What is team building?
Many of you may seem to know what team building really means, but when you take a step back and look at it, you have to start with how you define a team. To put it in simple terms, a team is a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal. Not any group can form an effective team. A team must have members that can collaborate and help each other maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Or something like 1+ 1 > 2! Of course, converting a group into a strong team is not always easy. It takes time and management skills to form a team that can produce and deliver and team building is part of a lengthy and complicated process that accelerates the formation of an effective team. At the end of day, a team is a group of people, and people can collaborate better with each other if they have a positive and pleasant bonding relationship. Team building is a systematic process designed to improve working relationships and team functioning such as problem solving, decision making and conflict resolution.
Why team building is important
Team building formalizes the power of collaboration. It allows individuals to feel more included and can delayer complex organizational structures. Team building can blend the talent, skills, and creativeness of a group. With collaboration as its only focus, team building improves cooperation, time and resource management for the benefit of any organization. The result is that effective team building produces better, faster results and provides a satisfying and motivating experience for team members.
What are the challenges for a successful team building event?
Maybe you’ve been coordinating events for awhile and know that there are only limited type of activities in the city, especially in the downtown core of Toronto. You’ve done axe throwing, escape rooms, archery tag, and been to the ROM or Ontario Science Centre more than you care to remember. All of this of course added to the innumerable bars and restaurants, which invariably lead towards a night out more so than a team building event. Because team building events with repeated experience tend to produce diminishing returns, finding an activity suitable for everyone that you haven’t done before makes things even more difficult.
Fortunately, there are a few ways for you to find the newest and trendy activities:
- Social Media. By following influencers, and even other organizations, you may get a sense of what other people are doing.
- Social groups like Bunz Friend Zone on Facebook may allow you to see where people like to hang out.
- Event Listing websites like eventsource.ca
Have you and your company tried Virtual Reality yet? Consider team building in a virtual world for your next Corporate Event and see what VRPlayin can offer you!
Limited Services suited towards a corporate event
Most companies want events that are fun, interesting and can accelerate building trust between team members. Naturally, these events would also want to include food and, likely, alcohol. Many places may not offer the total package, therefore event coordinators sometimes have to contact multiple vendors to ensure team building events are successful. At the end of the day, the goal is to make employees happy, satisfied and leave them craving for the next event. In order to have the total package you can do the following:
- Keep a running list of trusted caterers that offer food, alcohol, and service. Our top pick is The Food Dudes/Pantry. Their service is terrific, their portions are very filling, and most importantly their food is tremendous.
- When inquiring about an event, always ask for alcohol or food along with your other questions. Many venues will accommodate your request but may not list it as an option on their website.
- Always do a site visit to make sure there’s enough space to socialize, maybe even going so far as to request a clearly labelled floor map to get a sense of the space.
Whether it’s the season, venue or the profitability of your project, department, or company as a whole, event budgets can fluctuate even for large corporations. To prevent your events from being negatively impacted by business, you should always do budget planning for the fiscal year, including team events in the budget forecast.
While this may not prevent all budget cuts, it will help in managing employees’ expectations and in making the best out of what you can spend. There are a few rules of thumb to follow. Never set the expectations too high (always remember the maxim of under-promise and over-deliver), never share budget numbers to anyone, and never announce team events too early. Usually 2 or 3 weeks in advance is a good amount of time. And lastly, make sure to let it be known that these things are your way of building a culture of rewarding employees and that they’re special events.
What makes an memorable team building experience?
Strong bonds between employees play a big part in making a businesses successful and team building outings are an important way of getting staff together outside of work to strengthen those bonds. Of course, choosing the right activity for an outing can go a long way in determining the success of your team building outing. Not everyone shares the same interests for the same activity, but organizations can set long-term team building standards and consistently bring in differently activities that meet them. Some examples of team building standards:
- Clarification of mission and vision
- Establishment of team members roles and responsibilities
- Faster startup for new teams or teams with new leaders
- Mechanisms for resolving conflict and elimination of dysfunctional behaviour
- An appreciation of differences in work styles and preferences
With this in mind, try to offer something that incorporates a good mix of play, challenge and intellectual tenacity while making sure the activity isn’t too difficult so people can all feel a sense of achievement no matter their skill level.
Great entertainment is a crucial part of making your event a success and the venue that hosts you is vital to this. If you’re not going out for a separate dinner before or after your event, make sure you choose a venue with enough food and drink options suitable for everyone. You also want to make sure the space can accommodate your team, with there being enough room to sit, stand or roam as you please. Of course, if it’s at all possible, it’s always a good idea to check out the venue beforehand to make sure it fits your wants and needs.
When you take a break from whatever team building activity you’re doing, you may want to take the opportunity to get to know your coworkers outside the office. With this in mind, make sure you’re doing an outing that will allow your employees to get to know each other on a personal level, outside of the activity you’re doing. If not everyone is participating in the activity at once, is there a good area for you to chat amongst yourselves? Is it too crowded? Is the music too loud? It’s important to consider all these factors beforehand to ensure you and your company have the best event possible so when you do go back to work together, your team has even more of a connection.