Team building without the hassles
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Ugh, team building. From HR-unfriendly happy hours or rock-climbing walls to cheesy ice-breakers and overpriced workshops, there are so many options for team building it can be numbing.
Further, so many of us have had more annoying team-building experiences than positive ones it can be hard to find the motivation to participate fully, even if it might be a productive event.
Enter: passive team building. Passive team building activities allow everyone to participate in a group project at their own level of social comfort.
Another great benefit? The budgets and downtime are minimal. Here are a few super-simple ways to introduce passive teambuilding.
Is this my best side?
An employee profile wall is a great way to connect even a veteran team. Whether the space is virtual or physical, designate a place for employee pictures and a brief bio.
However, instead of the usual bio, create a set of questions that elicits interesting tidbits about each employee but also supports the culture of the organization.
For example, a client of mine with a very age-diverse workforce found they all had travel in common. Thus, in addition to asking about funny office experiences, important lessons and professional blunders, they included questions about favorite travel experiences, tips and bucket list destinations.
Because they had multiple locations, they chose to make it a physical wall with pictures of all employees at all three offices. It provided a great reminder of the true size of their team even though each location was small. Further, they refresh it each year as experiences, lessons and goals changed.
Similarly, including funny or silly pictures alongside professional images is a great way to allow employees to reflect something personal without being put directly on the spot. Many companies have adopted the idea of including baby pictures alongside headshots, but it can be more creative than that.
For example, one of my clients, a very conservative professional services firm, had one area near their conference rooms on which they hung the pictures of the executives with their name, title, and brief highlights of their professional pedigree.
However, in the breakroom, they hung the same pictures with sarcastic, goofy and witty comments about themselves.
Food, glorious food
Food is often a great way to get people excited at work. An easy way to transition this into a teambuilding event is to create a theme and provide a small budget. If the office is small, it can be an individual task, otherwise, create teams to address it and make the teams random.
For example, a medical office client decided the first Friday of the month would be an extended lunch, so everyone could participate. A small team was picked at lunch the month before to get lunch for everyone.
They were all type-A personalities, so they also voted during the previous month’s lunch what the menu should be. The budget was fixed so it allowed teams to get creative. One month, they made lunch and spent the money on prizes and games; another time they got it catered and decorated the break room.
Whether the team has been working together forever or is brand new, there are always creative, low-budget ways to keep the lines of communication open, strengthen comradery and have a little fun together.
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