4 Team Building Strategies

In your pursuit to develop the best employees possible at your small business, don’t overlook the value of team building. Even though the mention of team building sometimes causes employees to groan, effective team building activities can foster connections amongst your employees, which can lead to a more efficient team. 

Team building allows employees to feel more comfortable with one another. Breaking this barrier leads to improved communication amongst employees and better problem-solving skills as a team. The more comfortable your employees are with one another, the more confident they’ll feel sharing ideas with each other. 

Here are some strategies you can use when team building. 

Don’t force it 

Some of the worst “team-building” activities are the ones that force employees to sit around a table and participate in a series of events that are meant to teach them a specific skill set, such as how to better a better leader. Activities that are meant to be a lesson feel too much like a day in the office and do not foster meaningful relationships. 

Instead of forcing a lesson onto your employees, come up with activities that organically allow them to work towards a common goal. 

For example, if your team is struggling to take instructions from one another, don’t simply lecture them on the importance of listening to one another. Come up with an activity that shows them the value of teamwork. An activity such as planting a garden as a team gets employees out of that sterile office environment, but still forces them to talk and communicate in a meaningful way as they decide what to plant and how to tend to the garden. If you work in an area with lots of wildlife, don’t forget to construct DIY deer fences around your garden! 

Go on a corporate retreat 

Another way to organically build relationships is ditching work altogether. Get out of the stuffy office environment and doing something fun as an office. Fun activities can help build a stronger-knit team because time away from the office gives employees time to have meaningful conversations that don’t revolve around meetings or deadlines. 

Some corporate retreats only last a few hours, while others last an entire week! Some retreats involve getting out in the wilderness or participating in sports activities. Others are more chill, such as having downtime to watch a movie together. Some of the best retreats, however, are ones that allow people to openly face or talk about their fears. This often results in real conversations between team members as they work together to face those fears. Once employees see that they have the support of their team members, they’re more likely to share when they feel stressed at work with their coworkers because they know they can count on their team to help them out. 

Keep the Energy Going

Sometimes after a teambuilding activity or a retreat, everyone just returns to the office and goes back to the daily hustle. To keep fostering meaningful relationships, you need to find smaller ways for employees to interact and communicate in ways that don’t revolve around work.

This doesn’t mean that you have to do a fun activity every week, but you do need to find ways to celebrate work and life achievements. Some offices chose to have time before each meeting where they go around the table and have every employee share something positive that happened that week. Sometimes employees chose to share a work achievement, while other employees choose to share something exciting that is happening in their personal lives. 

Create an open-door policy 

Sometimes after retreats, employees may feel more comfortable with each other but still might struggle to know when they should talk to you. It can be frustrating for employees to feel as though they can’t come to you. To help build your relationships with your team, make sure to participate in all team building activities and create an open-door policy. This is where you leave your door open at certain times so that employees can stop by to share feedback or ideas. This encourages openness and transparency between you and your employees and makes them feel as though they can come to you. An open-door policy can also help prevent turnover

Final Thoughts

Team building is an important investment that benefits your company. The strategies above are a few ways that you can begin creating a stronger team. 

If you are currently using team building activities, what are some of your favorite exercises? What benefits are you seeing as a result of team building?

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.