The word team building has such a wide variety of connotations from 10 years ago. If you type the word into Google, you get over 79,000,000 results. So it’s obviously important and fair enough. At it’s most simple, a team that gets on together, is cohesive, energised and collaborates effectively is much more effective than one that really dislikes each other, has no cohesion, energy and doesn’t share any information at all.
There are many, many ways to achieve a happy, motivated and dedicated team. As long as it isn’t cheesy (think The Office TV Show) the possibilities are endless. I came across this article today by Susan Heathfield that gave some easy ways to build your team and all focus on things you can do yourself. Whilst a tailgate party might not be such a huge hit in Australia, there is always something that you can do. Like anything, it will be something that you and your team will have to work on regularly. The more effort you put into team building, the better team you will have. Pretty simple and it has a huge effect on the bottom line as well.
I have put the first few points below. You can read the rest of the article here
Lunch discussion and team building groups: Provide lunch for the whole company, a department or a work team. Assign employees to various work groups of up to ten people to thoughtfully discuss and respond to work related questions. One fun way to divide employees, when you don’t care who is in which group, is to put numbers on the bottom of plates. All employees who have a number 1 on their plate take their lunch and meet in the library or conference room B, for example.–Additional ways to divide employees into discussion groups.–Thoughtful questions for ice breakers that you can use as samples, although you will want the discussion topics to reflect the interests and happenings in your workplace.
Take an employee to work day: Schedule employees to visit another department for take an employee to work day. Employees are always curious about what other employees do. Satisfy their interest and introduce the employees to a whole new work group in the process. The opportunity to observe in another department allows employees to participate in team building that enhances cross department cooperation and understanding. It also offers employees the chance to explore another career path. Here’s how one company put together their take an employee to work day.
Provide comfortable collaboration spaces with couches, snacks and beverages. Ask employees to schedule the space as they might reserve a conference room. Require that all food and beverages must be consumed in the collaboration area in a group experience.
Hold work book clubs: Employees across the company or in a single department volunteer to read and discuss a particular book in a work book club. The company purchases the books for the employees who meet weekly to discuss a chapter or two. In the best book clubs, employees take turns leading the discussion about the chapter. A second employee leads the discussion about the implications of what they are reading for the company. This is how to set up a work book club.
Sponsor job shadowing opportunities for employees in a different department. Just as take an employee to work day fosters team building between departments, so does job shadowing. It provides the opportunity for an employee to explore alternate career paths, too. Job shadowing is easy to put together and costs only the employees’ time. The benefits of job shadowing far outweigh its cost.