office team building nerf battle

Office Team Building Idea: Stage a Nerf Battle!

Here’s your excuse to buy that rotating triple barrel precision shot Nerf blaster you’ve been eyeing in the toy section.  Play, such as firing foam darts, is a valuable office team building activity that can actually increase productivity by providing employee fun.  And yes, I’m serious about this.  I never joke about fun.

The Power of Play

As children we are encouraged to play to strengthen our creativity, build problem solving skills and improve communication.  Once we grow up however, we’re expected to stop playing and focus on “work”.  Work tends to involve using creativity and communication to solve problems, so why does play suddenly become unimportant once our ages pass the range listed on toy packaging?  Scientists like Stuart Brown have been studying the correlation between play and success at the National Institute for Play. Psychologists have begun encouraging adults to harness the power of play so that we can continue to reap the benefits of it.

Office Team Building Nerf Battle: A How-To

Meanwhile, foam violence has been sweeping across the offices of America with widespread popularity. Online retailers like ThinkGeek have even developed sections of their websites for the sport of Office Warfare.  Rather than stage a potential HR headache-causing battle between staff, we love Dude Perfect’s use of a challenge course and competitive play in this YouTube example-

While Dude Perfect’s intensive setup is awesome, don’t feel you need such a big production for some great office team building.

  • Try scrawling target designs on Post Its and stick them around the office.
  • Once someone hits a target, they collect it as a trophy.
  • At the end of the event you can tally up the scores by counting the collected Post Its.

For an ongoing team building game, stick targets up unannounced.  Staff can race to be the first to notice and shoot the new target.

For help getting your play on at your office, sales meeting or conference give us a call at 877.267.1939 or email james@fireflyteamevents.com.

corporate group team building escape room

Mobile Escape Room – Team Building @ Pasea Hotel

The clock was counting down and nobody wanted to see it hit ZERO! That was the scene during our mobile escape room experience at the Pasea Hotel in Huntington Beach for our client’s team building sessions. The first few moments are chaos and then the wheels start turning. Your group begins to unravel the puzzles, tasks, and challenges that lead to the answer. Switches get flipped to reveal important information. Wires are cut to avoid catastrophic meltdowns. If your team makes the right moves, communicates well, and can embrace trust they’ll save the world.

escape room team building corporate group meetingFor this client they had 2 groups of 15 people that they wanted to pit against the super villain we built our room around. We ran the room in 2 sessions with a debrief at the end. In the team building world we know that it’s not the activity that is important. It’s how your group shows up and performs during the activity. The debrief allows us to help the group reflect on the experience and draw meaning from the day. Escape rooms are a natural fit for team building and we LOVE watching the excitement build as the groups solve our puzzles. They’re an exciting new way for groups in Los Angeles and Orange county to revisit the skills that successful team need to succeed.

Add an escape room team building experience to your next conference, meeting or outing in Los Angeles, Orange County, or San Diego. Call us at 877.267.1939

Using Video Games as a Team Building Engagement Activity

What if you could diffuse bombs, power spaceships, and scream your lungs out for your next team building or employee engagement activity? I’ve gathered my favorite video games that can be used to explore team building concepts like communication, trust, and big picture thinking. The goal of any team building event should be to increase employee engagement. Why not use video games as that vehicle? My list is focused on challenge and puzzle based interactions. You won’t see World of Warcraft or Minecraft on the list. Those genres have obvious team interactions but take significantly more mastery of skills. If Bob in purchasing can’t pick it up in 5 minutes or less it’s not going to be fun. I chose games that require small learning curves, involve shared team effort, no special gear (2 exceptions), and are crazy fun. There are a couple of titles that snuck onto the list because they’re hilariously fun for groups. 

Remember that just because an activity requires you to work together that doesn’t mean it’s team building. Managers, if you want extract maximum value from your activity, read our post on how to  Turn ANY Office Activity Into a Team Building Event

 video game team building keep talking1. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

http://www.keeptalkinggame.com/

Diffuse the bombs or your team perishes in a flaming fireball. There’s nothing like immolation to push a team to new heights. This is one of my all time favorite collaborative games on a computer. Split your team into two groups the Operators and the Diffusers. Operators get to actually manipulate the bomb. Diffusers have the manual. The catch? Neither side can see what the other is looking at. If you’re on the Operator team you can’t see the manual… if you have the manual, you can’t see the Bomb. You’ll have to use your words and listening skills to collaborate and beat the clock. Failure is not an option! Search the game title on YouTube and you’ll see hilarious examples of teams, couples, friends, and roommates desperately trying to keep it together.

Team Building Notes: You need clear communication to succeed on this challenge. There are easy talking points on using specific language, making assumptions, focusing on details, big picture thinking and shared vernacular. What made you successful? What were your barriers to success?

Variations:

  • Switch Roles
  • Split the manual between multiple people.
  • Play over Skype (great option for teams that telecommute and want to team build remotely)
  • Hire Sandra Bullock to drive a bus with your Operator team on board? If she drops below 60mph everyone loses a vacation day.

blockparty gigantic mechanic2. Block Party from Gigantic Mechanic

http://www.giganticmechanic.com/project/block-party/

Gather 100 of your closest workmates, fire up the projector, and make sure you phone is charged. This Tetris-esque puzzle challenge gives each player a falling shape piece to control. You must combine your piece with other players to fill the shapes at the bottom of the screen as you try and set the highest score possible. I love the simplicity of the controls but the complexity of the interactions. It’s impossible to win at this game without interacting with your fellow players. I witnessed this game in action at Indiecade West and saw first hand the power of group play. Definitely check out the Gigantic Mechanic website and see what else they’re up to. 

Team Building Notes: Clear communication is key but trying to find process in the chaos of large groups is a fascinating challenge. Often you don’t know who is controlling what just by looking at the screen. You’ll need big picture thinking and a shared vernacular to be successful. What skills did you use to be successful? Where do you see situations like this in your daily work like? 

Variations:

  • Pair people up. 1 person controls the game piece but can’t see the screen. Their partner must verbally guide them to place the piece correctly. 
  • Great for telecommuters – Use screen sharing via skype to allow offsite employees to play.

screen capture artemis space simulator3. Artemis Spaceship bridge simulator

http://artemis.eochu.com/

This one is for my true nerds. The sci-fi geeks and Trekkies on your team will giggle like school children in anticipation of operating Artemis’s simulator. The concept is simple – each person has a role from Captain to Navigator to Weapon Control on the spaceship. One computer hosts the simulator and main screen. Each participant’s computer functions as a work station, only showing the controls for their specific role. The Captain doesn’t have a workstation but tells everyone what to do from the middle of the room ( Yes, you can call yourself Captain Kirk). It’s time to save the galaxy!

Game Notes: This does require that each person has their own computer. Also, it’s far more effective if everyone is in the same room. You may need to bribe your local IT guru to help you with the particulars.

space team game screen capture team building4. Space Team

http://spaceteam.ca/

BE PREPARED TO RAISE YOUR VOICE. This hilarious social phone based team building game will have your team trying to pilot a spaceship. The ship will tell you what to do but each player gets different instructions. AND each player has a different set of controls visible on their phone. The instructions have a time limit so you’ll need to execute them or have  team member execute them pronto quick.  The computer might tell you to “Move the Techboggle to 2”, but you don’t have a Techboggle. So you start yelling out “Set Techboggle 2!” until somebody freaking sets it (ahem… sorry)!  Most teams quickly devolve into yelling battles as they try to get their tasks completed. Play this in a coffee shop if you want to get perplexed looks and stares. As a team building professional I’d like to say I exhibit poise and well executed communication strategies when I play this, but that would be a horrible lie.   

Team Building Notes: Easy to recognize metaphors for tunnel vision, project creep, and communication styles. How did your team overcome group noise? What was your method to prioritize tasks? What parallels did you notice with communication on work projects? 

Game Notes:

  • This can only be played if everyone is on the same wifi network. So it’s not suitable for remote teams.

sound activated video game title5. Scream Team

What if you could take a room full of people and control a single character in a video game… enter Scream Team. We modified an existing “runner” “single button” style game. That means the character is in a constant state of forward motion and your job is to press the button at the right times (remember flappy bird?). In this case, our Indiana Jones style character is running through a series of caves. You must help him jump over gaps, pillars, and other obstacles. BUT, we replaced the button with a microphone. As a group you must make noise when you need the character to jump. The louder the noise, the bigger the jump. I had an opportunity to feature our game at the Steam Carnival Gala with 500 people. It was hilarious!!! It works with 1 to 1000 people. Contact james@fireflyteamevents.com for more information.

6. Group Pacman

Trying to describe Pacman to younger generations is an act of comedy. A yellow dot that eats other dots and is scared of ghosts. Despite it’s simplicity there is still a LOT that Pacman has to give. In a normal Pacman session the up,down, left right would be controlled by 1 player. What if you could assign each of those directions to different team members? Bill controls up, Tonya from accounting is down, Satchmo is Right, and Percy is Left…. All to control that beautiful yellow dot. Let the confusion err… communication begin! We have our own version of Pacman that we bring as part of our Human Arcade event. There are free versions of Pacman online that you can easily use.

Tech Note: We created a special controller so that each person has a physical button to press for their direction. That way you’re not all crowded around a little keyboard. For a quick and easy version we recommend using a **MakeyMakey controller. See the note at the end of the article.

Team Building Notes:

  • This activity easily segues into communication styles, assumptions, trust, and shared language. Consider what adjustments you had to make to your communication style to be successful. How was the team effected if you didn’t press your button? How did your team decide to move left vs right? 

Game Notes:

  • Search for Free Pacman or event Free Tetris to put this to the test.
  • Contact james@fireflyteamevents.com for more information if you’re interested in having us bring our controllers and game out.
  • You can scale up and create a tournament with teams of 4 competing to set the top score.

jackbox games logo7. JackBox Games

http://jackboxgames.com/

I’m listing these as a hilarious office interaction and not so much a team builder. We’ll file it under giggles, social credit, and engagement activity. Jackbox is the creator of the infamous You Don’t Know Jack trivia game. They’ve upgraded to the age of the internet and now you play on a single computer using your phone as a controller. It’s pretty dang cool! They even have titles that allow up to 8 people play and up to 10,000 people to spectate. They sell their games in party packs that come with 5 games. 

My favorite of their new party pack is Trivia Murder Party. It’s a fresh take on the game that put them on everyone’s radar. Players must answer trivia questions or risk being killed. Fun right?! Right? No? The premise is that you’re trying to escape from a house with a Saw movie like game master(monster?). Wrong answers force players into mini-challenges where you might have to do math, test your memory, or lose a finger. A “finger” means you are permanently barred from choosing A, B, or C depending on which finger you lose. Diabolical. The game moves at the perfect pace to keep the group engaged. It’s a fun way to break up the workday and bank some social credit with team members. 

The other favorite was Quiplash 2. It’s hilarious! At the start each person is given 2 prompts to answer secretly. Each prompt will have a possible answer from 2 of the players. They must provide an answer to the prompt that they think their teammates will vote for. Once all answers are entered, the game displays them one by one for voting. Your answer is displayed anonymously next to someone else’s for the voting.  Once the voting is finished the creators of the answers are revealed as well as who voted for them. The humor is in the answers themselves…. You may need to re-visit your HR conduct standards since people can write whatever they want.

Gameplay Variations:

  • Base all year end bonuses on the performance of employees during the game (kidding)
  • Team up players from different departments
  • Challenge different departments to a match – use the spectator function (think audience)
  • There is absolutely a team benefit to laughing together

Game Notes:

  • Working Remotely – The game is not built to be played remotely BUT we have a way. Since your controller is your phone, you can screen share the game via Skype for a remote colleague. Mind blown? We’re that good. It’s a great way to get some remote team building (loosely using the term) in on a work day. 

shackle vr game8. Shackle

http://shackle-game.com/

I made a pilgrimage to Indiecade West this year. I wanted to witness their “big games” and see what independent game developers were crafting in their underground lairs. The team behind Shackles have hatched a beautifully sadistic 2 player cooperative experience. In the game players are trapped on opposite sides of a creepy haunted room. Actions one player takes on their side of the room may affect their co-captive on the other side. Make too much noise and you might attract the attention of things that lurk in dark places. The game is played with Oculus VR headsets so the horror is very immersive. Prepare to be startled or spooked as you try and escape in this dark team building activity.

Team Building Notes:

  • Scary haunted rooms and poorly supported projects are very similar. Right?
  • Communication and trust are the obvious team aspects being put to the test.
  • You know what’s fun? Having 2 people start the game – then turn off all the lights and have everyone leave the room and go for drinks. Okay that might not be team building.

Game Notes:

  • This requires 2 Oculus Rift headsets and headphones with a mic.

Video game corporate team building screenshot9. Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time

http://www.loversinadangerousspacetime.com/

I pestered Laura E. Hall to see if she had a line on some good collaborative titles. She immediately responded back with “Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time”. And it’s perfect. You and 3 teammates are cruising through a neon galaxy, in your own battleship, trying to defeat the enemies of love. You’ll have to operate the guns, fly the ship and position shields in a hectic good time mess of space war. In between battles you find poignant moments of appreciation for the effort, communication, and multitasking that you and your team had to employ. You’ll find yourself calling out enemies and high fiving teammates when they make a great shot. The makers call this game a “couch co-op” and we love it. Succeeding in this game means you’ve got a solid team platform.

Team Building Notes:

  • Multitasking, trust, communication and resource management are major factors in success. Can you see parallels between how your team handled this game and the way they approach real world projects?

 

** The Makey Makey

makey makey controllerAs a team building professional I can devise some beautiful interactions for the Makey Makey. It’s a controller that lets you turn anything into a button. What I love is that it also allows you to move the buttons away from the computer. As I mentioned above, it’s a great way to turn a game like Tetris or Pacman into a cooperative game and team building activity. To learn how to use the Makey Makey, check out their website at http://makeymakey.com/  – I recommend their “classic” version.

Honorable Mentions:

I haven’t had a chance to vette the titles below.  They make the list because they have cooperative gameplay elements. That means they’re great for teams. 

bff or die video game 10. BFF or Die

.http://www.honeytribestudios.com/studio-news/bff-or-die

Help each other or die. The only way you can win this game is to work together solving puzzles, strategizing, and kicking butt. No single player can do all the things so you’ll need to rely on each other. It’s cute and dangerous and I can’t wait to play.

 

overcooked video game11. Overcooked

.http://www.ghosttowngames.com/overcooked/

You and your team of cooks must prepare and serve meals to your waitings guest. Will your kitchen be a well oiled machine? Or a kitchen nightmare that no one can recover from? Responsibility for success at this game come from all 4 players.

BIG THANKS to Laura E Hall for querying her room full of games for some of the suggestions on this list. Also thanks to an awesome game programmer Christian Scandariato who also chimed in for me.  And a long time evil genius Jason Le

About the Author:

I am a HUGE fan of game mechanics especially as it relates to teams and team building. My passion is working with hundreds of teams every year as the CEO of Firefly Team Events. I scour the world for new group activities, interactions, and challenges that I can modify to help teams elevate their performance. I am a team building nerd. You can reach me at james@fireflyteamevents.com

Remote Office Sharing with Hoffice?

I recently came across the concept of the Hoffice. It’s a fledgling movement in Sweden that gives working from home a twist. Instead of heading to a cafe or working by yourself, other telecommuters are invited to share someones home. They work in silence for 45 minute blocks. In between those blocks they chat, exercise, etc. I know that when I work from home I am VERY easily distracted (cats). I haven’t tried co-working spaces because they usually seem claustrophobic and… too quiet. I like the way Hoffice blends interaction and productivity. If you’d like to read more about it – check out the article on BBC News – > http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20161230-the-swedes-ditching-desks-to-work-from-strangers-homes

Or head to the Hoffice website – http://hoffice.nu/en/

 

 

men holding bicycle during charity bicycle team building event

3 Charity Team Activities for Sales Meetings

No doubt over the next several weeks, your company will hold a sales meeting to share in the corporate successes of 2016 and discuss the best interest of your organization for the new year.  As far as your employees can expect, it’ll be conducted as many a sales meeting before, with talk of market strategy and bottom lines.    

Imagine, if you will, a scene in which your sales meeting is coupled with a charitable team building event!  Suddenly your attendees are talking more than facts and figures; they’re actively engaged in a task that will transform the community you serve!  Several options exist to make your upcoming meeting the best it’s ever been!


Charity Bicycle Builds

A symbol of freedom and possibility, your teams will assemble bicycles for youth in your community.  Make a true difference in the lives of at-risk children by partnering with The Boys & Girls Club of America or your local YMCA.  For many of these children, you’ll build and deliver the very first bicycle they’ve ever owned!

Group Team Building EventScience Kits for Kids

A child’s early engagement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) will help to pave the way to high-demand careers in their future.  Spark innovation in the mind of a child as you team with a nonprofit in your area, such as KidWorks of Orange County, to fill backpacks with science related materials.   

Care Packages

Donate your time and resources to boosting the spirits of children when you partner with local charities like Human Options and Families Forward.  Smiles are genuine when they receive backpacks and teddy bears made with love.

For more information or to book your charitable San Diego, Orange County, or Los Angeles event, contact james@fireflyteamevents.org.  You can rely on more than ten years of industry know how when FireFly Team Event’s coordinates an experience tailored specifically for your organization.  It’ll be an event that neither your organization’s employees nor those you help will ever forget!

title card team building blog interview

Part 2: Interview With Mike Cardus

Part 2 of our interview with Mike Cardus of Team Building & Leadership

What is your favorite Networking Activity?
A team building activity in and of itself is useless. It is like yelling “RED!”.  When I have people come together who do not know each other very well, I enjoy using Social Network Un_Plugged as an opening to find connections and align the group with what we hope to accomplish.

Describe a DIY team building tool/activity for a meeting planner or manager?

Distinctive | Working Well | 100 Days better

a. Break into groups of 4 to 6

b. Each team has a piece of flipchart paper and several markers c. Break the paper into 3 columns:

i. Distinctive = What stands out and makes our team or what we do as a team distinctive? Unique features, how we

approach the work, skill sets, etc..

ii. Working Well = What is already working well enough that it does not need much change or improvement?

iii. 100 Days Better = When we meet again in 100 days what will our team be better at, how will we know this is better?

d. The teams have 25-45 minutes to complete the activity e. They share what they wrote

f. Each team chooses 1 or 2 items from the 100 Days Better column and develops an action plan and reporting process to share with the larger team.

How can a manager maximize the effectiveness of a team building activity?

  • Don’t call it an activity … don’t offer team building activities.
  • The greatest thing a manager can do is connect the team building directly to the work that the team is asked to accomplish.
  • Listen to the team and what they need. Then develop a plan to supply the team with what they asked for, and reflect back to the team how the manager is making the changes.

What is your best advice for building teams?

Systems-drive- behaviors. If your team structure lacks the clarity of goals, roles, procedures, resources, and support to accomplish the teams work.

The manager would be more useful focusing on those things as opposed to wasting everyone’s time with a team building event.

What is your favorite trend in corporate team building?

 I am worried that any trend will hurt the team building consultants who try to change how a team’s work gets done. Team building works when it sustains performance; satisfies their customer; the team wants to stay together, and the people on the team gained personal development from the teams work.

What’s your funniest team building memory?

Many years ago while working for a corporate conference center, a CEO wanted us to develop a ‘Survivor Themed’ team building program, complete with physical, mental challenges and the team voting someone out at the end. I tried to offer alternatives and shared my concern about this type of event. My manager at the conference center, to keep the client happy, insisted I develop and lead this program as the customer requested.

We went through the three days of challenges, laughter, recreational team bonding and heavy drinking by the campfire. On the last day, I pulled out the voting box and explained to the team that they are now going to ‘vote out’ one of their teammates.

Many people on the team turned white with anxiety. The CEO encouraged the people to write down the name of the person they wanted to vote off the team (he let them know that this person would still have a job, this was not a group termination).

People started crying and yelling at the CEO. The CEO asked for a brief break and pulled me aside. He asked, “Can you do something about this. They are not enjoying the team building.” I smiled and said, “I think so. When we call the team together tell them that the voting out was my idea, and you don’t think that it fits with the success we’ve had these past three days. Instead, people are going to vote for the Most Valuable Player, Best Problem Solver, Master Influencer, Team Connector and Surprise Physical Strength.” He nodded called the team over and shared the new message. Sudden applause!

The CEO thanked me and was still confused why they did not like the idea of voting someone off.

See more from Mike on his website – http://create-learning.com/

OC Team Building 5 Ideas title card

5 Team Building Ideas for Your Orange County Meeting

From Newport to Huntington Beach, from Irvine to Anaheim, the Orange County team building options are huge! With dozens of customizable team building concepts for your next staff meeting, incentive event, sales kickoff, or holiday party, FireFly Team Events knows just how to amp up the fun of your next gathering! We also understand that team building is more than fun and games. Our amazing facilitators will help your team recognize how these experiences can reveal powerful messages about your team. Take a look at some of our Client favorites below.

1. Scavenger Hunts That Don’t Suck

It’s team against team as you take to the streets of Orange County for our our Techno Rally! Crews compete for a first place ranking in our wild photo, trivia, and checkpoint challenges.You won’t find the standard scavenger hunt challenges in our hunts. Our staff has a created a hilarious assortment of social interactions that will keep your team laughing. This team builder is completely customizable and works with any size group! We highly recommend the following areas for your hunt: Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Downtown Fullerton, Downtown Orange, Downtown, Santa Ana,  and Downtown Disney.  Read More

people scavenger hunt corporate team building2. Team Olympics or Iron Team Challenge

This last team standing, winner take all Iron Team Challenge is loaded with team building fun! Groups are put to the test as they go head to head in our wacky challenges. We’ll have you relaying, searching, solving, and high fiving from start to finish! This is our unique version of a team olympics rooted in fun and team building concepts. This is the perfect event for Salt Creek Park next to the Dana Point Ritz Carlton or the beach in front of the Pasea Hotel in Huntington Beach. You’ll need trust, communication, and leadership if your team wants gold! Read More

>>>>Book Your Event Now 

 

3. Tactical Challenge

Looking for an experience that you can’t find anywhere else in Orange County or the United States? Look no further than our Tactical Challenge! Your team will learn practical hand-to-hand combat and self defense skills in this interactive weapons experience. This amazing experience is a peek into how your team performs under stress. After you’ve saved the world from the forces of evil you can put your skills to the test in our Top Shooter competition! It’s within 30 minutes driving to the Ritz Carlton, Hotel Irvine,  St. Regis, The Resort at Pelican Hill and John Wayne Airport. [This event is site specific] Read More

4. Minute To Win It

Considering something a little more lighthearted? Minute Madness takes a group approach to the famous TV game show, Minute To Win It! Each lightning-fast round is packed with silliness that’ll give everyone the giggles. Teams compete to complete a deceptively simple challenge before their opponents. This pairs great with cocktail hour if your onsite at a hotel like the Hyatt Huntington Beach or Newport Beach Marriott! Read More

5. Graffiti Team Buildingteam building graffiti group photo

Mural Madness takes team building and graffiti to a whole new level. It’s all about collaboration as crew members learn skills from world class graffiti artists to create one-of-a-kind piece. With spray paint in hand, crews will transform a blank canvas into art! This bold and colorful creative exploration is all about identity at the personal, cultural, and brand levels. Explore your team identity outside the office in this unique experience. We’ve produced this event in a variety of venues like Lantern Bay Park in front of the Laguna Cliffs Marriott, Huntington Beach Resort and Spa Hyatt Regency, and event a clients parking structure in Irvine. Read More

Leave it to our experts to plan your next event! For more OC team building opportunities and to book your event, go to www.fireflyteamevents.com or contact james@fireflyteamevents.com.

title card team building blog interview

Team Building Perspectives: Mike Cardus

logo_create-learningPerspective is important me as team building professional. I constantly search for new perspectives and inspiration that challenge my professional habits and comfort zones. It could be a new game, technology, or belief system; what matters is I’m challenging my brain to make new connections. I follow Mike Cardus of Team Building & Leadership on Twitter and Linked-in. I look forward to seeing his revelations in my feed. He always impresses me with his knowledge and insights regarding team development.  It would be easy to view Mike as competition but I’d rather recognize him as a fellow explorer. He was kind enough to answer some questions about our shared focus: Teams. Here’s the first part of our interview with him.

What is the most common misconception you’ve encountered about team building?

That team building is a series of ice-breakers with little to no connection back to the actual work of the organization. Moreover, that we are going to hold hands, do trust falls or hug-it- out and fix the psychological issues of adults.

What is your favorite Ice Breaker? How does it work?

I do not use any icebreakers. The term icebreaker implies that the activity is separate from the content and that something exciting is needed because the content will be dull, harsh or dry. When you need an icebreaker, you need to improve your content! In team building what you do has to be connected, purposefully, to the goals of the organization; the goals of the team; the goals of the team members; the goals of the person paying for the team building; and the facilitator’s skill-sets. When these five areas align then, team building happens in a purposeful way, without the use of any icebreakers, because everything is purposeful.

My current favorite is I2U2ME2WE

How can a manager increase buy-in for team building days?

Don’t call it team building, don’t call it anything special. A manager’s role is to add value to the decision-making and problem-solving of the team, plus supply the necessary resources to accomplish the work. You cannot force or manipulate buy-in. A manager can increase people seeing how the team building is useful to their work by explaining the reason for the team building, and discussing with the team members how this may add value to the team and their work. Following the team building the manager can take the ideas, team processes, and show the team how their ideas are being implemented into the work.

What are your top reasons businesses should invest in team building?

Having a team do something different yet similar to work can support them to find different ways of completing the work.

As organizations have become flatter, people are being asked to be on more and more teams. Effective team building can develop better systems to drive effective team behaviors.

What is your favorite book to recommend to a manager that wants to work on team building, leadership, or trust?

Groups That Work(and those that don’t) Creating conditions for effective teamwork. – Richard Hackman

A Foundation of Trust – Sam Sikes

The Team Handbook – Peter Scholtes
>>>Check back with us next week for the 2nd half of our talk with Mike. 

boost engagement team building rocket

5 Tips To Boost Engagement For Your Team

Is the energy in your office waning?  Have you detected a drop in productivity within the last month?  It’s not uncommon for companies to experience a lull in employee engagement, a steadfast commitment to work-related goals, from time to time.  With just TEN weeks to go until we’re ringing in the new year, her are five helpful tips to re-energize your work staff and boost engagement by January 1st. 

1.  Assess company culture  

Your company’s culture is the essence of its existence; it embodies the shared vision and practices of your employees.  Consider your own organization.  Is your staff well informed of the company vision, goals, or values?  Are your employees striving to bring that vision to fruition?  If the answer is no, you’ve got some work to do!   

According to Entrepreneur’s article, “10 Examples of Companies with Fantastic Cultures” there’s a lot to learn from organizations like Zappos and Southwest Airlines who have a strong company culture.  Having a clear understanding of company culture helps employees understand what they’re driving toward.  It has the potential to guide product development, and can energize everyone from the CEO to your newest recruit.  When your company culture is clearly defined, and your staff is on board, your company will see limitless potential!

2.  Promote a Well-Balanced Life

It’s no surprise that juggling work and personal life can lead to stress!    Evidence shows that promoting work-life balance leads to a more engaged workforce.  There are several options that could work in any setting and won’t put a dent in your bottom line.

  • Encourage Short Breaks – Brain breaks are necessary when you’ve spent hours in front of a computer or haggling with investors.  Giving staff the freedom to stand and stretch or move about the office goes a long way to sharpening their skills once they’re back in the game.  
  • Create a “Quiet Space” – Create a space where staff can retreat when they need a few moments of silence during the busy work day.  Furnish the space with plants, comfortable seating, and soft lighting.  Your employees will be more energized after their short respite.
  • Provide Flexible Work Scheduling – Not all companies are at liberty to allow employees to work from home 24/7, however, there are benefits to being flexible when it comes to scheduling.  Studies show that breaking from the regular 9-5 routing leads to happier and more healthy employees.

3. Provide Autonomy for Employees

The buzz in the business world is that autonomy, the ability to act independently, at work leads to productivity.  Take frontrunner Google, for example, who has seen an increase in productivity by allowing 20% of an employee’s work week to be focused on areas of passion, rather than product.  Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin realized that by creating an environment in which staff is exercising its mental muscles, the company has given birth to products such as Gmail and Google News.  

Try it in your own workplace by giving employees more autonomy in choosing their work schedule, planning out how to meet quotas, and making business-related decisions!

4.  Envision the BIG Picture

Everyone from your sales department to your tech division plays an important role in helping your business to succeed, but it’s easy to lose sight of that in the day to day grind.  Employees that see their role in the office as a singular effort are likely to face challenges functioning as part of a team.  However, amazing things can happen when employees feel as though their combined efforts are leading to success for the organization.  Allowing your staff to understand that their work has meaning toward a common goal rather than an individual deadline will create a more productive and team-oriented workplace.    

5.  Encourage Corporate Team Building Opportunities

Team building is a great way to increase engagement and a surefire way to break the mold of corporate doldrums.  Plan an off-site team building experience will help to foster unity and trust which will transfer back to the workplace.  It offers a healthy environment for staff to be competitive, take risks, and have fun!  Consider a team building event for your next staff development meeting, product roll out, or team training.

Underwhelmed and overstressed employees aren’t doing your company any good when it comes to performance.  Take some time to consider how these simple methods can boost engagement in the office.  You’re guaranteed to see success by the new year if you do!   

We specialize in connecting employees with outings and events that matter. We work with you to design an engagement activity rooted in team building that will boost trust and build relationships. Email james@fireflyteamevents.com for more details.

>>>>> Book Your Next Team Outing With US! <<<<<

team building corporate management conflict

Embrace Conflict To Be A Better Manager

Ask any business person who’s worked up the ranks to Chief Executive Officer, and they’ll tell you that building a successful company begins by creating a solid foundation among staff members. That occurs once a team can work together with a high degree of trust. So how exactly do you capitalize on creating a high-trust environment in your workplace? You create conflict!

Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team has said, “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” When a team can work thru conflicts that arise in the workplace, they lay the groundwork for trust, problem solving, and accountability.

Focus on Trust to Activate Healthy Conflict

Vulnerability is quite possibly the number one reason your team isn’t making significant gains. The reasoning is simple: No one clocks in for the day ready to let their inadequacies surface at the morning staff meeting. As a result, group members tend to spend a significant amount of time attempting to save face in front of their team rather than focusing on the task at hand.

Conflict fosters a healthy discourse among staff members that paves the way for teams to build an interpersonal trust. This authentic, vulnerability-based trust allows staff to feel safe when asking for help, accepting input, and admitting shortcomings. A February 2016 publication of The New York Times Magazine entitled “What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team” stated that, “Google’s data indicated that psychological safety, more than anything else, was critical to making a team work.” When a team has reached this level of trust, you’ll see an immediate increase in productivity. It will take time, but the results are more than worth it for your organization!

Conflict Leads to Problem Solving. Problem Solving Leads to Results

Teams are not void of conflict. Differences in personality, opinion, and values among group members can lead to disagreements in how to accomplish a given task. However, many business leaders fail their staff when they attempt to stifle disagreements as a means of steering clear of drama.

On the contrary, conflict is extremely productive! When teams are free to engage in healthy conflict, they’re able to reach the best solutions in the shortest amount of time. Allowing resolution to happen naturally and in a trusting environment, gives staffers the freedom to engage in problem solving strategies without any collateral damage.

Conflict Leads to Accountability

A team that fails to hold its own members accountable, is not a team at all. In fact, teams can only exist when members hold each other to a high standard. They understand the benefits of peer-to-peer accountability far outweigh the momentary discomforts associated with confronting a fellow teammate.

In fact, regular and honest communication among team members will help to identify problems within the group much more quickly. To better serve your team, clearly identify team expectations publicly and avoid ambiguity.

As you can see, a little conflict will go a long way in building a strong foundation for your business. Embrace conflict as a means of building trust, obtaining quality results, and team-based accountability. When you do, you’ll see your business thrive!

If you’d like to embrace trust and positive conflict, contact us at http://www.fireflyteamevents.com