5 Reasons To Incorporate Team Building Into Your Next Event
By: Kim Valha, 360DG’s Global Business Director
When the right group of coworkers come together, they make magic. From accounting to marketing, happy teams equal creativity, productivity, and success. It’s a workplace dream come true. Those connections between team members don’t always come naturally, though. And while you may see the potential, they might need a little encouragement – especially if they’ve all been hired separately, work remotely, or don’t otherwise appear to have that much in common. One of the best ways to turn a group of disparate strangers into bonded coworkers is through team-building activities. Whether it’s an escape room or a mixology competition, bringing your team together can help improve communication, collaboration, and leadership – plus, a myriad of other useful skills. Here are a few benefits you need to know about (and how to make the most of them).
1. IMPROVING ENGAGEMENT AND MORALE
Team-building activities are an opportunity to remind your employees of your workplace culture. A little fun is a vital aspect of work – but for that to happen, you have to find what your team will likely enjoy. To get to the right answers for your unique group, all you have to do is ask. Begin by meeting with your planning committee and craft a thorough survey to get feedback from the entire team. Ask about the types of activities that appeal to them, their hobbies, and their personality types (large-group person vs. small-group person, for example), and use the responses to plan your activities.
For example, 360DG worked with a client whose employees wanted a mix of two potentially different themes: high-energy activities and Western charm. Our answer was an Olympic circuit-style challenge where employees were randomly assigned to teams and charged with working together to complete skills in communication, analytical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.
2. BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER – AND OUT OF THE EVENT SPACE
Breaking up your itinerary with a team-building activity not only builds trust, improves communication, and reinforces your company culture, it also encourages your team to step outside of the conference space. This is especially true if your event takes place over the course of several days, at the same event space or hotel.
Stepping outside the day-to-day rhythm can be a nice change of scenery and much-needed break from “office talk.” For an annual meeting in New York City, 360DG took every opportunity to immerse the guests in the cityscape. Activities there included adventures into the city to face uniquely themed escape rooms or to participate in a ping-pong tournament moderated by a champion of the sport.
3. INSPIRING A LITTLE HEALTHY COMPETITION
Tapping into your employees’ competitive spirit is a sure-fire way of motivating them. As human beings, we’re competitive by nature, and it’s that sense of competition that inspires us to dig a little deeper and push past our comfort zones. This is particularly important in the workplace, where the idea of accomplishment, reward, and personal achievement can prompt your team to put in more effort toward their goals.
That said, it’s crucial to keep that competition healthy but creating a stress- and anxiety-free atmosphere. Organizing an outside-of-work team-building activity not only encourages camaraderie between team members, it also pits them against each other in a way that’s light-hearted and fun. During a five-day program at Huntington Beach, for example, 360DG planned an American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course, a DIY boat race, a barbeque bash, and more!
4. FOSTERING A SENSE OF PURPOSE
Another pillar that keeps your team happy and motivated – and this one’s a biggie – is a sense of purpose. Employees want to feel like they’re working toward something bigger and better, and doing good in the community can help bolster that idea of belonging. Team-building activities don’t have to be limited to scavenger hunts and escape rooms (although those are fun, too). You can plan do-good programs that get your team members involved in their communities – while building connections.
At 360DG, we’ve helped organize meaningful and impactful team-building events that offered attendees opportunities to give back. One involved jumping on “The Good Bus,” which took participants around to local community-service projects so they could lend a hand. Another, “Cooking for a Cause,” divided a group into small teams that worked together to create hot meals for a local food bank.
5. BRIDGING DEPARTMENTS AND BUILDING TRUST
Trust – particularly in leadership – has taken a bit of a hit post-pandemic. Studies have shown that employees are gradually losing faith and confidence in their leaders, which directly affects morale, productivity, and job satisfaction. While team-building programs aren’t the end-all and be-all solution to this problem (tackling the trust issue requires a lot more work from the inside-out), they certainly offer a chance for employees to work closely together with their leaders.
Teams often get to see the “fun” side of people they don’t get to interact with often on a daily basis. Incorporating team-building activities is also effective because you can divide your employees into groups that aren’t necessarily based on the departments they belong to. It’s a great way to meet new people across the organization, including leadership who might otherwise seem unapproachable. (That said, it’s important that everyone participates, from the CEO down.)
The opportunities are endless, and with the right approach and planning (and most importantly, the right partner), you’ll create team-building experiences your employees will be talking about for years to come. If you’d like a partner in planning your next event, please reach out to us!