We have some interesting conversations every week with people who are ringing up looking for a team building program.
The abbreviated conversation generally goes something like this:
- Hi, we are looking for some team building? Can you send us a quote?
- Great. I am keen to know a lot more before we do that. Are there any specific outcomes you are looking for?
- No, just team building and that type of thing.
- Team building means different things to most people, what’s your sense around what the team wants?
- You know, just team building stuff. Can you send a quote?
At that stage, I know that we will most likely never work with that person. If they don’t know what they are looking for, chances are very low that we will be able to give it to them.
Whatever you are considering, there are some real simple things to consider:
Spending a day together out of the office does not mean you are necessarily building teamwork. In fact, a team building experience that is unenjoyable and poorly delivered can be a real destructive influence on teamwork. I have been in a number of these and everyone I think we have ever worked with has a really bad memory of an office team building day.
I prefer to reverse team building and refer to it as ‘building a team‘. How is the day going to build a more successful team? A highly motivated team? A happy, productive or more creative team?
When planning a team development/team building day there are some important things to consider.
- What is the current teamwork situation in the workplace with your team?
- What would you like the teamwork situation to be?
- Do you want the team development day to be all fun, a full-blown development program or a great mix of fun and learning?
- How will you measure the success of the team building day?
- How will you keep the magic of the team development day alive and relevant in the office?
- Is there anything that you defenitely don’t want to see?
- What would a terrible team building program look like?
- Are you going to make the decision purely based on price?
Once you have some clarity around these questions, you can start to get a better idea of what success would look like.
Looking to let the team blow off steam – great!
Needing to develop your team’s creativity – fantastic!
Develop team unity and focus at the start of a project? – Superb!
Wanting to get to know everyone better for some team bonding? Awesome!
Your team building goals can always be achieved as long as you know what they are. And it makes for some better phone calls….