‘Team building’ has historically often caused groans, sighs and quick-fire excuses from staff, but regardless, it’s an essential tool in building a winners’ culture. Most companies often fail to embrace the fact that good team building, takes planning and the ‘buy in’ factor from members of staff. Reluctantly agreeing to have a ‘team building day’ once a year is completely the wrong approach. Any Director/CEO should take the time to appreciate how important it actually is first.
That’s not why I’m writing this today, I’m here to talk about how team building should go BEYOND an ‘away day’ or training session.
Team building doesn’t have to be a walk up a mountain: Quite literally. It should be both passive AND active. It can be as simple as making sure the team goes to the local once a week. The crucial factor is constantly engaging your employees with each other, in order to build up rapport and the teams overall strength. Too often companies have a system of ‘clock in/clock out’ at 9 & 5:30 where ‘colleagues’ are simply the people at the next desk. You’ll be spending most of your time with these people, so actually creating friendships within a team will only help the company as a whole.
Team building shows that you invest. When it comes to talent attraction, a prospective company should always offer beyond a salary and actually get potential candidates to ‘buy in’ to the culture and environment from the first interview. Showing that you have a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality; with regular nights out, away days and training, will make you a lot more appealing when it comes to picking and choosing for a candidate.
Team Building starts at the recruitment, too often companies hire on skill, this is easy. We look to hire based on the cultural fit within our business, not necessarily skill. This is more difficult, takes more time and will mean that you’ll need to be more patient when hiring, often at the sacrifice of short term head count growth. It will save heart ache both within the team and financially in the long run.
Mix and match. Another point about Team Building is that, it has to be memorable. You want your team to come away from it saying ‘wow, that was really beneficial’. Make it a real talking point, make it a point of discussion at monthly meetings, what can you do or where can you go which will entice people and get them involved?
To put into perspective, at Adam getting the team together out of work is a top priority; we’re having a walk in the lakes in May, but more recently, took part in a charity Softball tournament, despite none of us having any previous experience. Although there were some tumbles, hilariously bad throws and mass panic when we were fielding, we had a ball (no pun intended) and placed a respectful second.
We can also be found in the pub every Friday, most days…