How to Choose the Ultimate Team Building Event

Today, there are many great ideas for team building activities, including those that can take place online. Discover how to choose the best event for your employees.

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How to Choose the Ultimate Team-Building Event

Here's what you need to know:

  • When choosing a team building event, consider the activities your staff would enjoy most and consider taking a poll
  • Make sure that you get your team on board and make a collective decision about the event’s time frame
  • Choose the type of activity based on your goals for the event

Team building is a term that a lot of employees (and employers) dread. It’s unfortunate, but years of standard-issue team building exercises, retreats, and interventions have soured most of the professional world against these activities.

Fortunately, because of the lack of interest in events from the past, the industry has been forced to come up with new ways to help companies promote teamwork and employee engagement, and to push their people to challenge themselves and grow.

Today, there are many great ideas for team building events and exercises, including those that can take place totally online. The Metaverse is growing with each day and thanks to augmented and virtual reality, online events are evolving into a whole new space.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, let’s get back to the task at hand: figuring out how to choose (or create) the best team building event for your team(s).

Consider the activities your staff would enjoy most

Notice the emphasis on “your” in that last sentence — you have to consider your team when you are planning an event that’s going to promote team building and collaboration.

An outdoor retreat for people who hate the outdoors, for example, would likely only foster a feeling of obligation and perhaps even create resentment before the event even begins.

What does your team like? What kinds of events would engage them most? And, what do they consider fun?

Here’s a crazy idea: ask them. Take a poll. Choose a few events and then let everyone cast a silent ballot voting for their favorite idea.

Have an open-forum discussion if the team is small enough to facilitate it. It’s really easy to find great events for teams when you get the team’s input on what would benefit them most.

How to choose virtual vs. in-person team building events

Sometimes, companies want to draw a hard line in the sand and make themselves choose between virtual events or in-person team building opportunities. However, you don’t have to choose. You can do both if you’d like.

You might decide that different events or environments are better for certain types of collaborations. For example, your HR team that’s trying to foster a better tech-forward, team-focused approach to hiring and recruiting might stand to benefit from attending virtual team building events and seminars. After all, why not be where the tech is and see it in action?

Consider what events work best for certain types of team building. If you’re taking a general approach, it will ultimately be up to you to decide what to try first.

Don’t just do 1 event every year, or every few years. Find opportunities to engage in team building events all the time. You can even ask team building questions. Small activities and events can go a lot further than you think when it comes to team development.

What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve

Answer to see the results

What’s the time frame for your team building event?

Are you looking for an in-office, 1-hour event hosted by a 3rd party? Perhaps you want a day trip to a team building event like an escape room or a ropes course.

Some companies even do weekend and week-long retreats that focus on team building and improving relations among all levels of employees. Your options for team building events will depend on the timeline and how much time you’re looking to fill.

For corporate retreats and longer-term events, you might want to consult with employees about what they’d like to attend and whether it’d be something they might enjoy.

Make sure that you get your team on board and make a collective decision about what kind of time frame you have in mind for your team building activities.

The last thing that you want to do is drag people along to an event they don’t want to be at, especially when it’s for more than a few hours. No team building can trump people who feel like they’re being forced on some work-cation that they didn’t want to take in the first place.

Make sure that you get your team on board and make a collective decision about what kind of time frame you have in mind for your team building activities.

What are the goals you have in mind for team building?

To make sure that your choice in team building events is effective, you need to know the goals of the event. You want to make your organization and its people better, as well as to learn how to work together more effectively for the good of the company. When you know your goals, you’ll know which types of activities are going to be best.

The types of team building activities include:

  1. Trust-building activities
  2. Communication activities
  3. Decision-making and problem-solving activities
  4. Planning and adaptability activities

Trust activities are great for new teams and those who are just getting to know each other. They’re also great for teams that have gone through a hard time and are trying to relearn trust. These events can be virtual or in-person.

Communication activities focus on helping people communicate more effectively, whether that’s as a team, as individuals, or in any other scenario.

Next, we have decision-making and problem-solving events and activities. These are designed to help teams practice working together on complex situations, seeing how they can work together and whether natural leaders emerge, and so forth. It helps people find their place within the team and teaches them that working together is always going to be the best solution to any problem.

COVID created a big focus on the final strategy: adaptability and planning activities. Companies today need to be more agile than ever before.

Fortunately, there’s a huge market for those types of team building events and training needs. Having employees that can plan effectively and still be adaptable is imperative in the world we live and work in today, so it’s a great choice for any team that needs to tighten things up.

Now, let’s talk a little more about teams and what “team building” really means.

Tips to help you make the most of team building events

Of course, you can’t just dive right into team building if you don’t know what it is or what it means to your organization. To create the perfect team, you need the perfect events and resources.

To that end, in addition to the steps above, here are some extra tips to ensure that you’re making the most of the team building events that you do choose.

  • Teams don’t exist without trust
  • Respect should be mutual, regardless of rank
  • Supportive cooperation is the most effective way
  • Great teams need great leaders
  • Courage conquers fear
  • Communicate and collaborate
  • Hold people accountable
  • Honesty and transparency above all else

These are a few tenets to keep in mind as you lead teams to develop further and embrace team building. Remember, get creative and get out of the “typical” team building mindset and you’ll see more improvement and engagement all around.

Team building can work for all kinds of organizations

Team building is what you make it. In today’s world, you can make it so many more things than ever before. That’s something that organizations need to continue to take advantage of so that they can deliver a better experience for their employees.

This will also ensure that they get more out of team building activities and events, no matter what they choose. Remember to choose what suits your team and your goals, and you’ll be on the right track. And don’t forget to include your people in the decision, because they might be more into it than you think if they’ve got a voice.

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