Keeping employees happy should always be a manager’s priority. In a competitive environment where attention is directed towards pleasing clients and consumers alike, many companies often forget about investing in their most valuable asset—employees.
Employees are the lifeblood of a business. They produce and manage deliverables to satisfy clients. While it is crucial to make your business flourish, it is equally important to ensure employees are happy. Employee happiness typically results in better productivity and lower turnover rates, which precludes unnecessary stress of vetting and recruiting new employees.
Among the ways you can increase employee happiness is to ensure they are having fun at work by hosting team building activities. Team building is a great way to break the ice and encourage open communication amongst company personnel. Also, team building activities can promote trust, creativity, and cooperation (which can improve the company’s overall performance).
According to Mindtools.com, “Team-building exercises can be a powerful way to unite a group, develop strengths, and address weaknesses – but only if the exercises are planned and carried out strategically. In other words, there has to be a real purpose behind your decision to do the exercise – for example, improving the team’s problem-solving or creativity skills – rather than because you felt like giving your people a nice day out of the office.”
So here’s a quick look at four team building ideas that can help foster your company’s team spirit.
Play Team Sports
Physical activity offers a lot of benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, muscle toning, and mood. It’s even better when your employees are engaged in a team sport, as it gives everyone a common goal that promotes collaboration. Good examples of team sports would be flag football, softball, volleyball, and ultimate Frisbee. These activities make it easy for people to communicate with each other. If you’re up for it, you can rent an appropriate venue for a few hours. Select a sport that’s popular in your local area and caters to various fitness levels to ensure that everyone can participate.
Take a Field Trip
Remember how fun field trips were when you were a kid? It doesn’t get less fun now that you’re all grownup. One of the best ways to get complete strangers to become friends is by putting them in an informal setting such as a field trip. It is during these instances they can loosen up their office persona’s and become more approachable. If you can afford it, take employees island-hopping, on a ski trip, to the aquarium, or to a local attraction in your area—basically anywhere you think would be memorable and engaging. The employee field trip doesn’t have to be expensive; you just need to make it turn key by providing transportation and plenty of food. Make your company’s next field trip unforgettable by giving away useful prizes including an extra day off, early release day, extended lunch breaks and more.
Play the Great Egg Drop
The great egg drop is a classic team building game that involves a lot of creativity and resourcefulness. Simply split your employees into groups, and provide the following materials: an egg, six straws, one sheet of newspaper, one meter of string, a plastic cup, 10 toothpicks, and one meter of masking tape. Their task is to make an egg package that wouldn’t break after falling from an eight-foot drop. This particular activity teaches people to work towards a common (and tough) goal; as well as applying their ingenuity and craftsmanship.
Working together for a good cause is always a great way to bond. Start by asking everyone what types of advocacy groups they want to support or look to your own cause association ties. You can opt for simple efforts, such as collecting school supplies to give to a local church or orphanage or holding a community garage sale where proceeds are donated to a partner welfare organization. Charity involvement gives everyone in your company the opportunity to give back to society, and break from the normal work routine.
Teamwork is essential in today’s business environment. Team building activities support broader goals, where teams really matter in the workplace. As Forbes contributor Maggie Starvish explains, “This means that people have to get good at “teaming”—reaching out, getting up to speed, establishing quickly who they are and what they bring, and trying to make progress without a blueprint. The skill set involves interpersonal awareness, skillful inquiry, and an ability to teach others what you know.” Not only will you be cultivating a happy workplace, your employees are bound to perform better if team building is a success.
Morrys Sarmiento is a web content writer whose main interests are online marketing, lifestyle, and business management. Among his interests outside the profession are football, music, theories of personality, philosophy, gaming, and creepy stories. Connect with @Morrysxi on Twitter.
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