It’s that time of year again — it’s company party season! And ho, ho, ho, guess who was asked to plan your team building event? It’s you! If you’re a first-timer, you may be a little nervous about the process. Don’t worry — we’re here to help you step out on the right foot and relieve a few beginner jitters. When you start with a thoughtful game plan, team building event planning success will be your reality.
These five tips will help you become the hero of your team building event. You got this.
1. Pick a Goal and Activity
Team building can and should be fun, but it should also be a structured activity that supports your company values and helps your team feel engaged and connected at work. Choosing a goal will help guide you toward the right activity and theme. For example, if your team needs a communication boost, planning a collaborative activity is a fun way to get there. Just make sure you don’t pick an activity that is too physically demanding for any team member.
2. Set a Time Limit
Work events — even fun ones — are more successful if they aren’t open-ended. A schedule is good for your business because it allows workers to prepare to be out of the office. No one wants to miss a deadline or go radio silent on a client. It’s also fair to say that most people have schedules outside of work, so it’s best practice to hold the event during work hours.
3. Choose a Venue
Once you’ve picked an activity and time, you’ll know the kind of space you need to make your event safe and comfortable. If you’re booking a venue or hiring an event planner, do it early in your planning process. Shopping around for a budget-friendly price takes time, and some venues fill up weeks in advance.
4. Prep, Prep, Prep
There’s a reason why the Boy Scouts like to “be prepared.” The more preparation you put in, the more likely your team building event will go off without a hitch. Now is the time to embrace checklists, spreadsheets, and itineraries. Heck, you can even indulge in a little “worst case scenario” thinking to help reveal potential planning problems. Think through logistics like transportation, food, water, gear, and swag.
5. Communicate the Plan
The more your team members know about the event, the better they can prepare both personally and professionally. Use these three steps as a guideline: 1. Announce the activity early in the process so concerns and adjustments can be addressed before details are set. 2. Send out a firm itinerary as soon as possible. Include details for everything the company is providing (transportation, food, t-shirts, etc.) and what employees will need to bring (sunscreen, tennis shoes, a can-do spirit, etc.). 3. Send out a reminder or two as the event approaches.
Bonus Tip: Get Post-Event Feedback
With team building event planning — as with running a business — it’s important to know what is going well and what needs adjusting. Anonymous feedback from participants will help you gauge the success of the activity and help you improve the next outing. Ask participants about the event in general and if they learned or experienced anything they’ve applied to their work.