Team building is a dynamic process that yields many rewards once you get it going. Savvy leaders use team building to help their employees interact positively and get more done. Here are some practical ideas to help you get a team building program started in your workplace.
1. Set up a weekly, ongoing team building meeting. This shows everyone you are committed to the program.
2. Facilitate activities that help people build relationships and talk with each other on a deeper level. When people learn how to interact more meaningfully they find more ways to collaborate and help each other.
3. Focus on behaviors; what people actually do to function effectively within the team. The goal here is to replace old, dysfunctional behaviors with new ones that work better.
4. Set up a calm, friendly atmosphere with no interruptions. Dedicate all your energy to the activities and limit the noise that gets in the way of positive team building activities.
5. Everyone, especially leadership is involved. It’s highly desirable if team building is learned first by the leaders and then by other departments so that everyone is invested in the process.
6. Stay away from competitive activities where someone “wins.” You're trying to create teams of people who are trying to work well with each other, not against each other.
7. Have fun and keep practicing over time. Team building doesn't work unless you implement it long-term to shift the current behaviors.
The key to effective team building is to set up a work environment where people feel comfortable and trust each other. There are no set rules you have to follow, just remember that you’re trying to help people connect in ways that are meaningful to them and create deeper relationships. How will you get started?