Team building – get the activity right and engaged, motivated, better gelled teams await (and the sales will follow). Get it wrong however and you’ll only waste money and wind up with irritable staff who are only too keen for the day to come to a close so they can shoot home.
For event organiser novices, the pitfalls of team building activities are far and wide ranging, with any number of missteps that can be made. So consider this your fun team building activity masterclass – a fast-fire run through of the nine things to be avoided at all costs, if your day is to go with a bang, instead of crashing and burning.
Fun Team Building Activities –Nine Things to Avoid
- Organising your team building activity with zero experience
Over the course of twenty years we’ve heard some real disaster stories when it comes to team building activities handled in-house. From trips to A and E, to dull, dreary days out building makeshift shelters from loo rolls. Ultimately you may save on the cost of the day, but what you save in fees you end up paying in one wasted day that results in no actionable outcome, and even less fun.
- Not understanding your team (and their goals)
Who are your team, what interests do they have and what will they genuinely find fun in doing? Knowing your audience is every bit as important as knowing your corporate goals, and the real challenge comes in finding a balance between the two. Our best advice? If you’re determined to go it alone, seek out all the information you can from professional event organisers (for which you may want to start with our team building blog).
- Putting together a team challenge the morning after the night before
Planning fun team building activities over the course of a weekend is a great idea. What’s not such a great idea is planning a tough, physical or mental challenge following a team night out on the tiles. No. Just, no.
- Hosting the event in-house
Not only are there going to be practical limitations as to what you can do in the office, research has actually shown that participants find in-office team building events to be less valuable than those hosted at a third-party venue.
- The activity runs on and on and on
Even the most engaging of activities has a lifespan. After about 3 hours, energy and interest will begin to wane – long story short, keep your activities to an appropriate length of time. If you’re planning a task that lasts longer than three hours, make sure you schedule in regular brakes and a pit stop for refuelling on food.
- Not watching every penny of the budget like a hawk
Fun team building activities can end up costing you far more than you receive in boosted morale, productivity and output, if you’re not careful. In order to achieve optimal ROI, you need to plan for each element of expenditure before you make even a single booking.
If you plan on roping others into the organising, you should make each person aware of the budget and how much is allocated for the part of the event that they’re responsible for.
- You involve too many people in the planning
Taking on the task of arranging an event alone can seem incredibly intimidating, and it may be tempting to delegate what’s on your to do list. Whilst teamwork can certainly lighten your load, you need to be careful that you don’t create too many organisational layers – doing so can result not only in confusion, but also in debates between the team as to what direction is best for the event.
Our best advice? Keep your team small and use an app such as Asana or Trello to track what’s done, what’s left to do and who’s responsible for what.
- Not planning for the days, weeks and months that follow
Fun team building events should be planned with an end goal in mind – the outcomes that you want to secure when you all trundle back to the office. This must involve follow on tasks – such as future team training, a post-event wrap-up for the newsletter or social media shout out, thank yous sent to each team member and feedback for team activities in the future.
- Leaving it all to the last minute
Ideally you should be leaving yourself a minimum of 4 to 6 months of organising time.
As you may have guessed from the 8 pointers above, putting together fun team building activities takes time – a lot of time. This is especially true if you want to book the best venue, hotel or restaurant, which each may be booked up well in advance.
Feeling set and ready to get to work on your team building day? If you’d prefer to leave it to the professionals, we’ll be on the other end of a phone or email when you need us.