Team building activities were once all the rage – everyone was doing one thing or another, and it slowly became too much.
However, there’s no denying the benefits of team building: improved employee engagement, improved productivity, better communication among team members, and a boost in collaboration and creativity are all certainly something to aspire to.
Add to that the fact that you can make your team building all about physical exercise, thus boosting your employees’ health at the same time, and you’ll want to implement a program of your own.
Just make sure it’s not boring, done to death, and with the potential to do more harm than good. Here are our suggestions.
Admittedly, it can be difficult to get a bunch of people to agree on a sport they would all like to play. But a little incentive can go a long way.
We’d suggest going for a team sport, like football, basketball, volleyball, or even hockey – something that will require your employees to work together.
On the other hand, you might decide on something like an athletics championship – but be aware that it might turn into an actual competition. Since your goal is to promote team spirit, you can divide your employees into teams to achieve that.
You can also choose a sport none of them actually know how to play – like curling, for example. This will encourage them to learn together and have fun as they overcome the challenges of a new activity.
Taking your teams out onto the nearest body of water can be an excellent way to foster team spirit. As long as there are activities they can do there, you won’t have to worry about engagement and the fun factor. They can learn to surf, they can try paddleboarding, waterskiing, and so on – anything that will get them to move and foster come friendly banter, competition, and support.
Make sure safety comes first, though, and check with everyone what their swimming skill levels are.
Martial arts are an amazing skill to master, and offering your employees a chance to try their hand (and leg) at some of them can be a great team building activity.
Again, you will need to ensure safety is at a high standard, and try to find a sports centre and a coach who has experience with teams. You want people to come up against someone of their own skill and strength level, as opposed to someone too far ahead.
If your team is interested, you can sign them all up for a weekly martial arts class together as well – as a continuation of the team building event.
Another water-based activity that can pull together more than one element of a successful team building event. You have the actual physical activity, you have the trip involved in getting to the rafting or kayaking place, and you have nature as an excellent backdrop to building camaraderie and bonhomie.
You can make this into a weekend and provide entertainment for the evening too, with board games, card games, and the like. Try not to reach for karaoke and the team building games most companies play on retreats, aimed to make people get to know each other better.
Also, try not to leave your team to their own devices, as it might turn into a night of mixed drinks, and that might not be the best end to a retreat.
Finally, you can let your team engage in any extreme sport they choose – bungee jumping, skateboarding, driving race cars, and so on.
When choosing the extreme activity, triple-check whether everyone is on board, and expect some to be very reluctant to engage. Even if someone doesn’t want to participate, ask them to come along and cheer their colleagues on. That way, no one will be left out, and everyone can still have a good time without having to do something they’re not comfortable with.
Last but not least, make sure the activity you choose matches the personalities and interests of your team. And don’t force them to come – it should be a fun time, rather than another company function they can’t get out of.