The LandaJob Blog:
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Team Building ( that may actually help build teams )

Team Building ( that may actually help build teams )

Team building has been around for a long time. It’s been proven over and over that people who like each other work better as team members. Better teams translate directly into better products, more efficient processes and better bottom lines.

So, how do you build teams without it being “lame” or just a waste of time and resources?  Well there’s not a pat answer. A lot depends on the size of your company, the culture of your company and your company’s staff (from the top down). You may have to experiment a little and see what your people respond to. You also need to be considerate of your employees’ personal situations. Do they need to pick up little ones after work? Then  maybe right after work is not a good time for a company team-building exercise. Do they have physical limitations? Then perhaps a mountain hike is not the best plan. But if you work within the constraints of your situation, stay open to new ideas, and stay flexible towards creative approaches, you’re bound to find something to which your  employees will respond positively. Make sure that everyone participates, including—and most-especially—all managers, supervisors and owners.

We have a few suggestions to get you started. Keep in mind, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many options out there today, it’s not difficult to find something that will work brilliantly for you! Food and drink. Don’t ignore the obvious just because it’s obvious. Provide a free meal and/or drinks and appetizers. Do it on company time and pay for it. Stipulate that people must have a conversation with someone at the event that they don’t know, just so everyone doesn’t hang out with their friends. At the next staffing meeting, everyone has 5 seconds to introduce the new person they met and tell the group something about them.

Volunteer. Build a Habitat for Humanity together. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Clean up a park. Adopt a family for the holidays. Put your employees on teams and rotate them regularly between several activities they enjoy or are passionate about. Take a vote! They will get to know each other and will be providing valuable community services at the same time. A win-win for everybody.

Sports Day. Another obvious one, but again, enjoyable for everyone. Attend a baseball game or other sporting event. Book a block of seats. See your company name flashed on the scoreboard. Build team spirit by cheering on your hometown teams together. Invite spouses and kids. Buy everyone a hot dog and soda.

Game Day. Have a game afternoon or maybe a game day-lunch. Rotate board games or card games. Rotate players so they team up with different people. Make it a regular occasion and do small prizes for winners.

Karaoke. This could be really fun. And for those “shy” folks who don’t want to perform, make them the judges. Put people in teams so no one has to go up by themselves. Do prizes for the best and the worst!

Puzzles. You can do this a variety of ways depending on the size of your company. This activity could be spread out over several weeks if you have the space to leave it up. Provide several large puzzles. Put people in teams. Which team can put together their puzzle first? There should be time limits. Try mixing up pieces another time so team members have to negotiate with other teams for the pieces they need.

What do they have to bargain with? Puzzle pieces and other team members! Company teams. Still are fun. Maybe it’s a softball team; maybe it’s a trivia team. Provide different opportunities for variety.

Team logos. We’re in the creative business, right? Divide your staff into teams and do a competition to design logos for your sports team, your trivia team, your karaoke team. Print up some t-shirts with your team logo for everyone.

Outside services. There are companies out there that do this for a living. They provide environments for things like “Escape the Room”, laser tag and paint ball. If you have the resources, go for it.

But if you don’t, there are still lots of ways to build your team. This is an extremely short list that is just meant to get you thinking. And, this is an excellent opportunity to get feedback from your staff! Ask them what they’d like to do. Either provide options or keep it totally open (with obvious instructions to keep it clean, fun and doable). As you plan your activities, just keep in mind the needs of your people and you’re bound to build lots of good will at a minimum, and great working teams at the maximum!

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