We’ve all been there: We and the people we’ve hired are spending a lot of time at the office doing what we do best as professionals in our respective fields. The focus gets intense, the deadlines loom, and, yes, the work gets done. There’s an expectation that everyone will work collaboratively, supporting each other’s efforts to put the customers’ needs above all else. But a step may get missed along the way—feeling like a team, not just performing like one.
What’s the energy in the room like when you’re working side-by-side, office-by-office, with coworkers that don’t really feel like “teammates”? There’s probably a sense of obligation, which is OK, but wouldn’t you rather have a sense that you are a group that’s bonded for a common cause? If the answer is, “Yes” the next question might be, “OK, but how do we do that?” Well, I’ll tell you how we do it here at Brigade Bookkeeping: Seriously Fun Team Building.
What are the benefits?
If you’re feeling a little reluctant about what could happen to productivity if you were to take time out of the business day for team building, fear not. It can actually increase if you participate. Here are more of the benefits, according to Sodexo:
- Improved productivity: It starts by identifying what can negatively impact productivity, then finding an activity that addresses it. For example, if productivity falls because of policies, processes and procedures, what activity can help address those issues?
- Increased motivation: When a group of employees successfully complete a team building activity it creates momentum and makes them feel good about themselves, and increases their confidence in their team’s abilities.
- Increased collaboration: Collaboration is about knowing who has what knowledge (or can answer to a question), trusting them and their experience, and accessing them when you need it. A team building activity can help facilitate all of the above.
- Encouraged creativity: Out-of-the-ordinary team building allows the group to use their imaginations and develop creative solutions. It sends the message that creativity and bouncing ideas off each other is welcome in the workplace.
- Improved communication: Enjoyable activities enable employees to get to know each other, create a better understanding of each other, and break down walls of mistrust by encouraging people to focus on what they have in common rather than their differences.
Not your father’s team building activities
Team building activities have (happily) evolved beyond the classic “fall backwards into their arms” trust exercises. We’re talking beyond the nice meal at an annual holiday party. The more creative, the better, and they don’t have to cost a lot to be effective.
Hubspot recently blogged about 27 Fun Corporate Team-Building Activities & Outing Ideas Everyone Will Enjoy. I love their ideas—from in-office party games, to the egg drop challenge, to volunteering together, there’s something here for offices of all sizes, interests and budgets.
Their suggestions are broken down into categories: For large groups, for small groups, activities that require teamwork, and outings and events. This list is full of games, fun and the not-so-hidden agendas of building empathy, practicing strategy and problem solving skills, and rejuvenating a staff that’s been working hard.
At Brigade, in addition to holiday celebrations, we’ve had incredible experiences including retreats to the Bahamas and Costa Rica, and special outings to play and learn together—dancing, planting, painting and 5K-ing!
Bottom line: It’s good for YOUR bottom line! A staff that is allowed time to play together has the added benefit of the positive reinforcement that your company is a great place to work.