Tag: Planning Team Building Events

Team Building Event Planning Do’s and Don’ts

In this blog,  we will look at a list of do’s and don’ts to consider when planning your next team building event. The list is in no way meant to be comprehensive, but should give you a good idea of some important aspects to look at when planning your next team building event.

Team Building Events Planning

Team Building Event Planning Don’ts

  • Team building activities should never be overly competitive. The goal of team building is to get team members to work together and not working against each other, which is often what happens when activities become too competitive. Competition can often divide groups and it is better to stick with activities where members truly have to depend on each other to succeed. Some form of score keeping helps to keep the activities focused, but it should be kept light-hearted, and winning should not be over emphasised.
  • When planning your team building event make sure that the activities will not be to physically demanding for the participants involved. The fitness and abilities of the team as a whole should be taken into consideration. You want to make sure that everybody can be equally involved in the activities, and it is essential to be aware of any physical handicaps or weaknesses within the team.
  • The activities that you are planning for your team building event should always have a good balance. On one  hand, the activities should not be too strenuous but also not be too mindless, causing the participants to lose interest. In the same way, the event should neither be just about fun but also not be draining physically or emotionally. Also, beware of making the event overly comical or complicated. The activities chosen should support the main message and not detract from it.
  • Team building should focus on team work and not be about rewarding individuals. The activities should be structured in such a way that competitive individuals cannot succeed without the participation of all the team members.
  • Do not spend all of the budget available on food and accommodation but make some funds available for facilitation fees. Hiring an experienced team building facilitator will ensure that your event is successful and that all your colleagues can participate in the event.

Team Building Event Do’s

  • When you plan a team building event try to keep the activities in the context of the normal way of doing business for the participants involved. This will help to ensure that the participant will be able to apply the lessons learned in the event to their everyday working environment.
  • Try and arrange activities that have similar challenges to that which the participants might experience in their daily tasks. Successful team building depends on how much the activities create a microcosm of real challenges the participants face on a daily basis.
  • Consider hiring professionals to facilitate your team building event. Good team building facilitation companies have strong working relationships with venues, and they will often be able to arrange not only facilitation for the team building activities but also a team building venue, as well as conferencing facilities if required.
  • Take time to clarify the aims of the team building event before contacting a prospective facilitator for the event. Having a clear understanding of why your company needs team building will help you to communicate your requirements to the team building facilitator.
  • Put plans into place to follow up the event with meaningful work activities. If team building exercises do not have any follow up activities in the work place, employees will more often than not see team building as a once-off event and, therefore, a waste of time and energy.
  • Effective team building is a ongoing process. Together with regular team building events, you should also incorporate team building exercises in the work place on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Make plans to follow up on the lessons learned in the team building event. The purpose of following up should be to re-emphasise lessons learned in the team building exercises and to measure the teams’s progress.

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How to Plan a Team Building Event

In this article, we are going to share with you some tips and pointers that will help you in planning your next team building event. Planning forms a vital part in the overall success of a team building event, and we will guide you through a couple of points that need to be considered when the event is in the planning phase. We will look at issues such as the objectives of the event, the participants, time frames, budgets, location, selecting teams, choosing a theme and assessment of the success of an event.

How to Plan a Team Building Event

What is the objective of the team building event?

It is essential to clearly establish the objectives for your team building event right from the start. Ask yourself why is your company doing team building and what is the company hoping to accomplish with the event? What are the expectations of the participants? Make sure that everybody has the same goal in mind from the outset. The following are some possible objectives:

In order to successfully plan a team building event any current strengths and weaknesses of the participating teams need to be considered. Find out if there is unresolved conflicts between certain people or is there certain groups of people who need to get to know each other better.  Is there members who tend to focus on their own achievements or is there members who are opposed to change? Consider whether there are issues of poor communication within the company and does the company need an overall morale boost.

Profiles of team members

Next you need to take a look at the profiles of the team members who will be attending the team building event. Things such as age range, gender mix and backgrounds of participants should be considered in planning the event. The team building activities at the event has to be suitable for all the team members and issues such as the physical condition and dietary requirements of participants need to be taken into consideration.

What is the budget?

The budget available for the team building event will have a strong influence on your choice of venue, food and beverage as well as the duration of the event and the type of event that you are planning. It is, therefore, very crucial for you to get an indication of the budget at a decidedly early stage of planning. The size of the budget will dictate whether all aspects of the team building will have to be handled in-house or if it will be possible to outsource some or all of the elements of the event. If it all possible, it is advisable to outsource the team building facilitation component of the event as you would like all your colleagues to be available to participate in the event. An established team building company will have the experience of knowing what works and what does not.

Time Frame of Event

Here, you need to find out when the event will take place and the length of the event. A decision will have to be made whether the event will take place in working hours or over a weekend or public holiday. When looking at a date outside working hours, the family commitments of participants need to be taken in to consideration. Furthermore, you will need to decide whether it will be a full day or half day event, or will the event take place over a 2 or 3 days.

Likes and dislikes of participants

When planning the team building activities of the event you have to take the likes and dislikes of the participants in to consideration. What do the team members prefer doing, are they the indoor kind or the outdoor adventurous types or a mixture of the two? This information can be collected by taking polls among the team members or by looking at past team building activities.

Choosing a venue for the event

Getting the right venue for your team building event is crucial as this can have a powerful effect on the atmosphere of the event. When looking for a venue you also need to consider the accessibility of the venue as well as the set-up and layout. Find out if the venue has any contingency plans for adverse weather in case of outdoor events.

Selecting teams

When you look at selecting teams for the event consider mixing departments, geographical regions, management levels or placing people that do not  get on well together in one team. It is also a good opportunity to identify leadership qualities by giving junior members leadership roles. Alternatively you can leave it up to the facilitators to select the teams on the day of the event; the facilitator will monitor the participants before the event to see where he can break up existing groups.

Choosing a theme

Make your event interesting by choosing a theme for it. Your venue, organisers, activities and music can then be chosen to complement this theme. Your content and objectives can be driven by this theme. For example, an archery event can be planned along with the theme of “hitting the target”, emphasising the importance of accuracy and correct decision making.

Assessing the success of the event

In order for a team building event to be considered successful there has to be some way to measure the success of the event. When planning your event it is essential to know how are going to measure this. Will the event be successful because it was enjoyable or because people got to know each other better? Feedback forms, surveys and observation reports  are some of the effective ways to measure the success of the team building event.

Make sure your team building event is a success by giving yourself enough time to plan for it. For a small to medium size event of up to 80 participants, two to three months should be enough, but you will need to give yourself up to six months to plan for events for over 80 participants. Make sure there is a healthy balance between fun and learning; team building should never be just about fun but should also not be overly serious.

 

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