Sometimes it starts with a tap on the shoulder from your manager, and sometimes it’s your own good intentions at play. Either way, you’re on the hook to plan a team building activity and expectations are high. In order to make the most of this opportunity, or to at least help minimize the risk, we’d like to share our Top 10 Team Building Tips.
#1 – Location, Location, Location
The most important team building tip of all is–get out of the office. If you try to do something fun in your work environment, you’ll lose people to everyday emergencies throughout the day. Also try to avoid a lot of venue changes. Find a cool activity to do and someplace nearby for drinks and snacks afterwards. The more distance traveled, the more people you will lose during each change of location.
#2 – Know Your Team
The best team building activities get people outside their comfort zone, but not too far outside their comfort zone. If vigorous outdoor activity isn’t fun for part of the group, skip the 10-mile hike and think about a cooking class instead.
#3 – There’s Competition and There’s Healthy Competition
An element of competition can really add to a team building event. That said, pro team building tip, too much competition can be a bad thing. Some people in the crowd might get carried away and this can alienate other team members. If you hear screaming and cheering, but there’s also people lying in a corner quietly weeping, you’ve probably gone too far. Look for ways to add in a competitive element, but don’t make the entire day one big competition.
#4 – Your Friend, The Clipboard
If you are trying to manage a large group, it’s super helpful to be organized. A clipboard can be your friend, as it helps keep the info you need (team names, contact numbers to locate stragglers, booking confirmations, etc.) on hand and ready to go.
#5 – Have A Theme
This team building tip isn’t always obvious: themes help make your event special. Themes can link back to a corporate imperative or objective such as overcoming obstacles together as a team (when you’re solving puzzles in an escape room), or the power of focus (which becomes clear when you’re navigating a high ropes course and staring 60 feet down to the ground).
#6 – Give Back
Your choice of team building activity is a reflection of your own values, and the values of the organization you represent. One of the best ways to demonstrate your values is to incorporate an element of philanthropy into your event. Good examples include an “Iron Chef” cooking activity that supports an after school youth program, tree-planting in a local green space, and donating food to a local food bank as part of a scavenger hunt.
#7 – Represent
Don’t be shy to represent your brand when you’re out there in the world. Swag, company branded clothing, etc., can help create a sense of unity and can also help with recruiting when others pick up on the fact that your company has a cool culture that cares about employee engagement.
#8 – Try Before You Buy
The best team building activities can also be the most complex ones to organize. If you have a large group, take the time to physically run through your plans in advance. Don’t make your first trip to an escape room or axe throwing activity with a group of 100 people when you’re the one organizing the event. Pro team building tip: if you are planning multiple stops, walk or drive them in advance so you know what you’re asking the group to do, rather than dealing with eye-rolling later on.
#9 – The Build-Up
One of the theories on why experiences are more meaningful for people than things, is the element of anticipation. You “live” the experience many times over in your mind, waiting for it to come. To take advantage of this, share your plans in advance, create a sense of excitement with a build up, and reinforce the plans and goals of the day as the big date approaches.
#10 – Relive Those Memories
It’s equally important to take the time to celebrate the fun you had together and relive the memories when you return to the office. Great ways to do this include sharing photos during a team meeting, handing out prizes for the competition winners, and reinforcing key messaging or themes that relate back to team goals.
If you have any other team building tips to share, let us know, and best of luck with your event!
Book Your Event With Hijinks
Our Corporate Concierge team has spent years building our expertise in planning fun events, corporate team building experiences, and group activities. We know the value that the right experience can bring to your group. Let us take care of the details for you.