How do you know that your team building event will be successful? Why are they successful?
- The experience will be unforgettable. It will be an event, fancy isn’t necessary
- It will be the subject of stories told by those who were there, for years
- It will mold, bind, and forge team member relationships
- It will be different from all those other “team building” exercises offered commercially, externally. It will put the team in situations that most of them are unfamiliar with or have not experienced for some time
- So much fun, memorable.
- Over time, it will build anticipation and expectations for the following year.
- You are receiving emails months in advance from members searching for advanced information.
- When you are receiving emails from high potential professionals, who have yet to reach a position level to be included in the meeting, wanting to know how they can participate (Responses need to handled carefully).
The keys: Team building is homemade, creative, and unique. Retaining a professional meeting planner can be helpful for ideas and support. There is great detail, the greater the detail the better. The meeting is a mix of business meetings, outside guest speakers, and the team building exercise. The team building exercise portion of the meeting needs to be designed so all participants, regardless of age and physical condition can fully engage. A dedicated, agreed upon budget needs to be an integral part of the annual financial plan if leadership is serious about team building.
The value: Team building gives participants a non-business basis experience upon which to build working relationships. Why would that be important? Most stress in the business and working world is caused by managing day-to-day issues. Non-issue experiences provided by great team building experiences can help.
Usually annually: Dates are communicated months in advance which accomplishes a couple of things. (1) It clears calendars, and (2) begins to build expectations and conversation about the meeting. Expectations can be high if previous team building experiences have been successful. And, it commits the business to the event.
A new or different experience for most: The usual consulting firm based team building sessions are OK, but they are not unusual, unforgettable, and are not long-term bonding and conversational “pieces”. And usually they are not memorable and laughter-filled experiences that last long into the future. Team building has to be “an experience” to be successful!
New member inductions: the first evening is ideal, after dinner. These indoctrinate / welcome participants new to the team. These, as one might imagine, are met with great anticipation by new members and are absolutely loved by existing team members.
Your top leadership team is important: Its support is paramount to successful, dynamic team building. I was lucky enough to create and build team building experiences over a period of 10 years as I had bosses that supported them, so much so, that they asked for the sessions each year. We actually developed a reputation for these events in the corporation. True we had substantial budgets, depending on the unit. In some units leadership team members / participants hailed from as many as 13 different countries. But the same experiences can be designed and built for the smallest team and do not need to be exorbitantly expensive. Creative and unique do not necessarily come with big price tags.
Team members referenced in this posting include: The boss and key operating and support leadership positions.
What were the EVENTS? They usually consume one afternoon and evening of a two day or three day business meeting. Some examples: afternoon at the races (we purchased go carts; resold them after the meeting), rafting, boat building, Olympics, over-night canoeing, and others. New member inductions: vikings, the chief, not your usual hayride, the theater, comedians, and others.
***** S&E *****