Over the years, team building has been on a rise and more and more corporate companies are seeing the benefits of bringing a team together to bond, mull over common objectives and have a sense of togetherness as they strive towards their goals.
In the previous posts, we have listed down ideas, venues and some of the activities that are incorporated into a team building session. In this post, to help you plan for a team building program, we’d like to list down some pointers, as a form of a checklist to help you along. You may have gone through many years of team building sessions, or it may be the first time you’re planning for one, but we think it’s a good idea to go through some mandatory pointers in the form of the 5 Ws and 1 H, but we’ll ask them in this order,
1) Why – Setting objectives
The birth of a team building program starts off with the question Why. Why do you want a team building session? Why is there a need? There are various reasons for a team building session, which ranges between “just for fun team bonding”, to “resolving conflict” and everything in between from “addressing change management” to “improve communication”, and we have also assisted groups in conceiving their company’s mission and vision statements, and formulating core values together with the management team.
Know the reasons behind the cause for a team building session, be it a celebratory gathering to reward the team for the past months achievements, or a platform to bring across a point of improvement, the team building session would be a meaningful one having met it’s objectives.
2) Who – Who are the participants?
Whether you come from a large Multi-National Company (MNC) with various departments, or a SME with a growing number of employees, or a small local business, the common denominator in all businesses is that they’re run by human resources!. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, an American online store acquired by Amazon, has much to say about happy employees resulting in happy customers and in turn, making a better brand out of your company. You can take a look at an interview by Time magazine with Mr Hsieh on Youtube.
Team building, of course, takes time, and in some companies where daily production is required, stopping production for a period of time might not be wise, but rather, team building in teams or departments might be a more feasible option. We have done team building sessions for an entire company, and more commonly, on a department by department basis.
Take a look at the various departments, managerial team that make up the company, and make an assessment if a team building session would be helpful. More often than not, the answer is yes.
Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees.- Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
3) When – Fixing a date
There are many phases a company goes through in a year, and different departments have different deadlines to meet. For example, the Finance department may be the busiest during year-end or March/April when the financial year closes, the Sales team may have a certain month to close, and it may seem difficult to plan a common date, but we have seen it happen where various departments compromise on their own deadlines and schedules to meet together for a greater purpose in building the team up.
One of the learning values that come out of team building is little reminders that though each department is uniquely different, we help teams realize that they ultimately represent the same company, so a give-and-take approach especially in scheduling time to meet is a good start to experiencing that.
Fridays are popular days, to have an “off” day and carry out a team building session. The weekend after would set the mood and quickly relax the participants and get them to enjoy the day better. Sessions can range from a half day where it starts either from morning till lunch, or after lunch till evening, or an entire day from morning till evening. We believe in “replacing” a typical work day with a team building session, rather than having the workers fork out an extra day from their off days to gather, as a form of reward. Sometimes, team building sessions are part of many days-long conferences, and question most people ask if the session is to be held before or after the conference. A kick-off team building session can set the tone for the days of formal meetings ahead, and a closing team building session can wrap-up and bring the team back together after having gone through a week of meetings. Opinions differ, and we’re open to discuss about this with you.
If the budget allows, you might want to consider having an overseas retreat. We have gone to neighbouring places like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, and our Hong Kong office have explored parts of Hong Kong and China as requested by our clients.
4) Where – Deciding on the location
A team building event can take place anywhere, from within the office premise, an outdoor park, a hotel function room, a club house. These are matter of preferences, and once the deciding committee comes to a consensus, there are various venues to consider right here in Singapore, or if you’d like, overseas.
Many hotels and club houses, are equipped to cater for business meetings and seminars. Most of them know the importance of such meetings and have dedicated Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) teams to assist groups on their needs.
You can check out some suggested venues listed in this blog here :
5) What – What kind of activities? What to include?
Now that you have decided that you want a team building session for your group, now what? What do you expect? And what is there to do?
This is a matter of suitability, preferences and feasibility. As much as we hope that everyone is able to enjoy the same activities, we also know that people are wired differently. Decide on the non-negotiables, for example, the objectives of the team building, and the rest can be tweaked along, after giving much thought and some compromising on everyone’s part.
- Would an outdoor program fit the majority?
- What if it rains?
- What is the physical fitness of the general group, would something sporty or low-key be better?
- Any special-aided participants involved?
- Should we cater for meals?
- Should there be a dinner gathering?
- How are people going to get to the venue? Do we provide transport for them?
These are some of the questions that you may want to ask as you decide on the type of programs. Anergy has list of programs that have been designed so that the majority of the group, if not all, is able to participate and enjoy the activities together.
6) How – How to get this going?
Planning a team building session is not an easy process, which is why, anergy fun engineers are dedicated specialists in providing services just for your team building needs.
Of course, there is much fulfillment in the creation of your own team building program, from start to end, but we understand the constraints of ideas, and limitations as there are primary job functions which you need to fulfill on a daily basis.
If you’re toying with the idea of a team building session, but don’t know where to start, do drop us a note at enquiryATsingaporeteambuildingDOTcom and our friendly team building specialists are on hand to assist you.
We wish you all the best in your upcoming team building session!