The importance of team building exercises or corporate day outs can’t be underestimated in today’s work atmosphere. They help in boosting morale, improve relationships and also promote teamwork. Imagine working at a company where no one laughs or jokes. It can be a depressing place to work at. Team building can perhaps be the most important investment you make for your company. You might notice a few frowns or groans in response to your idea of a team building day out but you should just ignore them. Moreover, a fun and interactive team building event can easily turn all those frowns upside down.
Difference between Team Building and Team Recreation
On many occasions organisations treat team building and team recreation activities as one and the same. However they aren’t and it’s important to understand the difference between them.
Team building is designed to improve team spirit and performance within an organisation. Team building activities are all designed specifically to teach the employees to learn more about each other, improve communication and work in cohesion. The advantages of team building include:
- Improves communication- Activities that encourage debate enable open communication among co-workers and also between employees and the management. This can improve the quality of relationships in the workplace which ultimately translates into better quality of work.
- Motivation- The more comfortable your employees are, greater will be the chances of them expressing themselves greater with confidence. This will embolden them to take on new challenges.
- Promotes Creativity- Taking your employees out of the office setting and exposing them to new experiences can force them to think outside of their comfort zone. Working together with fellow employees can bring about an influx of creative ideas that can greatly benefit your organisation.
- Problem solving skills- Team building activities are usually competitive and require your employees to think of quick solutions to ‘win’ them. This encourages co-workers to think rationally and strategically in a quick time frame to wiggle their way out of tight spots. This leads to improved problem solving ability among your employees.
- Break barriers- You will find that in an office setting there is quite often a disconnect between management and other employees. Team building activities offers a chance for management to bridge that gap by being seen as a colleague rather than a boss.
Team recreation is intended to provide your employees some time out of the office for relaxation and leisure. Fun activities are arranged to encourage your employees to participate and get to know each other better. There are no specific objectives behind a team recreation event. The hope is that all your employees become more comfortable with each other by spending some quality and fun time.
Advantages of team recreation:
- Allows new recruits to feel more comfortable
- Integrating employees who live out of town
- Enabling all employees to feel more at ease with management
- Rewarding consistent performers
- Celebrating success and key mile stones
What to Remember When Planning a Corporate Day Out?
- Don’t Force All The Corporate Stuff
The most memorable team building activities are those that don’t feel like another day at the office. They are also unsurprisingly the most enjoyable ones. If all the activities are designed to teach your employees something than it can become less enjoyable and more tiresome Instead look to do activities that encourage your employees to spend more time with each other or work towards achieving a unified objective. The bonding and training should happen naturally rather than forcing it upon your employees.
- Ensure That All The Positive Energy Is Transmitted To The Work Place
Team building can be ineffective if it’s just a onetime activity. It can be truly beneficial if you can find ways to keep the positive energy flowing. The challenge here is trying to get your employees to interact and connect at work outside of presentations or meetings. One simple way to do that is through a daily huddle where you celebrate each other’s achievements together and check in on the status of work related projects. Encourage your employees to share their goals. This is a powerful way to understand your employees better and can also assist you in planning out team building activities in the future.
Some Tips on Planning the Ideal Team Building Trip:
- Be aware of why you are planning the team building trip and then decide on a budget accordingly. After that you can choose a team building activity that fits the bill perfectly.
- Schedule a time for your team building activity that’s convenient for all your employees. For example, if you plan an event during the weekends the chances of it being well received is very low. Instead look to schedule the event during a working day.
- Ensure that activity chosen for team building challenges your employees in a different manner than the challenges that they usually encounter at work.
- Try to make the team bonding activity as fun as possible. Fun activities will ensure that your team enjoys working with each other in fulfilling the task.
- Get feedback from your employees about what they liked/disliked about the event. This will assist you in planning future events better.
3 Great Team Building Activities You Could Try
- Room Escape Games
The great advantage of room escape games is that they require your employees to display skills of leadership, logic, patience and teamwork. Here’s how it works. A team gets locked in a room for particular time period, usually an hour. During this time period they have to work together in locating hidden objects and puzzles which act as clues. Solving all the clues will help them locate the key that sets them free.
- Karaoke Nights
Can there be a better way to get your employees to break out of their shells than organising a karaoke night? You can even award prizes for the best performer with bonus points awarded to the more flamboyantly dressed participants. However, this idea usually works best for a more extroverted group.
- Blindfold Driving
This event encourages better communication, problem solving and team work. Here’s how it works. The driver of a 4×4 vehicle is blinded and then made to drive through an obstacle course. The team members in the car must provide clear and concise instructions to the driver to successfully navigate the course. If the driver hits any obstacle then the team will be docked five points. It can be one of the more enjoyable activities for corporate days out in Leicestershire.