Team-building activities might make you think with dread of icebreakers and trust falls, but they actually play a vital role in creating a strong, cohesive unit and engaging in them as often as possible can have numerous positive effects for your business.
Of course, you’re not going to take time every week for an off-site activity, but there are things you can do weekly or even daily to make your team as solid as possible.
Stand-up meetings: If you’ve never had a stand-up meeting and you aren’t sure what they are, they’re exactly what they sound like. By design, these gatherings are meant to be brief (10 minutes or fewer) and efficient, and they’re a great option for things like daily status updates. Bringing your team together even for this short time lets them know that you are committed to keeping them in the loop, and means no new-starters will ever feel left out, being part of team meetings from day one.
Tech-free meetings: Sometimes it’s helpful for everyone to bring their computers to a meeting, and other times it’s just a huge distraction, making things take longer than necessary because no one is fully present – and one person distracted by their social media feed will soon lead to others. Instead of a regular one hour long meeting, try planning a 30-minute, tech-free huddle where you and your team can run through your agenda without interference.
One-on-one check-ins: If you’re only getting together with your team members as a group, you’re missing out on an opportunity to really get to know what’s going on with them. By holding regular one-on-one meetings with each of your managers – or new starters or high-performers - you can get a better sense of issues they’re facing (whether it’s with a project or a colleague) and how they’re feeling in their role. It’s also a less intimidating setting to discuss ideas and just get to know each other better. (And it’s a great employee retention tool.)
Company-wide meetings: As companies grow their staff and expand their reach, it can be difficult to keep up with what everyone else is doing. Whether it’s weekly, monthly or quarterly, regular company-wide gatherings are great for getting all your staff up to speed on company news and initiatives. Plus, having everyone physically gathered together, learning about plans and accomplishments, can be a powerful morale booster. On a personal level for employees, meetings make sure they know all the faces of the company and even a quick meeting with an unknown colleague at these gatherings can help them build meaningful connections.
Team-building activities: There are tonnes of options for out-of-the-office activities (like city-wide scavenger hunts and escape-the-room games, to name a few) that boost teamwork and hone problem-solving skills while helping your employees get to know each other better.
No matter what activity you choose, the important thing is that you leave your place of business. There’s something about getting out of that environment that helps people relax and see each other in a different way.
Social outings: Sometimes the best way to strengthen your team is to just have fun together. Whether it’s a trip to a museum or the park, or just a lunch or happy hour at a local pub, it’s important to give your team the opportunity to get to know each other outside of the work environment. Try to find something that everyone will be interested in (you want them to be excited about this and not see it as just another work obligation) and try to keep things light.
Charitable projects: Creating a strong team isn’t about being totally insular. Find a local ‘charitable organisation whose mission resonates with your team members and your business’s brand or mission. Then work together to come up with ways to help, whether it’s a one-day volunteering event or a longer-term project, a bake sale or Movember. No matter what you choose, having your team members look outside themselves and their daily routines will give them perspective and can help motivate them knowing they work for a business with a heart.
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