Corporate Functions

Tips for Planning a Team-Building Event

four people with their fists touching in the center as part of a team-building event

While some employees dread a team-building event, if you plan it well, it can be fun. Team-building events can result in real benefits at work if planned properly. Consider the following to make planning an event such as this easier.

Schedule It Right

Plan team-building events and activities during regular work hours. Employees won’t enjoy giving up their free time for a work-related event. Look into people’s vacation plans. Make sure the event doesn’t interfere with the plans people have already booked. You don’t want to make people arrange for extra childcare or travel long distances to get to the location.

Keep Workloads In Mind

Don’t plan team-building activities when people have heavy workloads. Decrease regular workloads so the team-building event doesn’t overload anyone. This could mean extending deadlines or reducing sales goals.

It Doesn’t Have to Be a Competition

A collaborative event is often better than a competitive one for team building. With a collaborative event, people learn more because they aren’t so focused on winning.

Keep It Accessible

Consider the abilities of different people on the team and choose an appropriate activity. Don’t choose a very difficult physical activity if many team members are unfit or suffer from health problems.

Consider Helping Others

A volunteer activity can help improve teamwork while helping others at the same time. This works best if the team helps in the planning stages, instead of just showing up at an event.

Consider Having a Theme

Have a fun theme to help inspire people and make the event more cohesive.

Keep Interests in Mind

Take employees’ interests into account when choosing the activity and consider having people try something new. Don’t plan activities most employees find boring. The whole event doesn’t have to focus on fun. Have a mix of “fun” and “work” at the event including a range of activities.

Consider Leaving the Office

Make the event more eventful by taking it off-site. Even if you’re just holding it in a meeting space at another location, the change of scenery may inspire people to think more out of the box.

Leave Titles at the Office

Everyone should be on an equal footing at the event. Have employees forget about titles and seniority for the event. Select different team leaders from those who are leaders in the office to make this even clearer.

Make Expectations Clear

Make sure employees know why you’re planning a team-building event and what you hope to accomplish. Choose only one or two goals per event. Ideas include building camaraderie or improving time management, delegating, brainstorming, or listening skills.

Limit Team Size

Teams should contain only about 10 people. This gives everyone opportunities to take part. Having teams that are too large makes it easier for people to get away without taking part. For even more benefits, consider including people with contrasting personalities on the same team to help them learn how to work together better.

Choose an Activity That Meets The Goals

Some activities may be trendy but won’t help meet the goals of the team-building event. Recreational activities help build camaraderie, but may not be ideal for improving brainstorming, for example.

Include Food

Keeping people fed on delicious food will make the event more enjoyable. Don’t forget beverages to keep everyone hydrated. Consider trying new and different cuisine.

Start With an Ice Breaker

This can be like a warm-up for the main event and get people in the right frame of mind. It can also be helpful if one goal is for people to get to know each other better.

Set Ground Rules

Make sure everyone knows the ground rules of the event. These may include such things as only making positive comments during activities, especially if one goal is to help people brainstorm without feeling embarrassed.

Consider Hiring a Facilitator

Someone who plans these events as their job may be helpful if nobody in the office has the time or experience to plan team-building events. Meet with a few of these facilitators to find the one that best suits the needs and personality of the company. A professional will come up with the best types of activities to reach the goals of the event.

Ask for Feedback

After the event, have participants give anonymous feedback with a quick survey and end the event with a debriefing. This feedback will help future make team-building events even more successful and well-liked. During the debriefing, be sure to discuss what people learned about how they can use these new skills back at work.