Yes… team building. Wait! Wait! Get back here! We know, your eyes are already starting to roll. But here’s the thing, the average American spends 34 to 47 hours at work each week. You see you, coworkers, more often than your friends and maybe, even more, your families! It’s important to be in an environment that is conducive to good work.
Teamwork, camaraderie, and synergy. Buzzwords? Maybe. Okay… yes. But they are often the difference between a mediocre business and a successful one. An analogy, if you prefer. Your business, agency, warehouse etc. is a machine. Each member of the team makes up gears and cogs in it. When they aren’t turning in sync, the machine stops functioning properly. It may even break itself apart. When the gears work in concert, great things can happen.
How to get that happening in your workplace? By taking a step back and building up your team, supporting them so that they can, in turn, support each other and build your business. Set a day, get everyone out of the office and…
Food and happiness are intrinsically linked. Eating is one of the most basic needs of life, having a full stomach gives us feel-goods, no matter how you slice it. So, how do you tie that to your employees or team members? Get them involved in a no holds barred cook-off! (Just kidding, there should be holds barred, why would you want to be doing any holds?! It’s food not fighting!)
Spice it up with strange or specific ingredients or other fun constraints. After all is said and done, they will have enjoyed a bit of friendly competition and eaten a lot of (hopefully) yummy foods! Meanwhile, everyone will recognize that Frank is The Man when it comes to chili, and man that recognition feels good.
Getting out there and doing genuine good can do a whole lot of good in the workplace as well. There are many places in need of simple elbow grease and physical labor. Local shelters, children’s hospitals, etc. Or, for an even more particular form of do-good-ing you can look for skill-based volunteer opportunities. These are ways that your employees can feel even more special in what they offer, whether it’s doing web development or marketing or whatever else your industry specializes in all for a good cause.
If volunteer work isn’t quite the stress reliever you and your team are looking for, maybe look for something fun. Escape room puzzle games are popping up everywhere these days and offer a fun, thrilling, and challenging teamwork experience. It stretches all the muscles that exist in a team such as leadership, task delegation, problem-solving and probably… a little infighting. That is okay guys, you will feel closer when this is all over.
Speaking of games, board game tournaments can be an easy team building activity to have ongoing while work is still getting done in the office. Simply have workers sign up for timeslots throughout the day when their workload will allow it.
Dungeons and Dragon or other roleplaying games are natural team building exercises as players find their role within a group and work together to solve challenges or defeat monsters like dragons! Now Alonso in HR is an elf paladin of Pelor while Jon from sales is Orak the orc Barbarian here to smash goblins! Unlike board games and having time slots, this will be better suited to an after-hours session.
As opposed to some other team building activities, everyone has the ability to participate, all they need is their mind!
There is a whole mess of options under a get physical umbrella. Hikes, sports, going out kayaking or canoeing (don’t tell Dan) are surefire ways to build the ties between coworkers and teammates. Navigating through treacherous waters or trying to keep yourselves from getting lost, while stressful, produces a group of people who can comfortably rely on each other.
Team building is a huge investment in your team and in turn your business. If you want to be dominating your industry, you need to have a crew of folks who believe in not just the product, your mission, but also in the business.
Further, team building shouldn’t be a one and done thing. That’s where most businesses falter. When it’s a one-time experience that can be quickly forgotten as the realties and day to day stressors take over. But if its regular, it becomes something for the team to look forward to, to hold on to and get them through tough stretches.
And that’s the whole purpose of team building, to instill in your workers a sense of trust and reliability in each other and themselves, to keep morale high and everyone working in their best capacity for people that they care about and care about them in turn. People don’t want to be slaves to their corporate overlords. We want to be a part of communities, working together with and for people and purposes we believe in.