Team Building Events – The 5 Basic Points Everyone Needs to Know.

1. Team Building Explained

For years now, people’s perception of team building has been synonymous with images of people building rafts, taking part in ‘awkward’ trust exercises, or being stranded whilst orienteering in the middle of nowhere.

It may come as a surprise to a lot of people to learn that things have actually evolved.

A survey by Vodafone UK and YouGov has concluded the UK staff have become turned off by team building as they often breed ‘awkwardness’. According to the survey, experiences like being blindfolded and led by colleagues are considered the least effective team-building activities.

Findings showed the most effective events are social events like going out for a drink or a meal; Team building events that are interactive, fun, fast-paced and down-right entertaining event are the sort you will want to share with colleagues.

2. Conferences – The Good/The Bad

Whilst conferences are the single most common way to converge an entire company in one location for a collaborative session of discussion and networking, quite often you are asked to provide Conference Energiser activities to whip-up the room and revitalise delegates throughout the away-day after prolonged periods of intense presentations and slide shows.

A poorly delivered Staff Conference can have a negative impact on the morale of your employees.

Without the addition of carefully choreographed team building activities, energisers or keynote speaker, you can be faced with delegates criticising the day for being “death-by-PowerPoint”, “chalk-and-talk” or another favourite is “analysis-paralysis”.

3. Think about Going Abroad

Organising team building events that are to be delivered overseas and internationally can be a daunting event to manage as there are so many variables and added logistics to cope with; hundreds of flights, hundreds of requirements, hundreds of hotel rooms – all in a venue that aren’t exactly fluent in english – needless to say things can be lost in translation!

That being said the output of such an event is very useful to a team and something where people are away from their comfort zone and having to work together will definitely mould a team quicker and stronger than anything local.

4. What team building events will your team most enjoy?

Often clients want to drill down to finite details about the specific activities that make up team building workshops including a minute-by-minute agenda. Not only is that not applicable for this type of training since it’s often a fluid and dynamic process, but it is really focusing on the texture of the bark on the trees rather than stepping back for a view of the forest.

What is important is having a clear goal for this portion of your meeting. One mistake companies make is having a “We do a team building activity at this meeting every year” attitude with no real thought about what they want to get out of it. How do you choose the right team building activity? It’s best to take the Stephen Covey approach and begin with the end in mind.

Before you start filling out internet forms and making phone calls to team building companies, think about the goals for this session. If you are the information gatherer, press the decision makers for additional information beyond the tired and overused “team building” and “communication” for something more concrete like breaking down silos or building creative problem solving skills. On the surface you might be looking for something fun and interactive, but there’s a good chance that if the company is spending thousands of dollars on this event, someone is looking for tangible outcomes.

Team building activities are exercises that can help teams build cohesion and work through a host of common group issues. They are used as educational tools to provide opportunities to at least begin discussions that can be continued back at the workplace.

How do you choose the right team building activity for your meeting? It’s like the ingredients of a delicious recipe. Instead of focusing on the bok choy, which isn’t particularly interesting in itself but put in context of other ingredients becomes a flavourful dish, begin with the end in mind. If you take a step back and focus on the goals and outcomes from your meeting you will make the right decision for a team building activity.

5. When to do team building? Take a look at January!

Research has shown that one of the best ways to avoid that after Christmas lull into depression is by doing things that actually give you a cause to look forward to something. So why not invigorate your team and give them something to get excited about with a January kick-off teambuilding events. A fun corporate event means that whilst Christmas is over, the gifts just keep on giving. Activities testing physical, mental, skill and creative capabilities revive the thrill of Christmas and good old family fun, and your team will be left feeling energised and ready to take on the working world once more. Or why not revitalise your team and get their engines going with a straight-talking super-car racetrack experience or Golf Day?

There are a range of no-nonsense successful packages catering to any budget and that really aim to target the core skills for devising your perfect team, teambuilding events are guaranteed to put a much needed smile on your employees face… and yours too!

New Year’s resolutions – we’ve all made them. Whether it’s deciding to join the gym and actually use it this year, de-clutter the house or stick to your diet for longer than just New Year’s Day this time around, January 1st is a day designed for CHANGE.

But for all our good intentions and spirit, studies have shown that by January 10th most of us will have already given up our resolutions, a mere nine days after they were made, with three-quarters of 3,000 British admitting they were no longer confident they would stick to their promises for the rest of the month.If you’re failing to see these changes through at home though, don’t let this be the case at work. Take the opportunity to really target the issues you may have with your team and challenge them to raise their game. Now we’re not talking a full-blown bloody boxing match to get the competitive side out of your team or making 2013 changes… instead instil a sense of healthy competition and determination in your employees with a team building corporate event high on energy, high on fun.