Overall its probably fair to say that building team has a negative connotation. People hear the words and a collective groan ripples the room.
But before you say “UGH”, consider how important it is. Trust and engagement lead to improved morale, a number one factor in what keeps employees at their jobs.
Keep building term retention goals in mind, employee engagement should be at the top of the list. Studies consistently show that employee’s who feel connected to their workplace and more likely to be more productive, and stay longer.
According to an article in Forbes by Brian Scudamore, “It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration. Effective team building means more engaged employees, which is good for company culture and boosting the bottom line.”
So what are some general guidelines on successful team bonding?
1. Focus on sharing an experience, not propping up corporate agendas or forcing leadership roles.
2. Find a connection to an activity but avoid being too on the nose.
3. Be unique- you know how many boring company picnics people have attended? You are guaranteed an eye roll if you think this will cut out these days. You must think outside of the box and try to push boundaries of traditionalism.
4. Don’t be cheap- employee happiness is an investment.
5. Don’t be one and done- after the activity find ways to consistently bring it up again and tie it to goals and agendas for as long as it still makes sense.
Whatever you choose, make sure you ask yourself some questions:
1. Does this open new lines of communication?
2. Will it strengthen ties between employees?
3. Is it upbeat and forward-looking?
These are great ways to ensure that your exercise is going to take your building team in the right direction.
Remember that employee satisfaction needs ongoing attention so plan at least one of these team bonding events a year, ideally do more than one- it really will show you are paying attention.
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