When you hear the word “teambuilding” what comes to mind?
Do you think it is a costly exercise, that it involves outdoor pursuit activities which enable you to “face your fears” or do you think it is dinner and drinks with your workmates?
It can be all of these things – but it needn’t be. Building a strong team involves paying attention to the day to day activities of the individuals involved and can simply be an investment of time- possibly the best investment you could ever make.
Try the following four steps and notice a change over time.
1. Say good morning
Ensure that everyone in your team greets each other at the beginning of the working day and you will notice a subtle change very quickly. This is a very simple step that builds trust in each other.
2. Indulge in small talk
Structure some time each day, or at least once a week, to simply pass time with each other. In some workplaces this works well with a tea break or lunch together everyday, in other workplaces it may need to be organised as a simple social occasion- like a morning tea shout, a breakfast or a Friday afternoon BBQ (Not that it has to involve food)
3. Work together
In many teams this will occur naturally, but if your team works in isolation from each other, it is important to develop a team project for everyone to be involved in. It could be the Health and Safety team, or organising the Christmas function or it could be a business improvement project. Planning and implementing something together is a powerful way to build trust.
4. Organised fun
This is more than a few practical jokes during work time. Organising a regular fun activity provides relief from the seriousness of work. Many workplaces use sport and recreation activities to achieve this. Select activities appropriate to the ages and stages of your team, you may need to mix it up to cover everyone’s needs.
The trick is constancy and persistence. These activities are so simple and occur naturally in many cases that we can take them for granted. Incorporate these steps into your workplace culture and you will build a strong team, you will integrate new team members more effectively and your team will be more productive.