Congratulations on completing your team building experience! You should now have a super powered team that is completely perfect. No? Your team is only mostly perfect? Well, that’s because your team building should never be “completed.” The value of any team building comes from reflection and implementation. The actual activity, while probably awesome and Instagram-worthy, is neutral in achieving your goals. Follow these strategic steps to create value for your team in between epic outings.
Debrief, Debrief, Debrief!
During your event one of our team building ninjas likely led your group in a discussion about how your team performed during the challenge. Your company likely already has a debriefing procedure or strategy in place to discuss how projects turn out. Debriefing is where we examine the experience to find the value and actionable data. The key with team building debriefing is the actual activity is inconsequential. The specifics of what your team did to accomplish a team building challenge doesn’t matter nearly as much as how your group functioned.
Michelle Cummings, a leader in team development and coauthor of A Teachable Moment warns “If participants are not allowed to reflect on their experiences and relate them to the outside world, then a lot of the learning may be lost” (Cummings. “Effective Debriefing Tools and Techniques”) Gather the team together once you’re back at the office. Engage with the staff about how they felt and what they noticed after the activity. You can even ask each member to write down one take away from the event. Utilize these takeaways as talking points in the future. Check out Cumming’s guide “Effective Debriefing Tools and Techniques” for some great ideas on switching up your debriefing technique. It will keep things fresh and interesting.
Regularly check back in with the team about their takeaways. Have they noticed any topics or trends that you discussed during the debrief? How have they been applying their takeaways to their current projects and responsibilities? It doesn’t have to be a big meeting, but regular reminders will help strengthen the lessons and your team will ultimately get better at applying the concepts. Forbes encourages managers to look at team building as an important investment. As with most investments you don’t want it to go to waste. You’ll need to provide “maintenance” on those lessons if you want them to continue working.
Remember the Team Building Fun
If a staff member groans about team building, you’re doing it wrong. One of the most important elements of successful team building is buy in. Buy in requires trust, clear targets, and a transparency. Don’t make assumptions on behalf of your staff’s perceptions. I stated that the activity is immaterial, but there is a reason we host dodgeball tournaments or graffiti experiences and not Power Point presentations. Intrigue and excite your staff and they’ll be more likely to support the activity. You can still have a powerful experience with a “fun” activity.
Book another event! I know, shameless self promotion right? But for truly meaningful team building one outing a year isn’t going to make a drastic difference. Show your staff you want to invest in them by making time for multiple employee enriching activities. This will increase their engagement in both the process and your company.
To continue your team building journey or if you want to begin this adventure of staff enrichment contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877.267.1939