Team building use to strike me as a rather strange and possibly not very well defined activity; AKA a bit of a waste of time. After all, people are employed to do a job so they should really just be able to get on with it. I can’t help thinking that many people must feel the same way and can’t quite see the point of it.
Well, I have got older worked in quite a few places and now actually talk to people as well as manage them. Whatever scenario you use, be it paddling kayak or canoe on a lake, scrambling up a gorge or scaling a monolithic rock face as a rock climb, time has given me a new perspective on the value of team building and what it can do for those people who are part of an organisation or help run it.
Before starting my own business I had only worked in one place where, without really realising it, I felt that I belonged to a community and was part of a team. I say without realising it because it was only when I left that I missed working there. Or rather missed interacting with collegues who I considered professional friends (and some personal friends) These were people who I knew would have my back and who felt the same way about me ( I hope). Then I started to think about why I felt that way about this place and nowhere else I had worked in the the last 20 years.
Well I suppose that I knew the staff, and even the ones I didn’t know so well I trusted that they wanted to do a good job; that’s the way everybody was, so that’s the way everybody was. Those who struggled with commitement or any aspect of their job were not forced to raise there game but inspired to raise there game just by being in that supportive environment. Both expectation and support were always there.
So how can doing a team building day help? To be clear you’re not going to create that special atmosphere over night. A day out just to have fun could be a good start though. For one thing the staff will feel that they are valued; the company thinks they are worth investing in or may be just being nice to say thanks for your work. Whatever you do, paid employee or not, you will need the consent of the individuals taking part. This means there should be some level of choice associated with the activity and it should be fun.
If the only outcome of the day is that the people have had some fun and talked to each other then this is still good. The likelyhood is that there will also have been some learning. People will have helped each other, They will have supported each other through example, encouragement and persuasion. Not everyone will complete all aspects of every task but that’s actually OK and people will see that. People will recognise their own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of their collegues. There may of course be more than one step in this process but everyone has to start somewhere.
To find out more about our team building stratagey, or even for just a grand day out check out www.jointadventures.co.uk/team building