When you say “teambuilding” to your team, do they groan, “Oh no!” or do they respond enthusiastically? If you haven’t hit the mark with your previous team building activities you may want to consider these five questions before booking your next team building activity; they will help you select a workshop that your team will both enjoy and benefit from participation.
On a scale of 1 -10, where 1 is “fun” and 10 is “developmental” where would you place your teambuilding needs?
Different teams have different needs at different times in their development. If you’re team is in need of fun and camaraderie you may want to come rock out at InTune Teambuilding, go bowling, hit up the local Happy Hour or Wine Tasting, treat them to dinner cruise, race go-carts, host a murder mystery dinner, participate in a painting & wine evening, learn to climb rock walls together, go to a casino or Up Down Arcade in Uptown. Be sure everyone on your team is interested in whatever you pick.
At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re team is in a re-building phase, you’ll likely have a more successful team building with a business-focused approach to uncovering what is standing in the way of a positive and productive work environment. A facilitator-led workshop focused on establishing shared goals, identifying and assigning tasks and workflow and gaining individual commitment for accountability and outcomes.
Of course, if you’re like most teams, you want some of both. Knowing where you are on the spectrum, and sharing that with your team building partner, will help both parties create a workshop that meets your goals. At InTune Teambuilding, as an example, we work with clients in the 1-6 range.
How much time do you plan to invest in team building?
You must be realistic about how much time you plan to invest as relates to your desired outcome. It stands to reason if your team is completely new or absolutely dysfunctional, spending a couple of hours bowing together isn’t going to do much for.
Again, using the 10-point scale, if your team is in the 7-10 range, a teambuilding activity or one-day workshop is likely not going to help you much. That’s the equivalent of throwing a cup of water on a raging house fire. In this scenario, you need an ongoing process that helps create new habits, reinforces what is learned along the way and brings the team back together for several sessions throughout a predetermined time frame.
The 3-6 range will be most successful when you allocate a full day and if you’re in the 1-2 range, a half day or less may be plenty of time to accomplish your goal.
What outcomes do you expect of the team building activity?
Before even searching for potential team building companies, determine what you want the outcomes of your teambuilding activity to be. Are you looking for a fun way to improve communication between team members? Do you have a rogue rock star in your midst that you need to bring back in to working toward the common goal? Knowing what you want to accomplish will go a long way towards finding an activity that can deliver for you.
Does your team have skill gaps or inter-personal relationship gaps?
Most team building programs address inter-team communication skills, trust between team members, collaboration and creative problem solving. To effectively address these competencies though it’s important to understand if the challenge is that any/some/all team members don’t possess these skills or that they choose not to use them due to personality conflicts, lack of trust or low morale.
Will you speak with the team building Facilitator before your workshop?
We choose to speak with each client prior to a workshop in order to ensure we understand what your team building goals are, to learn a bit about each team member and to determine how you will implement newly-learned skills after the workshop. This information enables us to customize our program to best meet your needs.
If you consider a team building provider that does not set up a conversation between you and the Facilitator, ask them how they will assure you that the workshop will match what your team needs.
One final thought about preparing yourself for a teambuilding workshop….
Ask yourself how you will reinforce the new skills learned or positive attitude created in the team building once you’ve all returned to the office. Will the Facilitator or teambuilding company provide you with any tools to help you? Will this burden rest on your shoulders alone or will you invite every team member into the process of holding each other accountable?
Some follow up ideas our clients have used: