Host a Successful Team Building Event with These Helpful Ideas

By Justin Kemp

Team building exercises and events are a great way to promote employee cooperation, enhance job satisfaction, and increase overall workforce performance. However, to be successful, an event needs to be planned properly with the wants and needs of the entire team in mind. An event that is too physically demanding and fails to challenge the struggles that your team faces on a daily basis won’t benefit anyone, and it won’t lead to any real change in the office. Fortunately, by following some helpful tips, you can host a successful team building excursion.

Determine Your Budget

Sadly, setting aside a day to devote completely to team building isn’t an inexpensive endeavor. If you don’t plan accordingly, the costs can easily get out of control, so it is important to work out a budget well ahead of time.

When you work on your event budget, remember that there are many factors to consider. The event and venue might be the largest costs, but you should also consider travel expenses, awards, and refreshments. Outline what you are willing to pay in each category before you make any arrangements.

Identify Your Objective

One of the most important steps when you organize a team building day is to identify your primary goal or objective. While you certainly want your event to be fun, you also want your employees to take something useful away from the day, as this will ultimately benefit your business.

Consider what you want your employees to gain from the event. Have they had difficulty working together to solve problems in the past? Is communication an issue? Regardless of your main concern, it is important to create a day that will focus on bringing the team together to solve those problems and to work more cohesively in the future.

Ask for Employee Input

If you want your employees to understand the importance of working as a team, lead by example and ask for their input on what to do. Allow your team to provide a range of suggestions that you can narrow down. Then, send out a shortlist – possibly in the form of an email survey – so that they can vote for their preferred plan. This will give you a good idea about what the majority of your team would like to do.

Even if the top choice isn’t something that will fit within your budget, you’ll at least have a jumping off point. It will be impossible to please everyone on your team, but you will know what types of activities interest your group and can plan accordingly.

Encourage Full Participation

It is crucial that your employees know about your team building day well ahead of time so that they can prepare to attend. Use your internal communication network to make sure your team is both interested and ready for your event. Emails, posters, memos, and other internal messages can pique people’s curiosity, but make sure to get this information out as early as possible. If it is mandatory that all of your team members participate, you’ll want to leave them plenty of time to plan ahead.

Invite Peripheral Players

When you consider who to invite to your team building event, consider people outside of your core group of employees. You should be willing to include others who are tangentially related to your immediate group, including neighboring departments, suppliers, and internal customers – anyone who is considered to be “closely related.” It is important that you don’t forget the significance of these peripheral players to the success of your business, as they can bring helpful insight and perspective to your team.

Arrange a Guest

If you want a special way to entertain and surprise the people who attend your team building day, consider arranging a special guest in the form of a motivational speaker. The right speaker or coach can encourage team building, and a comedian or other local celebrity can help to lighten the mood. To get the best out of your conference speaker, make sure to inform them of your main objectives for the day and tell them a little about your staff.

Consider the Details

Once you have selected the right event and schedule for your event, make sure you don’t overlook the details. Little touches can make a big difference in any team event. There are a few important questions that you’ll want to consider:

  • How will my team get to and from the event?
  • What meals or refreshments will we need throughout the day?
  • Will I be awarding prizes? If so, what are they and who will get them?
  • Will my team want to do anything after the event?
  • Should I offer an alternative event for employees who are unable to attend?

Keep it Personal

As you progress through your event, it is important that everyone in attendance understands the relationship between individual actions and teamwork. In order to be a successful team, each individual employee will need to commit to adopting the new behaviors learned in your session. To get this commitment from them, you may want to ask each member to complete a personal promise statement or commitment card. You may also want to close the day by having each team member share how they are going to uphold their promise to strengthen the cohesive team once they return to the office.

Document the Event

As your team building day or program kicks off, make sure you have a photographer or videographer available to document. Post pictures on Facebook or give participants hard copies. If there are any special photos – especially those that include your entire team – post them on a company bulletin or publish them on your business website or newsletter. You can also show the video at later meetings, dinners, or social gatherings to reminisce about what a great time you all had. This gets your team excited for future team building events.

A team building event can be extremely beneficial for your company, but only if it is well done. A poorly planned day can leave your team dreading the next event, so ensure that …read more

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