1. Make team-building a priority. Too many companies and team leaders treat team-building as an afterthought. They tend to leave it sitting on the back burner, or stored on the shelf, and then squeeze it in when and if they have time for it. The best thing you can do is recognize the real importance of team-building, add it to the top of your priority list, and MAKE time for it no matter what. Don’t forget about it or push it aside when times get rough in the workplace, as this is when it is the MOST important to focus on team-building techniques and activities.
2. Choose a venue or location that is best-fitting for your team, your team’s needs, and your team’s goals. Try not to let money get in the way of what your team would really benefit from, by choosing the most inexpensive venue or location that you can find. On the other hand, you also don’t have to splurge and go with the most expensive activity around just to prove a point. In addition, don’t rush into a decision or settle on the first option you come across. Pinpoint your specific desired outcome, do some research, look around, and base your venue, location, or activity decision on what your team would truly benefit from in the long run.
3. Allow enough time to get the full effects of your team-building event or activity. Be sure to incorporate enough time before your event to provide your team with a brief overview of the activity. Provide them with the context of the event, and be sure to clearly communicate your desired objectives with them. They should know exactly why they are doing this, and exactly what they are trying to achieve by doing it. Along with briefing your team before the event, you should also make it a point to debrief them after the event. Having a debriefing session following your team-building event allows you and your team to focus on the positives and negatives from the activity, what was done well and what could have been done better, what lessons were learned, what connections were made, and much more. (See 8 Questions to Discuss with Your Team During Your Debriefing Session for more on debriefing). In addition to discussing these things during your debriefing session, you should also discuss ways to apply each of these things to the workplace. In other words, how are you (and they) going to apply these lessons and factors once you’re back in the workplace?
Again, it seems that some companies and team leaders undermine team-building for one reason or another. Either they don’t feel that they have time for it, they don’t recognize the true importance of it, or what have you. It is important that you and your team do not fall under this unfortunate spell. Always remember just how crucial team-building really is for teams - especially those that seem to be struggling - and make it a priority, giving it the credit it deserves!