Team-Building: Outings and Projects to Encourage Harmony Among the Team

Team-building exercises allow you to get everyone in the team involved in light-hearted activities that build rapport and the members’ abilities to work together. They also allow for a little good-natured competition in many cases, keeping the competitive spirit alive. Team-building exercises also allow for a light-hearted way to overcome struggles within your team.

When team-building exercises cross your mind, you may have a lot of questions. Don’t think about it too much; team-building exercises can be just about any type of game or activity where small groups “battle” each other to win.

Quite frankly, almost any game can be turned into a team-building exercise. A game of charades can get people laughing and talking, and let’s be honest: sometimes a little laughing and hilarity can really lighten the mood around the office! Other ideas include bingo, Pictionary, and hangman. While they may seem like children’s games, they are simple ways to bring smiles and cooperation among team members.

If games strike your fancy, small rewards make it all the better for the participants. Prizes don’t have to be huge, nor are they always necessary (let’s face it, winning is a prize in itself!). Lunch on the house for the winning team or an early departure on a Friday are two examples of prizes that may boost the competition a bit more.

Outings can also prove effective. Many companies offer team-building retreats or activities, ranging from obstacle courses to planned events. A golf scramble may suit the interests of most of your team, or a visit to an arcade-style venue may pique the curiosity of your workers.

Team-building exercises bring a fun way to boost creativity and cooperation, while giving a “non-work” feel to a definitely work-related project.

Creating a Team that Boosts the Company

Although it’s sometimes lost in today’s world of employment, the ideal staff team is one that puts a good face on the company, a team that is loyal and that helps boost the company’s reputation and bottom line. Unfortunately, too many mistakes are made in this field and the company is the one who pays for it. As an HR professional or a part of the management team, part of your job is putting together the most amazing team of staff the world has ever seen.

One of the best ways to create an out-of-this-world team is to boost morale and create a pleasing work environment. Happy employees are more likely to be loyal to your company and to shed a new, positive light on the company’s reputation. This is pivotal in increasing your bottom line, encouraging new customers or clients, and boosting productivity in the work place.

Check out these simple tips for boosting morale and creating a great team:

  1. Be the manager everyone has always dreamed of having. How?
    1. Open the doors to easy communication
    2. Be objective and fair
    3.  Wear your smile
    4.  Take interest in the personal lives of your employees
    5. Offer praise when it’s due
  2. Understand that fun should be a big part of your work environment
    1. You don’t have to create a circus or be lax on rules, but understand that a good joke is always appreciated and friendly competitions can go a long way toward productivity
  3. Offer incentives
    1. A job well done or that exceeds expectations may deserve something a little special, like a gift card or movie tickets
  4. Let your employees know you notice their hard work
    1. Offer an on-the-house dinner or lunch one day
    2. Bring in a masseuse for free chair massages
    3. Plan an employee picnic or outing

If it seems like these suggestions aren’t going to do much for your bottom line, consider this: happy employees are more productive; clients are more satisfied when dealing with a smiling rep than a hardened one; and happy employees are more willing to say great things about the company to everyone, including on social media, to new acquaintances, and to their personal groups of friends and family.

Training Your Team to Work Together

If a team is cohesive and collaborate—they are more efficient and productive. It’s what every manager and executive wants for their people. But, how do you get your individual team members to take more responsibility and to rely on the team—instead of you?

It’s a question that almost every manager asks at some point. When you train your team to work together and become a true team, each member will be better individually and collectively.

Here are two things you can implement with your team to help them gain their independence.

1. Don’t micromanage. Micromanaging only perpetuates dependency and disgruntles your team members. If you aren’t giving your people full control, they will come to depend on seeking your approval in order to complete tasks, projects and assignments. Take a step back and analyze whether you are too close to the process of each project and if so, slowly begin to move away from each step along the way. You’ll need to let go of control and trust that you have the right people in place to handle the job. If you don’t have the right people, you’ll still need to stop micromanaging, but you may also need to shift people around on your team or make a new hire.

2. Show don’t tell. When delegating tasks and giving your teams new items to learn and implement, it’s imperative that they learn the knowledge that you hold. They’ll need to know everything from why the task is being completed, who to go to for certain aspects of the tasks, how to trouble shoot, and anything else that is relevant. Just asking someone to do something without giving them a complete 360 degree view is setting yourself up for a lot more questions and interaction than necessary. Show them what to do, don’t just tell them to do it.

3. Encourage independence, creative thinking and mistakes. Yes, I said mistakes. When individuals know they are allowed to make mistakes and won’t be put on the chopping block, shamed in front of the entire team, or worse—they will feel the sense of freedom in exploring what will work and won’t work on their own. And, there’s no greater teacher than true experience and figuring things out. You can bet that any team member who makes a mistake once won’t do it again.

Overall, it is possible to train your team to work together and to be more self-sufficient, however, it always starts with leadership and management. Take a look at your leadership style and even your company culture and make any necessary adjustments there, before you expect your team to become fully independent.