Let’s face it – team building events can be expensive, especially if you’re a small business.
It’s only natural that you may shy away from organising a team building event, especially if you’re unsure of the real value you’re getting in return. But are they really needed at all – and isn’t it cheaper to hold them in the workplace?
The short answer to both of those questions is yes. Yes, they are needed and yes, they are cheaper when held in the workplace. But this doesn’t mean it’s the most effective way to get the most from your team.
For a team building event to work, you need to look at it as if a play within a play. Select an event that has a specific purpose and outcome, based on issues you may have within the workplace. For example, you may need clarify the roles and responsibilities between team members or encourage interaction and participation. You will therefore need to select an event that will play on those roles and encourage participation – such as holding debates or giving teams specific challenges to overcome – and allocating the individual roles, as opposed to letting the team decide.
Help break down barriers
When you hold a team building event away from the workplace, you break down any political and/or personal barriers employees may have. Whether these are caused by personality conflicts between individuals or through the hierarchy of management and positions within the company, taking your team away from the workplace and into a different environment will help give all parties a safe space to discuss their concerns and get these conflicts out into the open.
Get a clearer picture of individual strengths and skills
When in the work environment, we’re can (and should!) be focused on our work – leaving little time to truly get to know the colleagues we work with. Often people are employed for a specific role, yet they may have specific skills we’re unaware of, skills that could potentially be utilised within the team dynamics. Team building events can help highlight these hidden skills, encouraging the individual to shine a light on them and for management to effectively see how they could help improve the existing roles and dynamics.
Be mindful of the type of event you select
One of the key points to be aware of, when selecting a team building event, is to be mindful of the type of event you select. As mentioned above, you want to select an event that has a specific purpose or outcome, rather than selecting a purely fun day out. You also want to be mindful of the roles individuals play in the work environment, as you don’t want to undermine authority or confuse boundaries.
If you want to make the most out of a team building event, you really do need to take it away from the work environment. Small businesses in particular, will benefit, as they often require team members to perform more than one function or role and therefore need to blend together tightly as a team. Finally, make sure to avoid events that encourage conflict and competition. Go-karting, paintball and similar competitive events tend to encourage a ‘them and us’ scenario – potentially building on the very issues you’re looking to resolve.
If you’d like to take your team away from the work environment and get outside, why not check out what we have to offer? Here at Partyfield we can provide both – and outdoor location in the Dorset countryside and the means to go under cover, should the weather dictate.