18:34 13 December 2017
These days there tend to be a bone of contention as to the benefits or otherwise of team-building days away from the workplace. While some companies say tried it, didn’t work. Others have found it so successful it’s become a regular part of company training programmes. In most instances, failure can be attributed to little thought being given to the activity chosen, and little discussion undertaken with staff involved in the project. With team-building activities, one size doesn’t fit all.
One of the most obvious occupations where team work is of paramount importance is the armed forces. All those assault courses, route marches, and map reading exercises are not just designed to increase fitness. They are designed to mould a team where each member can rely on the other. Where problem solving becomes a team effort, and where the whole team crosses the line together. The exact same aims of any small company who wishes to retain happy confident staff, improve productivity, and maximise output.
Team-building exercises don’t have to be expensive. Raise the idea of a company football team joining a Saturday or Sunday league. If your workforce is small, staff may be interested in joining the local pool or darts league. You supply the team shirts with company logo, great for increasing brand awareness, and most importantly, you turn up to support your team.
If your workforce is predominantly female, interest may well lie in regular gentle exercise evenings at a local fitness club, or forming a squash or badminton team. Again, team shirts are the dress of the day. Even these common activities can help begin building a greater team spirit and camaraderie amongst your staff.
Whether or not you believe in the benefits of organised team-building activities, there are plenty that do. The sheer volume of experience day venues around the country points to the fact that they are extremely popular. Expecting your loyal staff to join in your team-building ideas in their own time is not conducive to a successful start. The majority of companies have a period where business usually drops off. Don’t think of it as a day’s loss of production. Instead think of it as part of your long term drive to lower staff turnover, and increase productivity.
One day out is not going to change your business fortunes overnight, but it will give you an insight into the possible success of your ideas. Most importantly, discuss the plan with your workforce, provide varied options and let them choose the activity.
There is almost nothing these days that can’t be used to help build a closer bond between work colleagues. For instance, sports such as skydiving, rock climbing and abseiling will always have one or two less confident members, who appreciate the help and encouragement of other work mates.
driving experiences are another fun way to build a little friendly competitive spirit. Kart racing against each other, or other company teams, can really get the adrenalin flowing, as can who achieve the fastest lap time in touring or F1 car.
With proper organisation, team building activities not only helps gel your workforce, but provides you an intimate insight into possible new managers when a vacancy occurs. They can pinpoint team leaders, and those who may need a little extra guidance, or whose talents may be better employed in a different area of your business.
And finally, even with today’s modern approach to business, team-building days always go down better, when the staff can kick management rectum.
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