Among the many factors that influence your team’s productivity, their cohesion is perhaps the most important. If your team works well together, picking up the slack for one another while pulling together in the same direction, you’ll find that their output and productivity rises – with a resultant boost to your business’s bottom line. A disunited team, however, can mean lower productivity and team morale. In order to build your team’s sense of community and unity, here are 10 team-building tips for small businesses.
1. Thursday Night
Across the world, Thursday night tends to be a popular evening for work-related activities. Your workers are likely to want to retain their Friday nights to see friends or to relax with family. Yet Thursday night is near enough to the end of the week for your workers to let off a little steam with a drink or a meal after work. Make Thursday night socializing a constant feature on your work calendar in order to encourage workers to get out there and chat outside of a work setting.
2. Social Secretary
Even small businesses can benefit from appointing a social secretary. With a small pot of cash to spend on weekly to monthly events, the individual in charge of your firm’s social time can organize more exciting trips and experiences for your colleagues. Give them the tools to work out what might suit your team best – like giving them access to online polls where workers can select the kinds of activities that they’d most like to do. A social secretary should be a popular and outgoing member of staff who’s willing to put the hours in to make a special team environment.
3. Escape Rooms
Have you ever tried an escape room? Often undertaken by families or friends, these experiences are also perfect for small business teams, as they require teamwork and imagination. You’ll be locked in a room for a period of time, and asked to find clues and answer riddles that’ll lead to your escape. Check out the VR Escape Room London to discover the latest iteration of these fun experiences, where you and your team will be pitted against the clock in a virtual world of puzzles and tests.
4. Outdoor Adventures
If you’ve worked in several teams before, it’s likely that you’ll have been invited on at least one team-building trip in the wilderness. These can vary between those that are organized by companies, and those that you set up on your own. The former might include raft-building exercises, while the latter might be a planned trip to climb a mountain and camp under the stars. Working together in a challenging environment is an excellent way to build team cohesion.
It may well be that not all of your employees are able to take part in sport. So setting up a sports team as a principle social activity could be seen as exclusionary to those who are unable to participate. Yet if sport is just one strand of the social events you have on offer at your firm, it’s a great way to build your team’s ability to work together. Choose a sport that all workers could get involved in – like bowling – in order to give everyone a chance to experience the thrill of winning and competing.
After hours at your office, when your team has put in a good shift, hosting games is a fantastic way to let off some steam and celebrate a good day’s work together. Order in the pizza and pour out the wine, encourage workers to change out of their business attire, and pick a parlor game that everyone can play together. Whether it’s a hilarious game of charades, or a more intimate game of truth or dare, you’re able to stimulate laughs and sharing between your team members on such games nights.
Other than outdoor challenges and popular games, there are other team-building challenges that are very much part of the playbook for firms looking to enhance the cohesiveness of their teams. Look these up online to get inspiration. Or, make one up yourself: like asking your team to split into two teams to build the highest-possible tower out of matchsticks and PVA glue. Change the composition of the teams between challenges in order to avoid team clicks that can often be counterproductive.
This is a different type of tip, but one that’s important for teams that are experiencing a certain amount of disharmony. If you’ve noticed a disagreement between two of your workers, it may be wise to broach it head-on, with a series of one-to-ones with your staff, or a team meeting where you encourage open dialogue and frank sharing. Disputes within a team can be damaging for morale – but finding a solution to them can help everyone relax and work under a little less social pressure in the future.
9. Weekend Trips
Every now and then, a weekend trip can help your workers really get to know one another in a setting that’s completely unrelated to work. Book a bunkhouse in the outback, or a series of hotel rooms in a spa, in order to give your workers a chance to interact in a very different setting to that of your workplace. If you can foot the bill of such trips, your workers will also be incredibly grateful to senior management, helping improve relations up and down the hierarchy.
10. Online Pursuits
Finally, for teams that are geographically distributed, online games are the best option to keep teams united and happy. Make sure that you’re organizing social sessions on Zoom or other teleconferencing platforms, as well as offering team quizzes and other such sources of merriment at regular intervals throughout the working week. It’s certainly harder to build team unity when you’re working together online. So you’ll need to put in a little extra effort, investment and imagination in order for your team to feel together while they are in fact apart.
Make use of one or more of these team-building tips so that your team can be more unified, with a higher morale. This positively affects their productivity and job satisfaction long into the future.