Team building is often seen as something you need to get outsiders in to help you with. But why? It’s your team, you already know each other, you have a good idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are.
This blog will be the first of a series that will show you how to run a 30 minute Friday afternoon team build.
The events will be competitive, light-hearted, fun to play and watch.
There are fewer wishy-washy (mass) nouns than Team Building. Yet these words create very vivid images in people’s heads even though they come from very different experiences and perspectives.
Back in 2008 I took my partner on a romantic trip to Paris specifically to see The Magic Flute at the Paris Opera House. It was and remains the only time I’ve been to the Opera. The version I saw was very modern (subsequently slated by the press), the characters wore jumpsuits and vests and the stage was strewn with giant inflatable props. Not what had expected at all. No fat lady, no horned helmet, yet we loved the experience.
Team building is back on the must do list for companies in 2016. When the recession hit in 2009 businesses had to tighten their belts and make cutbacks.
Events of all kinds were the first on this list of non essentials. Many companies had to make redundancies, it wasn’t seen to be politically correct to make someone redundant and then a month later take the remaining teams on an away-day.
However redundancies result in changes in team dynamics. New teams take time to settle in, there are often clashes in personnel, problems with roles and responsibilities. The earlier these can be addressed with a properly constructed team building package the quicker everyone can settle into their jobs and get down to business.
People achieve senior management positions for simple reasons. But mostly it all boils down to the fact that they are trusted to make good decisions.
At the top of a company will either be a Chairperson or Share holders that place the responsibility for the running of the business into that the hands of an MD who in turn will delegate out to a management team of people he or she trusts.
And so it continues down the chain of command to the lowliest of positions within the business.
Have you ever walked into a room and not known anyone there? To many it can be a deeply uncomfortable experience.
Harder still is the idea of walking into a new job and not knowing anyone. Pressure of a new position, no understanding of the social hierarchy, getting to grips with new skills all adds up to a potentially difficult time.
I spoke to one of my clients recently who had just finished running an eight day event for 400 people in London’s Park Lane. Her client was sending out a message, it said “Business is good and we intend it to stay that way”.
Now not all business can afford such an extravagance, but the message remains the same.
Large team building events can create big headaches but there are options to relieve the pain!
Very few companies will choose to entertain everyone all in one go, though most famously Virgin host an almost legendary annual Summer party. Hosting around 60,000 people all in one place in one day with top of the bill acts, food, drink and a mini festival.
Just imagine being at that Virgin event and thinking, “I’m part of this and they value me”.
First up be yourself, unless you’re going to spend the rest of your working life pretending, look and make the most of who you are. There are many types of team building days but in this article we are going to concentrate of the most traditional.
“We are looking to run a team building event.”
That’s probably the most common opening to an enquiry we receive. The question I try to ask in return is “Why?” and that is usually as far as that line of conversation stops.
Most clients don’t really know why their team isn’t functioning as they would hope, truth is that sometimes it can only be ascertained by spending time with them in their working environment.
So what’s wrong with your team, probably nothing. Individuals tend to cause the problems, it could be the guy on the shop floor that sneaks off and lets other people do all the work or that girl in the office that just can’t stop playing Candy Crush. The disengaged person that just runs on tick over, or it could be the boss, aggressive, abrasive, or just not a good leader.
People will always try to blame others rather than face their own weaknesses.
So you’ve been tasked with looking for a team building event for a group of colleagues or clients. Where do you start and what should you look for?
Good question, and one that can affect the whole success of the event. When is probably going to have the greatest influence of how your event will be remembered. Summer is the preferred time to run outdoor events. After a period of good weather the ground will be dry and solid and the chances of it being called off are slim.