On June 19th 2017, ConnectFor held it’s first ever Team Building Day. It was intended to be a day of productive fun (yes, this is possible), wherein the team got together and did a number of activities, each of which was designed with a specific purpose. Team Building Days, or activities, have become increasingly common over the last few years, and based on the feedback we received at a review session of one of our team members, we realized that it was high time for ConnectFor to do one of our own!
Here are the top 10 lessons we got from Team Building Day:
(1) Preparation is Key: It’s important to ensure that there’s a plan in place. Each of the activities needs to have an intended outcome, and all the materials required to carry out the same should be pre-arranged. We realized just how important having organised supplies and pre-designed activities was when we saw how well the team responded to the same.
(2) Have an Agenda: The day should be structured, and there should be a framework within which the activities are being carried out. This will help ensure that you have time to carry out all the activities, and that you make sure the day is well balanced.
(3) Take Notes: Even though it may be an informal day, a lot of great ideas are tossed around in discussion, and everybody is thinking out of the box! Make sure to jot down some great ideas, or you may risk losing them if you just rely on memory.
(4) Consider doing it Offsite: It’s always nice to have a break from the monotony of routine. If you are doing a team building day, consider going all out and holding it an alternate location. We held ours in our regular office premises (although we did step out for lunch!), and a lot of the feedback we got stated that it would have been even more meaningful if we had done in a new location.
(5) Build in time for reflection: Whether it’s through the activities, or at the end of the day, ensure there’s time to reflect on the day, and on each person. Your colleagues and team mates should go home thinking, and hopefully having learnt something new about themselves.
(6) Competitive Games are a great tool: Whether it’s taboo, headsup, charades or even cards, nothing brings people together like the adrenaline of competition. Randomise the team so different people are thrown together, give them sometime to “strategize” in the team, and then let the games begin! *May the odds be ever in your favour.*
(7) Get a Photographer: Not only is it great for social media content, but you want to make sure someone is there to capture the moments when you’re trying to act out “Snow Angel.” Also, you want to make sure whoever is responsible for content generation in your team is also able to enjoy the day and fully participate in it without having to worry about whether or not they’ve documented enough of it!
(8) Use colours, and visual aids: There’s a little child inside each of us that will always be excited by brightness and novelty. Chart paper, markers, and a little bit of time leads to impressive clarity and visual aids, which can then be put up on the walls of the office space as reminders of goals, and of the great day of team building!
(9) Ice-Breakers are Surprising: You probably spend more time with your colleagues than most other friends/family/social groups in your life. Despite this, there’s so much about their lives that can surprise you and that you have yet to discover. Ice-breakers are a great way to start activities and learn more about the people you work with on a daily basis: for e.g. we learned that the only boy in our office has won an international ballet competition, that one of our team mates had actively prayed for 10 years to put on weight, and that a yet another of our colleagues had been placed in a detention centre in a foreign country!
(10)Do it well, do it often: We recently did reviews with the team individually, and every single one of the team members mentioned how valuable they had found the team building day. Either in feeling connected to the team, recognizing the value of their role in the big picture, or understanding more about themselves, the takeaways were plenty and unique for each person, but the resounding echo was that it was worth it to conduct this activity and worth it to invest time and money in doing this once every 6 months or so!
As one of our team members is very fond of saying:
“TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK!”