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4 Ways to Conduct Better Team Building Activities

Posted on Jul 18th 2019

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4 Ways to Conduct Better Team Building Activities

As an employee or a member of a professional organization, chances are you’ve found yourself participating in a team building activity.

These activities continue to show up on retreat and meeting agendas, yet often to sighs of skepticism on the part of prospective participants.

Team building activities are designed to strengthen the bond between team members and foster a sense of belonging in someone’s individual role in an organization. Yet, these activities often take on lighthearted, seemingly pointless or silly note in a workplace event.

Here’s how to hit the nail on the head when planning for your next team building activity.

Make Them Relevant

Many organizations view team building as a fun activity not normally offered or experienced in the workplace. As such, many often result to activities that don’t actually serve a bigger purpose or have a defined goal.

Other organizations set goals, but fail to align them with the right activities to reinforce the message.

For employees in either situation, it’s hard to understand the connection between protecting an egg and any meaningful lesson that can be applied in their everyday setting.

Ensuring your team building activities are relevant to the core purpose and goal of the meeting can help you eliminate skepticism and a resistance to participate.

Craft Contribution Roles Carefully

In most team building activities, one person ends up being the director, the architect, the spokesperson, and the critic. This can cause teammates to participate half-heartedly or bow out altogether, resulting in irritation or frustration directed toward the leader.

To help reduce that possibility, develop team building activities that require each member to take an active role. These activities are far more relevant to everyday work in a team setting, and allow each person to explore areas they haven’t yet developed in their skill set.

Make Them Comfortable

The team building activities that tend to be most effective in real life application are those that allow teammates to get to know each other better. People rely on those they know and trust. That’s a hard dynamic to establish when all employees know of each other are names and titles.

Include opportunities for your people to get to know group members on a more personal level. An ice breaker question about a hobby, passion, or bucket list item can get the ball rolling and lead to better communication during the activity.

Comfort doesn’t stop at communication, however. Make sure your activity’s physical requirements or potential repercussions don’t immediately alienate members of your team from participating.

Listen to Employee Feedback

Team building activities are meant to serve the individuals you employ. Offering opportunities for them to provide feedback, and acting on that feedback, reinforces the message that the experience is about them. Designing activities for your group is a constant evolution, based on the people it’s comprised of. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board to iterate.