Outings to sporting events, short trips, and nature retreats are all popular team building choices, but these kinds of exercises very rarely forge the bonds they set out to. Though team members may enjoy themselves during the excursions, it’s common for those feelings to dissipate as they returned to the regular workday. Besides, trust falls and sharing circles aren’t exactly surefire tools for connection. So what are extremely successful companies like Uber, Google, and Facebook doing to orchestrate interpersonal relationships amongst their employees?
We’ve taken a look at some of the biggest team building trends of this year amongst companies and figured out the four unifying factors that make them successful. Continue reading to learn more:
Build a Culture of Trust
The easiest way to ruin your team building exercise before it starts is to foster a environment where attendees don’t feel comfortable being themselves or voicing their opinions. Team building requires a level of vulnerability from your employees, so it’s only fair to at least give them the space to feel comfortable contributing to discussion and asking questions. At the start of your team building event, set expectations so that your team is aware that everyone’s contributions are welcome and encouraged. A team that trusts and respects each other can be extremely productive and innovative when placed into a problem-solving situation.
Incorporate Applied Play
Applied play is a team building technique rapidly being adopted by a number of corporations because of the effectiveness of combining game play and real life skills. Heralded as “the new secret weapon for healthy workplaces,” applied play gives team members an opportunity to tackle issues from new perspectives, try different strategies, and celebrate unique solutions.
Applied play is going to mean different things in different industries, but overall, these “games” can always be applied to real life work situations. With the mental strength and confidence built up through applied play, employees are better equipped to handle problems as they arise.
Don’t Try to Measure Success
Team building is meant to be a natural process, and employees can tell when managers are forcing a connection. If your team feels as though they’re being graded on their ability to befriend one another, they may clam up and not share at all, making your efforts redundant. So how do you avoid this? Don’t get caught up trying to quantify how well your team building exercise is going! Go with the flow and be an active participant with your team; it’ll give you a chance to get to know them better as well.
If you’re concerned with figuring out if the exercise was “worth” it, whether in time or money, the answer is always yes! Any opportunity you give your employees to unwind and connect with each other is worth it.
Give Permission to Be Creative
Like setting expectations for respect, letting your employees know they have free will to be as creative as they’d like is extremely beneficial. Office environments can unintentionally stifle your employees, whether through the daily routine required of them, or through the general decor. Set your next team building activity in a venue designed to be relaxing and conducive to creativity. Employees will feel more comfortable and uninhibited, thus allowing their innovative thoughts to flow freely.
If you’re ready to team build like Google, try renting a corporate meeting space in NYC with SoHoSoleil!
With three stylish and creatively decorated spaces, CornerLight, SereneSite, and MeetingSite, SoHoSoleil optimizes our locations to creatively influence and invigorate our attendees. Our spaces also offer office essentials like WiFi, easels, and a projector so your workday never has to skip a beat.