Running a fun team building event is often a hallmark of an organisation that’s doing well, values it’s people or both.
It’s becoming more common place for leaders to want something else, something more noteworthy from team building.
It might be that they’re trying to bring a new team together or that they need to get everyone working together more effectively; whatever the reason, they would rather something a little more refined than go karting.
There are lots of ways that team building can be tailored to support organisations in achieving their objectives.
A bit of fun competition is traditionally the default setting for any team building event – but is it always the right way to go?
When you want to say thank you, celebrate or just ‘show em that you love em’ – a bit of light competition is a fantastic idea.
In pursuit of the top spot there’s always lots of laughter and great memories created. The losers, invariably ‘robbed’, can mock protest before retiring to the bar.
If done right, team building should be an occasion and a chance to network and let your hair down.
The problems start when you use the same, competitive approach for a slightly more technical brief.
If you want to bring a team of 24 together to adopt new ways of working and collaborate more effectively, is splitting them into teams and forcing them to go head-to-head really helping?
In cases where teams don’t know each other well or there’s a message to get across, it might be more productive to aim to bring them together instead of pitting them against each other…
When organisations want to bring a large team together why not forget competition altogether?
Team building that promotes working as a one big team, sharing resources and networking is plainly going to be far more effective than it’s competitive cousin at promoting the right behaviours.
Yeah ok, your super competitive ‘red’ individuals might grumble (you’ll know who we mean!) but the wider team is more likely to benefit.
Another approach to a more technical team building brief is the ‘competitive but not competitive’ format.
Simply put your entire cohort effectively competes against another company (either notionally or against their historic performance on a particular team building activity).
Nothing brings a tribe together more quickly than an external challenge.
In our experience, the performance levels achieved by supposedly struggling or new teams when they‘re competing against an industry rival have been nothing short of amazing.
We’ll often adapt our Crystal Maze for this. It’s popular so we have loads of historic performance data to pit teams against.
The final angle is to never actually mention that your team building activity isn’t a competitive one.
Give the cohort a collective goal they need to achieve in a set time, pop them in teams then sit back and see what happens.
Teams invariably trip up and launch into full, competitive behaviour, even if that means they begin to collectively fail.
Don’t forget to stop the team building activity halfway through and ask them what they think they’re doing… always a great moment!
Tailoring team building activities to your objectives is what we do.
Don’t get us wrong we LOVE a competitive, fun team building event but, if you need a bit more from an investment in your team than smiley faces and 30 hangovers, we’ve got your back.
Get in touch HERE to get started.
“This is the third time I have used EML for our annual One Supply engagement day (90 Associates) they are professional, helpful and supportive, their proposed team building activities are fun, engaging and inclusive of all. Would highly recommended.”
Marc Ledger | Production Manager | Lavazza
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