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Not another teambuilding exercise!

posted 2 Nov 2012, 03:37 by Christine Schneider

You had a fabulous idea, you meant really well, you spent a lot of money, and somehow it still went all wrong and your teambuilding day left your staff frustrated and annoyed. Or maybe they had a great time, but you can’t see how the day has improved productivity.

Teambuilding exercises quite often go wrong in one way or another, usually because they haven’t been thought through well enough.  

Look at it from your staff’s point of view: you might think that a Saturday spent rock-climbing is a great incentive – and it may well be, if your staff are action loving singles who generally get on quite well together anyway. But do you think that a married father of two (who already works late most evenings) really wants to spend the little free time he has on a work activity? ‘That’s easy’ you think, ‘we’ll simply do our development days during the week – office hours only!’ That may be a better approach, but do your team of software engineers (who are working frantically to get your new product out in time) feel that they can afford spending two days on a communication skills course right now? The answer is that you need to think very carefully about what’s most important to your staff and keep things practical.

Also, be clear on what you want to gain, for example: do you want to reward achievement? Is there a genuine need for training in a specific area? Are you trying to mend strained relationships? Make sure that your activity is suitable for achieving your goal.

Think about who will join the event and how they usually relate during the working day. There is little point in teaching two members of staff to work together more effectively if they never cross paths within your organisation. You can still organise large events, just make sure that relevant teams are grouped together. 

And don't forget to ask your staff for honest (ideally anonymised) feedback at the end of the day - you'd be surprised what you might hear!

For more ideas on how to make your teambuilding exercise successful for you as well as useful and enjoyable for your staff, have a look in the corporate section of this website or contact Christine directly to ask about possible options!