Richard Branson once wisely said, “a business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”
This quote applies to everything from the day-to-day activities within a company to the long-term strategies and plans for the future. Part of this, of course, is corporate team building.
Are your team events involving, fun, and creative? Basically, are you ticking all the boxes to ensure you’re making the most out of the time, effort, and money you’re investing in such activities?
Here are eight questions to ask yourself to see if you’re getting the most out of your corporate team building events.
Are you holding corporate events often enough?
An annual event isn’t enough to keep employees working well together, but you will need to look at the size of your business to determine a good length of time between each gathering.
Smaller companies will find it easier to book an event more often, and may only need to come together once each quarter, as they usually work closely with everyone in the workplace anyway.
Larger groups may need to do team building activities more often to ensure a close-knit team. If in doubt, consider the signs that you need to hold an event, such as low productivity, or a change in management or staffing.
Are you following up?
Each corporate team building event should be followed immediately by some sort of feedback system.
It can be a quick meeting back at the workplace to discuss feedback, anonymous surveys or in-depth one-on-ones to gauge the effectiveness of the event. You’re simply looking for signs of whether your employees are feeling better about the job, their role in the company, their relationships with fellow staff members and general positivity. Based off this feedback, you can alter future events to better suit your staff.
Are the events achieving what you want them to?
Before each event, you should have a specific goal or two in mind – either quantitative or qualitative or a mix of the two. This way, you’ll be able to target the activities and themes towards reaching those goals.
Afterwards, compare your results to determine whether your corporate event hit the mark. For some managers, all this will be is for their employees to let off some steam. For others, they will want their employees to work well together. Your goals will vary each time, but it is always important to check if you met them.
Are the events suitable for your employees?
Finding a team building event that is suitable for everyone comes with its own challenges. Ideally, everyone in the team will enjoy taking part, which can often rule out activities such as physically demanding sports challenges and cliché trust exercises. The larger the group, the harder it is to please everyone, but you should never stop striving to ensure all parties are interested in the activity at hand.
The other challenge is that of variation. If you’re holding an event each quarter or every six months, you’ll constantly be on the lookout for new ideas. For example, switching from a volunteering day to an orienteering day will help ensure your employees won’t get tired of the same old activities every time.
Are you building excitement for events?
You’ve gone to all the work of finding an activity that works for everyone, done the planning and organising, but it’s often the case that others won’t be as excited for the event as you are.
Employees will often be overwhelmed with their own work and won’t think too much about upcoming events. Help them remember the perks of the job and get excited by putting up signs in break rooms, sending around a quick email once you’ve booked the venue, and generally sharing your own enthusiasm.
Are you delegating some of the organisation tasks?
As with any managerial position, delegation is both an important skill and a necessity for the growth of others in the company.
When you delegate some of the responsibility over the team building event, you’re achieving a number of goals. You’re freeing up your own time, helping someone else boost their own skills, ensuring others are invested in making the event a success, and building a backup plan for when you leave the company or when you’re on holiday or are sick.
Even if you only pass on the basics such as the follow-up responsibilities or organising transport for the event, the task of preparing a team building activity becomes something of a team building activity in itself.
Are you keeping a record of each event?
Bring along the camera and snap plenty of photographs during the event. Videos tend not to work quite so well since they’re harder to edit and share, so quick snaps are usually much easier.
Print photos to pin on the wall in the workplace, send them around via email and generally remind everyone of the good times that were had. It will help keep the positivity on a high for longer, and will slowly build up over time as proof of the involving, fun workplace you’ve created.
Are you incorporating other methods to solve problems?
Team building is a great way to bring people together and ensure great communication between departments. However, it’s not a quick fix for every workplace issue and should not be considered as one.
Instead, you’ll need to use other strategies in conjunction with team events to help eradicate issues such as office politics, unhappy individuals or a lack of sufficient training. Many of these problems take more than a fun-filled day out to solve, so be sure to seriously consider whatever problem you’re having before you use a corporate event to try to fix it.