and his or her role in achieving it. By incorporating the tips and working together, team members make the process look like something they could do in their sleep.

Though the project deadline might be looming, taking time to lay the foundation of the team is important. Everyone should understand the team purpose and goal and how these relate to the purpose and goals of the business. Each team member may have a different perspective of these aspects upon joining the group so it is important to get everyone on the same page. Taking the pulse of the team is also important and can be done through a survey regarding communication, trust, conflict resolution, and commitment.

Members should also be prepared to work through the stages of team development, which are forming, storming, norming, and performing. Each stage has its own challenges, particularly storming, but team members should be willing to hang in there for the long haul in order to achieve maximum results. Repeating team surveys during each stage enables those in charge to keep tabs on how things are developing. Holding some open discussions regarding what is and is not working maintains open channels of communication.

Being proactive is crucial to the success of a team. For example, developing a team-generated charter that specifies behavioral boundaries and guidelines should be done soon after the team forms. This establishes expectations and clarifies which behaviors are and are not acceptable. Everyone should receive a copy of the charter. Reviewing this document on a regular basis and amending it as necessary keeps the team on the right track.

Technical experience can be helpful to a team but communication, problem solving, feedback, and conflict resolution skills are crucial. If the team falls short in any of these areas, some team development activities may be needed. Teams that possess these key skills tend to be more productive and are definitely better collaborators.

The talents and contributions of each individual are what make the team so special. Each person brings value, so it is important to recognize him or her. Identifying the expectations of each team member is also recommended. When team members receive what they expect from their participation, they feel more satisfied and should express willingness to participate in future teams.

A Few Tips on How to Do a Team Building Activity

Team building activities help teams learn and grow. It is important to educate teams in teaming concepts and help them with work processes during all the team-building stages. For those leading teams, a few tips on planning a team building activity can be instrumental to the success of the team.

First, determine the purpose of the team building activity to determine if it can be part of a meeting or should be a separate event. Is the activity to introduce a topic, communicate a point, improve relationships, review previous training or teach a new technique? All of these can be done in a meeting as long as a safe environment and enough time is provided. Otherwise plan a special event so that other work does not interfere with the learning process.

Decide how much time to spend on the team building activity and when it would be best to do it. If the activity is to be part of a team meeting, plan it for the appropriate spot on the specific meeting agenda. At the beginning of the agenda is a good time for “getting to know you” type of activities and icebreakers, or revisiting points from a recent training course. If a non-controversial topic is to be presented or a new technique is to be taught during a few minutes of the meeting, those can fit anywhere within the agenda where it needs to occur. For example if a new decision making process is to be taught, explain it just before the team needs to use it to make a decision. Applying techniques immediately to work makes them more meaningful. Introducing new training concepts that are not to be used within the meeting should happen near the end of the meeting time.

If the time/date for the team building should be outside of a regular team meeting, plan a special training session or team-building event. This will require extra work by a team member or the leader to find a good date and a location that meets the needs of the activities to be done. Decide on activities before choosing a location or rescheduling may become necessary in order to meeting physical requirements. In selecting an activity for the event or training, take into consideration any physical limitations of team members. When planning a multi-exercise team-building event, activities that every team member can participate in should be considered before those that may require a member to “sit out” during the exercise because it may make them to feel excluded.

Find the activities or exercises that best make the intended training point or exemplifies the desired team concept. Then narrow down the selection list to which ones maybe best to use based on the materials necessary, the time available, relevancy to particular team, and fun factor. It is a success key for team-building events to be fun as well as informative. In meetings, it is nice to have a fun activity but relevancy to work at hand will mean more to the team, so aim for relevant first and both whenever possible.

Before the date of the meeting, training session, or team-building event: decide who will facilitate, invite participants, provide the agenda if appropriate, and gather necessary supplies. If it is a special session rather than a team meeting, it may be more fun to surprise the team with the agenda at the beginning instead of in advance. If facilitating the activity, arrive early and be prepared with all necessary materials. If someone else is to facilitate, then make sure they understand the expectations they are to meet, as well as when to be there and where to go. It may be beneficial to have someone from outside the team facilitate if the activity requires special training, facilities, or materials that a member of the team does not possess.

Use these tips when planning to do any type of team activity. Continual learning will motivate the team to contribute even better results as they mature and move through various stages.