Post By DuWayne | Posted On Thursday, August 2011

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had many requests for Team Building events.  When responding to those requests we typically ask the following questions:

  1. Who will be participating in the event?
  2. How many participants?
  3. What are the demographics of the group?
  4. Are there any physical limitations of which we should be aware?
  5. Are there things that the group has enjoyed doing in the past?  What worked and what didn’t?
  6. Would you prefer indoor or outdoor activities?
  7. What is your expected time frame for the event or what length of time would you like for it to last?
  8. What are your goals and expectations?  What results do you expect the participants to learn by participating?

I’m constantly amazed by the reaction to the last question.

There seems to be a misunderstanding in the difference between an event that actually promotes teamwork (hence the phrase “Team Building”) and an event that is simply an excuse to get individuals to do something to break the monotony of a meeting.

Don’t get me wrong….there is absolutely nothing wrong with people having a fun and enjoying themselves!  In fact, when Team Building exercises are done correctly, having fun and enjoying themselves is precisely what should happen.  However, there is a big difference between “simply having fun” and a Team Building event that is well orchestrated and effective.

The most important aspect of a Team Building event should be the thoughtfulness given to the goals and objectives that you would like to see achieved.  Events such as Scavenger Hunts can be a great way to simply fill an afternoon or provide entertainment during a meeting.  However, with a little extra thought it can also be a way to solidify the bonds between co-workers and a way to instill company culture and further promote the theme or objectives of the meeting.

It’s the “little extra thought” that makes the difference and can make your attendees’ time together fun AND educational.  Time is a precious commodity and something that should not be squandered nor wasted so the next time you need to find something for your team or attendees to do, put a little extra thought into it!  Set reasonable goals and expectations that are measurable and quantitative but most importantly MAKE IT FUN!

Team Building does not need to be a budget buster but it does need to be carefully and thoughtfully constructed.  Any “building” is only as strong as its foundation and that is especially true when it equates to Building a Team!