To have a great IT team, you must first have a great team. It’s crucial that you work on building a team that can collaborate and work well together – and that might require some bonding first.
It’s not uncommon to dislike, or maybe even fear, team-building exercises. Most often these exercises are embarrassing or awkward. However, team-building exercises have proven to have a positive impact on the performance of a group.
To avoid the unpleasantness of team-building exercises, but still reap the benefits, consider implementing fun, but optional, outings with team members. When choosing these outings, be sure to recognize all of the different personalities of the team members.
Give one of these five great team-building activities a try:
Get out of the office and go sightseeing in your own city or surrounding areas. Book a walking tour or get a group rate at the local museum. Different scenery and a chance to get out of the office is sure to help build the team. You could also keep it work-related and have employees venture out to suppliers or customer locations to get some more insight on how to be successful.
Find a local charity or nonprofit for your company to sponsor or volunteer for. Pick a day every month or every quarter for employees to go and serve their community. Working together to give back allows employees to work better together in the office.
Put together a company bowling league or softball team for some friendly weeknight or weekend competition. These types of athletic activities can sometimes be a source of pride and camaraderie for employees. If not enough employees to form a team, or just not enough interest, consider hosting yoga or fitness classes.
Nothing brings people together like food. If your company often has morning or afternoon meetings, consider providing meals and allowing employees time to eat and have non-work related conversations. Encourage employees to have potluck-style meals, sharing favorite recipes and dishes with each other. If you choose to get out of the office for lunch, try out different restaurants.
Training and Professional Development
Never stop learning! Research workshops, training activities, and conferences that you can send employees to. Employees operate as a team to develop professional skills or experience a day-long demo of company products or services.
Important to Remember
David Ballard of the American Psychological Association reminds company managers that, “ a team outing shouldn’t just be another opportunity for the leader to demonstrate why he or she is in share.” The activities should be driven by employees and not those in upper management.
Team-building exercises are effective when done appropriately and authentically. Getting employees out of the office, off the topic of work, and spending time together can help create a more productive, more cohesive team. For more information, visit compassionategeek.com.