Let’s face it, not everyone gets to have a cool job. If we were all lion tamers and movie directors, then who would be left to process the payroll or collate the contracts? Yep, it’s the people in these jobs that are the glue that holds most companies together. Though we all might want to work cool jobs, it definitely doesn’t stop us from working. Instead of chasing our dreams of submarine ownership or freelance ice sculpting, most of us are content to go and work for cool companies and save our submarine obsession for nights and weekends. If your company is full of folks that might not have the coolest job description on earth, you can bet that they’d love to change the subject. Through organizing team building activities for your employees, you can help them to both have a little fun and bond with their co-workers, making work feel more like home.
The most important thing to understand about team building is that you need to understand what your employees want. In order to make sure that your employees are getting what they want out of a company outing or team building event, try holding an open brainstorming session with your staff or consult with some of the employees that you see as representative of the team. Input from your employees can get them excited for the event or outing weeks in advance and will ensure that, whatever it is that you end up doing, is what they want to do.
Be warned, there is a large potential for employees to view team building exercises as empty management gestures or as just plain cheesy. The reason for this impression, besides shows like The Office, is that so many managers get this wrong. Instead of asking their team what they’d find fun, many managers just choose something out of a hat or even hire team building “experts” to facilitate trust falls or some such nonsense. The whole point of team building is to give your employees what they want. Whether that’s a wings smorgasbord at a sports bar or a trip to the new exhibit at the natural history museum makes no difference. All that matters is that your team enjoys it.