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 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.