From the smallest start-up to the largest business that's been around for decades, leaders and owners are always looking for ways to improve the productivity and cooperation of their workforce. There are many ways to do it, and teambuilding activities will go a long way in improving the camaraderie of the team and their performance.
However, what is team building? And how do you go about it? Some other questions we usually get asked are: What activities should you consider for your team? How much time should you spend together on these activities? How do you remove the idea of 'forced fun' that will likely send shivers down the spines of your teams?
Questions, confusion and decisions to make!
We'll try and help answer some of these questions to make it easier for you to plan your next (or first) teambuilding event.
The importance of team building
Teambuilding is designed to build a range of skills, including trust, communication, problem-solving, adaptability, planning and decision-making. These are skills that high-performing teams use daily in the work environment. So, why not just go to work and use these skills in the workplace to develop them further?
This is a good question; I believe we all know the answer. However, let's explore it some more.
We've all heard the saying 'a change is as good as a rest', which is highly relevant when developing a high-performing team. It's not until we step out of the 'norm' that we see new ways to look at and approach things. Getting bogged down in the day-to-day of any workplace can make us blinkered to what else is out there or miss what's not quite working as well as it could be.
Taking your team outside their usual environment and doing something they don't usually do can help to bring out the character, skills and interpersonal development that can sometimes be limited in the team's usual environment.
Look at it like this; just going for a walk around the block or through the park while conversing with someone instead of sitting in an office or on a zoom call yields much better conversation through openness, creativity and connection. If you haven't tried this, do! I had a client once who wouldn't have any meetings unless he was walking with the other person (on the phone or in person).
What kind of events are available? available
Teambuilding can be conducted in many ways, and you don't have to go a million miles for it. I suggest that it's somewhere new if possible and you get the benefits listed above. However, it comes down to where, how long and what type of activity. And these come down to time, budget, location of your teams, demographic and personality of your teams, plus your desired outcomes. Let's break down a few options to get you thinking.
Where to do it?
We run activities from indoor offices to parks and open spaces or from just outside London to the great outdoors in Wales. The options are pretty much endless.
How long for?
This depends on your time and the budget available. It can start with a couple of hours to half a day or from a full day to an overnight trip. Again, the choice is yours, and we've had events from 2 hrs to 4 days days
This is where the fun starts! The first question I ask clients who contact us is, 'what do you fancy doing?'. It comes down to personal choice and is always swayed by the personality and likes of the key stakeholders, especially the person organising the event. We like to give a range of ideas to get people's thoughts going and then build a bespoke event for them. Every event is different!
At Be Fearsome, we have never said 'no' to a client's requests for their event. We grow what we offer every time someone asks for something new. Here are a few favourites with our past clients: Command Tasks & Team Challenges, Orienteering, Scavenger Hunts, Rafting, Climbing & Abseiling. All can be completed within an hour of Central London and some right in the centre.
How do you plan for a teambuilding activity?
The first step to planning a teambuilding activity is understanding what your company, team and each member needs. For example, if your team members have never met before because they work remotely, you may want to start with something casual like a bowling night out or paintballing since these activities do not require special skills or training.
On the other hand, if most of your staff members work together daily and know each other well, you may want to try something more challenging like command tasks, rock climbing or orienteering, where individuals need to rely on each other for the whole team's success.
Since the lockdowns and changes in how we all work and interact, we find teams that are a mix of people who have known each other for some time and some that have joined the company and worked remotely since joining. For this, something in the middle works well.
Type of events
This is where you take all the ideas you have so far and start to put them together to find the ideal balance. And it will be a balance between different objectives and the different people in your company or team. Your event type will be a combination of activities, location and duration.
Usually, this is where the consultation stage comes into its own, and one of our professional coaches puts all the pieces together for you.
For example, our 'City Escape' is ideal for teams stuck in their offices all day long and needing fresh air. This activity is usually completed outdoors and can be a day or an overnight trip, such as glamping. The activities here are extensive and just sixty minutes outside of London.
Whereas our afternoon 'Game Of Codes' event in central London, where the teams are sent out with GPS trackers and have to navigate through coded locations to score points before the other teams get to the locations first, is a zero travel option and can start and end in a pub or restaurant.
To work this out, take all of your parameters from group location, dynamic, desired outcomes, time of year and, of course, time and budget, then put it together to see what fits. Or ask us!
Activities like these should work wonders for your team's morale. Whether you're organising a teambuilding activity as a sales team, with co-workers, or just with a group of friends, you'll see the benefits if you plan and have fun during the activity.
When it comes to corporate teambuilding activities, there are no hard and fast rules. It's really up to the people involved. However, it's good to consider personal relationships and personality types in your planning stages for maximum success.
A team that plays together stays together.
The after-work activities can bring your colleagues closer and strengthen their relationships. It is also an avenue for you to know more about them, not just as a colleague but as a person. A fun activity can help break down any walls or barriers that distance the team in the first place.
All in all, you should keep in mind that the point of a teambuilding activity is to get your team members to have fun together outside of the office and strengthen their budding relationships. There are plenty of options for you to choose from, and having an entertaining time is sure to get your team members talking to each other as they build their bonds even more.