Office team building; we’ve all been there. Whether we get to escape the office and go canoeing for the day, or sit in another room and make bridges out of spaghetti, team building is time out from the usual 9-5.
Team building should never just be a ‘tick the box’ activity. There are so many reasons to make it worthwhile:
– Improve relationships between colleagues – great for work culture and our mental health
– Build skills such as communication, planning, problem-solving and conflict resolution
– Energise your team
– Promote creativity and the flow of new ideas
It’s important that your choice of activities tie in with the skills you want your team to develop and, of course, your company objectives.
There are activities for all budgets, but no matter how little or much you are spending, you’ll want to make sure you’re going to get a good return on investment. Colleagues spend a lot of time together, so investing in their wellbeing and happiness is key to a better workforce and higher productivity.
Team building also needs to be memorable. Our brains are wired to forget things we learn when they’re no longer needed or relevant. We have so much information presented to us every minute of every day that there is literally only so much we can take in! It’s called the ‘forgetting curve’ – a phenomenon by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus back in the 1800s.
He showed the rate of how quickly information is forgotten: 50% after one hour (that’s half the content before they even finish the activity), 74% after 24 hours and 90% within a month! If it’s fun, it will be engaging, and if it’s engaging, it will be more memorable!
Here are some key features of team work and the sorts of activities that can bring out the best of them…
With so much emphasis on good mental health nowadays, it’s no surprise that a friendly, supportive work environment is important for our wellbeing. Improving our communication skills will help us to share thoughts and ideas within our team more openly.
Choose an activity that puts clear and concise communication to the test. How about an escape room? These are really popular at the minute and will get your team talking in no time – think the Crystal Maze!
It is said that when one of our senses is taken away, it heightens the remaining senses. Blindfold 4×4 driving may sound terrifying, but on a controlled and interactive course, it is a brilliant test of communication and, of course, trust!
It’s often easier to think outside the box when we’re given something different to focus on. Growth, whether personal or commercial, depends on having new resources to feed off of and so a team building day is the ultimate environment to get creative!
Who didn’t love the TV classic, Ready, Steady Cook? A cook-off activity is both competitive and creative. You could supply teams with a set of ingredients to create a winning dish or set a challenge to make and cook an unusual shaped pizza.
We all have a bit of a competitive edge, and competition has been proven to increase productivity! There are so many activities that teams can channel their energy into and benefit from.
Aside from sporting activities, the good old scavenger hunt is an obvious choice here. One of our favourite tasks set by Lord Sugar on The Apprentice, this team building activity is great fun and encourages collaboration. You set a deadline and give the teams a list of items to go and find. First team back with everything collected wins!
When we join our employees in team building activities, it’s a chance for us to understand how others perform, and better understand their strengths, weaknesses and interests.
The desert island activity gives a group a scenario where a plane has crashed, leaving everyone stranded on a desert far away. A list of items that might be helpful for survival is given to them and they have to agree what they would take and what they would leave behind. It helps people to think about how they react when their preferences are disagreed with and how to better understand other people’s perspectives.
Every team building event should have an aspect of celebration. It helps employees to reflect on what they’ve achieved so far and motivate them to take the next step up in their job role.
If you need help organising your next team building event then please do get in touch. We’d be happy to help!