Team Building: Trends and Tips for 2014

Team building is important for boosting employee productivity and relationships. Team building can help employees to understand each other better, communicate more effectively and start to be more creative when solving problems. In turn, this kind of work environment can attract team players to your company and boost employees’ job satisfaction. Unfortunately team building exercises often get confused with recreational activities, and fail to meet these important business objectives. Budgets and resources also affect how businesses approach team building, and trends for 2014 indicate that these resources will significantly affect team building this year.

Budgets Remain Small

When businesses are stretched thin, budgets for things like team building tend to be the first thing to shrink. Another reason budgets have been smaller is that it has become more popular to have smaller groups of employees participate in separate team building activities and distribute resources amongst those teams. Unless segmenting these small groups is important to the overall objective, however, businesses will tend to get less for their money this way.

Local or Onsite Sessions

Due to small budgets or out of a desire to use as little employee time as possible, many businesses have turned to holding teambuilding sessions in the same city they are located at or even in the actual office. While this can be done effectively, it does require some extra effort to make sure the exercise isn’t being shortchanged in the process.

DIY Planning

Another result of smaller budgets is that companies are having employees or managers plan the team building exercises rather than turning to professional services. This can often lead to employees choosing something that sounds like fun rather than the best option for the objective.

Tips for Success

Remember these tips to ensure that your next team building exercise is a success

1. Have an Objective

The only way to ensure that a team building exercise provides something beneficial to the company is to set an objective for the exercise before the planning process even begins. The objective can vary and should be catered to your specific needs. Perhaps granting employee rewards is part of the goal, or you might want to foster greater collaboration between departments.

2. Pick a Good Time

Be sure that the exercise won’t have a negative impact on other aspects of your employee’s life, such as picking the kids up from school. If you can, plan the event during regular business hours and cut down on the workload for that day, so employees don’t end up working long hours into the night to make up the time they lost.

3. Make it Challenging and Interesting

Don’t bore your employees with things that they already know or long presentations and lectures. Instead, keep the workers actively involved in the process and plan activities that will really challenge them and get them to think. Competition, prizes and free food are all great motivators to make this an event your staff looks forward to.

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