How to get your teams attention with collaborative team building programs.
Is your team lacking energy or not performing to expectations? Do you have some big personalities who unwittingly ‘rock the boat’? Do you want more from your team?
Use these easy to follow tips on addressing everyday problems that you probably experience with your team. And we also suggest a few awesome team building activities that will help to achieve this – team building made easy!
Why listen to us? Well, we have designed and delivered thousands of team building programs for a number of the worlds largest companies, so we have a bit of an idea of how to improve team dynamics and how to get teams performing better by planning team building activities that deliver!
Check out the Planning a Staff Christmas Party eBook here
Step 1: Identify and acknowledge what the issues are in your team
Some of the most common team issues that cause disharmony within the team include:
Misunderstanding responsibilities and roles
Lack of trust
Perceived lack of commitment
A silo mentality
Step 2: Work with the team as a group and be assertive
Organise the team to get together as a group, somewhere comfortable, with seating and a whiteboard. Communicate to the team that this is a proactive discussion to find solutions to the team can move forward. Make it clear the group discussion is about honesty, oneness, and fairness.
Taking either an aggressive or passive approach will often cause other issues, as team members personalities differ, so it is important to change up your communication style to suit the team as a whole. Being assertive, but fair, and pacing your communication and approach is more likely to go down well with the team and be appreciated, thus stimulate a better open forum discussion.
Step 3: Create an open forum for discussion
Outline to your team the reason for the team discussion, and highlight the need, to be honest, fair and that the purpose is to find a solution to any problems within the team. Acknowledging the issues as a team is the easy first stage… finding solutions can be a little more challenging.
Create a setting and atmosphere where it is clear that the team can come together collaboratively to discuss and overcome issues. This is a great approach that helps to remove punitive emotions around specific issues and makes it clear that the team can find a solution together.
Step 4: Facilitate a conversation and accept that team members see things differently
When discussing an issue, remember that every team member will have a different interpretation of the cause or scope of the problem and that their perspective will differ from others in the team.
Take the time to give every team member a chance to voice their perspective, without interference.
It is important to give everyone a voice and for them to be heard.
The facilitator can then guide the conversation as a group to find solutions as a team.
Step 5: Create an Action Plan and get buy-in from every team member.
Draw up an action plan at the back end of the discussion, in order to give the team a concrete plan moving forward. There is nothing worse than leaving a productive meeting or group discussion, only for nothing to be done afterward and nothing changing!
Ask the team the following questions…
1. “Having listened to everyone’s perspective, and knowing what you know now, what are we going to commit to over the next week, the next month, the next quarter?”
2. How will we achieve this?”
3. Who will take responsibility for what?”
Make sure you are very specific, outline time frames and when they should be actioned.
Write it all down! Make sure everyone in the meeting receives a copy of the Action Plan!
Make a time to reconnect as a group at a later date, to discuss progress and fine-tune the approach in the Action Plan, remembering that a team is organic, and needs to be tweaked and fine-tuned constantly.
Team Building Activities – reinforce collaboration and reward team success!
A one-off team building activity, by nature, will not address specific issues within your team.
What they do is to provide an interactive, fun and non-threatening platform to develop relationships and create proactive discussion. Team members have the opportunity to collaborate on a goal that can be removed from the everyday work focus, they get to laugh, share ideas and most importantly, see their team members in a new light.
The most popular team building programs are the ones that are based on collaboration, rather than purely on the competition. It is not always a good thing to have winners and losers… better if everyone feels like a winner! If you’re planning a team building activity, you generally will get greater engagement with those that promote team problem solving and working together for a common cause.
Some of the most successful team building programs to achieve these goals include:
Cooking Team Building (the team work together to design, prepare and cook their own lunch or dinner)
Community-Based Team Building (align the teams’ strategic approach to the needs of the community)
Creative Team Building Activities (making a short film or commercial, or creating a piece of team art)
It is important to remember that just one meeting or one team activity is not going to be enough to really get on top of issues within the team. By integrating regular team meetings where you discuss issues, problems, and performance, with semi-regular team building activities, your team will have a far better opportunity to grow together, develop better working relationships, and develop greater trust and respect throughout the team.
Proactive team building is essential to develop a high performing team.
Ask yourself this “What proactive team building approach does my team follow?”
If you are planning a staff Christmas party or end of year team activity to send 2016 off with a BANG, download our eBook and make your job easier!
Drop us a line if you would like any assistance in planning or designing your next team building program or team off-site.