Set Key Objectives
Before we hit the ground running, let’s get back to basics. A successful away day or team building day will be achieved by understanding what the key objectives are. Working out the purpose of this day is crucial when preparing the agenda and activities.
Key objectives may include; discussing company updates, encouraging cohesion within or across teams, inspiring new ways of thinking and working, boosting morale, award giving and fortifying internal relationships to name a few.
Once the key objectives are set you can now get on with planning the day.
Out of the Ordinary
The very essence of a team building day is to be out of the office and somewhere new to invoke a sense of excitement about doing something different.
Your chosen location and subsequent activity will play a huge part in what you will get out of your staff.
A more corporate, traditional setting may not stimulate your staff enough to get the best out of them in this instance. If there is important company information to relay and some sitting and listening is required, then using a multi-functional venue with impressive gardens or quirky setting will help staff to switch gear and therefore me more open to receiving information.
We would recommend choosing an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of their abilities. For example, I was made to go Dragon Boat racing for a team activity and lots of staff requested not to take part as it was too physical for them.
Strike a Balance Between Talking and Doing
If there are lots of company updates to get through its worth building in time for discussions and encouraging questions from your staff.
If sitting still for too long and listening to someone talk, people’s minds inevitably start to wander and attention spans dwindle as a result. Where appropriate, asking for feedback and prompting people to share their thoughts on a topic will keep them engaged and actively listening.
The afternoon is usually the best time for a more active task as that is when people hit the post-lunch slump and any intense talking is likely to send them to sleep.
So it’s a great time to introduce a unique and exciting activity that your staff can get stuck into that involves moving around, being active and talking to each other.
Give Everyone a Role or a Task
When conducting activities it is important to try and make sure everyone is involved and if possible to give them a task or a role.
For example, in a Detective Project session we often have different roles within the CSI teams such as the scribe, the interview team, the presenter etc. It’s a good idea to make the activity competitive and add prizes to encourage engagement.
Depending on your objectives, how you split people into teams and designate roles is up to you. If the objective is for everyone to have lots of fun and be comfortable then it’s worth putting departments and peer groups together. If your objective is for people to work better cross-departmentally then you can mix the teams up across the company – or a mixture of the two.
Find Out Something New
Finding out something new from your employees can be a real eye-opener and give the day a personal touch.
Depending on your company ethos and your objectives, you can be as creative as you like with this.
- Anonymous suggestion box relating to the company
- Invite nominations for employee awards, these can be silly or serious
- Goody bags and hand written thank you cards to show your appreciation
Here at The Detective Project we absolutely love running team building sessions and get a real sense of joy from working with a diverse range of companies.