business people joining handsBelieve us on this one: Nobody really likes the ridiculous trust fall craze. Unless, of course, you’re checking out those epic trust fall fail videos that are all but crashing the Internet.

But! Team-building has repeatedly been proven to impact—in a good way—the companies and groups who proactively embrace it as a strategy for connecting its people. Here’s why and how hosting constructive team-building activities at meetings can yield the results you’re after.

Team-building activities can be a valuable investment.

Whether a quick session or multi-day retreat, on-site or off, budget-friendly or all-out, the time and funds allocated can pay off and then some. They’re of particular importance when assembling a team, integrating recent hires and employees who work remotely, resolving conflict, introducing new business approaches and/or simply rewarding a team.

Team bonding can work any time too, as an opportunity to pluck them out of the same-old, daily routine and truly see each other as human beings, more than fellow workers/email signatures/disembodied voices on the phone with whom they spend such a large portion of their lives.

When done well, the benefits are ample and wide-ranging.

Your positive outcomes can include:

  • Giving team members a closer look at their different work styles and personalities
  • Encouraging them to bust barriers and forge closer personal connections
  • Motivating them to speak up and express their ideas confidently
  • An improved understanding of everyone’s roles and how to make best use of each other’s strengths
  • Enriching capabilities, like communication skills and creative problem solving
  • A sense of engagement, recognition and gratification for each attendee
  • Nurturing genuine trust, respect and appreciation for working together as a team
  • Building a happy, unified team and healthier relationships among its members

Ultimately, the upshot should be more inspired performances, enhanced quality of work, increased productivity and innovation, higher morale and a better retention rate.

The who, when and where do matter.

Don’t exclude anyone. Invite the entire team, including (or especially) members who work remotely or are often on the road and spend less face time with their peers.

Provide plenty of heads-up on your plan, so everyone can clear a space on their calendars and make any necessary arrangements. Try to schedule it at a convenient time, during typical work hours, and when you know they’re available and not out on vacation or traveling for business. If your team-building activity overlaps with a mealtime, remember to curb those hunger pangs: Supply tasty food and beverages!

As for the where, consider securing and off-site meeting space or activity location. That would literally knock down the usual office walls and figuratively shake off the cobwebs and free their minds and preconceptions. When that’s not possible, do your best to eliminate distractions and ensure it’s perceived as a special event.

Make it a pleasant experience for one and all!

If we’re being honest here, not every team member immediately loves the idea of team-building activities. Some downright dread them. So, how to overcome those eye rolls and folded arms, and sometimes that sheer anxiety?

Create a bonding experience with YOUR team members in mind. Begin with an understanding of the team members involved and be respectful of their differences. Select your team-building activity based on factors like accessibility (ensuring it’s appropriate for all physical conditions and health sensitivities) and extreme fears (hint: don’t force your acrophobics onto that sky-high ropes course).

Foster an inclusive atmosphere that feels safe and comfortable. Keep it positive. Don’t single out or set out to embarrass anyone. Aim to lift up, not humiliate or leave feeling snubbed or, worse, mistreated.

Excite and energize your whole group with an activity that also aligns with your goals, and you’ll accomplish the most effective results possible.

Ready to make your meetings and events endeavors a success?

Let’s collaborate! Email Lynn Kaniper, at—or call 609.466.9187, ext. 117.

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