“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people,” Steve Jobs.
#7 Experiences at work: Team events and activities
In this ten-part series we suggest ways to ‘shift people’s experience of work’. #6 looked at how important it is to say ‘thank you’ to those making an impact across your business. In this seventh post we look at the power of team events and activities in creating a culture that surprises and delights your people.
The team that plays together, stays together. It’s a cliche saying but it holds true, especially in the workplace. Team building events and activities can sometimes signal a collective shudder from employees who begin to picture gym-class trust exercises and awkward scenes from The Office. But if that’s the response, then you need to rethink not only the what but also the why you should invest in team building.
Team building and team activities are a powerful way of creating and reinforcing your company culture, and it doesn’t have to be that hard. Experiences are a powerful way to create a connection between your people and to your brand.
The benefits of team building are well documented; both in research and anecdotally. These types of activities have been shown to do everything from improve productivity to increasing motivation levels and even encouraging creativity in the workplace. Once they see themselves as a team, your employees will gain a sense of group empowerment. But that trust in each other must be constantly fed in order to blossom.
Team-building activities are a great tool to harness the collective strength of your employees and also improve their engagement levels both inside and outside the workplace. Escape rooms, fun runs, cooking classes, social nights, team trivia, bubble soccer – the choices are endless, and it’s key that your employees have a say on which team-building exercises excite them the most. You have shared goals in the workplace, so why not have them for external exercises as well?
To help you out, here are some tips for creating a memorable, and effective, team building event.
- Be original. We’ve all been part of the contrived board-room team building afternoon, compete with a tray of Arnott’s Family Assorted and a bowl of Minties. Be original and thoughtful in your planning – choose an activity that will inspire teamwork, bonding and problem solving and the results will pay for themselves.
- Get out of the office. The best team building activities are the ones that don’t feel like a day at the office. A change of scenery can help inspire new ideas, shifted attitudes and a sense of fun that might not be possible inside the corporate four walls.
- Or stay in the office. You can always bring the experience to you, with a number of pop up options like mini massages, cupcake decorating and even cocktail masterclasses (after hours of course). The fact is, team building doesn’t have to be hard work.
An important part of being an employer of choice is surprising and delighting your team – and you can achieve this, while reinforcing your company culture, through experiences. This will shift the way people experience life at work and create powerful folklore and storytelling about your brand.
Some of our personal favourite team building events are:
- Insomnia Race: Car-Based iSpy Scavenger Hunt – Vic
- Private Paint and Wine Class – NSW
- East Asian Cooking Class with Matched Wines – QLD
- Private Whisky Lesson on a Classic Wooden Boat – Sydney Harbour
What better way to get people sharing images of your workplace than to give them something really worth bragging about…?
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Also published on Medium.