Leave Work At the Door
Sure, you may be teambuilding for work or only co-workers but leave the minutia of the day-to-day stress out of the build. If you’re trying to foster an environment of professionalism and courtesy then it is extremely pertinent to strike the records from your mind about how the project managers won’t answer your emails or that design can’t get your graphics done. Just learn to work with people as exactly that, people.
A bit of friendly competition can be good for a group, especially if there are any sales people involved. It is best to leave anything
physically strenuous out of the equation though, on the flip side, don’t have your team stressing over life-or-death mental exercises. It’s best to leave morality quizzes and relay races out of teambuilding and work on keeping things light and fun.
Culture Takes Time
Fostering a group culture takes time for all involved. If you’re a new group trying to acclimate to one another then it’s going to take more than one guessing game to get everyone used to each other. If you were out to change a bit of an existing group’s dynamic then that follows the same ideas, one puzzle won’t remove everyone’s problems no matter how much they are trying to follow the first tip.
Relax, Reflect, and Remember
A teambuilding event can be everything from a fun little game to a day-long retreat, either way the participants should take the
time to dissect the day. A debriefing/reflection time is important and a follow-up several weeks later can help foster a bit of the culture you were trying to build. It’s easy to be peeved at a list of names in an email list but not as easy to be angry at your famous air-band’s drummer.
Stay Open, Stay Fresh
If you’ve used the same teambuilding activity several years in a row, try something new. Even if Karen from Employee Communications lives for that game where everyone holds hands and tries to untangle themselves, freshen it up. Bring in technology, head to an offsite location, hire a teambuilding professional, it’s important to try to cover a wide swath of interests just in case there’s a holdout among you waiting to burst out of their shell. Don’t plan out every minute of the activity either, leave room for spontaneity, change, and growth.
Get Everyone In
There are always a few who would rather work at work and leave the “mandatory fun” to the salaried workers. Humans spend an inordinate amount of time working. Spending a third of your day, 5 times a week, with a group of people can be difficult with so many personalities in the world. Knowing more about your team and a bit of how they function will not only bring a better understanding of the work habits of one another but afford the mutual respect that breeds productivity among co-workers.