Planning a successful team building event doesn't have to be rocket science!
Are you looking to shake things up and build team morale?
Planning a team building event can seem daunting, but we’ve broken it down into seven bite-sized steps that anyone can follow.
From selecting the activities to nailing the details, we've got you covered.
Let’s get started!
What makes a team building event successful
A good team building event is more than just throwing a bunch of people in a room and hoping they get along.
It should involve thoughtful planning and consideration of team dynamics.
You should choose an activity or challenge that allows people to work together towards a common goal.
That's what opens up opportunities for the group to develop better lines of communication among themselves and build bonds with one another.
Finally, of course, it's always a good idea to go for fun activities!
1. Clearly define your objectives
In other words, what do you expect your team to gain/achieve out of the event?
Corporate team building events can be a lot of fun, but they have to accomplish something in order for it all worthwhile.
This is why it's important to understand what your team needs and thereby establish what needs to be achieved by the team building event.
Don't start thinking of which activities to include in the event till you've decided on the objectives.
What does your team need?
Some examples of why you want to get the entire group together:
Do you feel communication between team members needs to improve?
Is morale flagging, and you're looking for a way to improve it?
Did the team just deliver a brilliant quarter, and the coming event is a reward for their hard work and to get them ready for the next phase?
The Five W Questions
A great starting point to establish team building event goals is to ask yourself the five W's:
Who? The app design team.
Why? As a reward for the app being featured in a "best 10 apps" list.
What? A fun activity.
When? Anytime this week, as a new project will begin next week.
Need help convincing some folks to take part? Take hints from our blog post on why employees should take part in team building events.
2. Get more people involved in the planning
Becoming a one-man army and putting the event together all by yourself sounds pretty good, but it can turn out much more difficult than you think.
Plus, involving more people means more viewpoints on what activities to include, how to get everyone interested and so on.
So, set up a team to help you plan.
Ask for their opinions on questions like when to have the event, what activities to include, etc.
And delegate tasks so that even if you happen to become preoccupied elsewhere, the others can keep the ball rolling.
Want to make things a little more fun? Choose a killer name for your team.
3. Decide on the timeline
The next step is to decide when the event should be held. Do you want the event to be held during work hours or outside of them?
Plan a timeline that allows for as many team members as possible.
Pro tip: If team members work full-time hours and have other commitments outside of their job at home or during personal days, schedule the activities during business hours so everyone can attend!
4. Set a budget
With your priorities and timeline decided, it's time to set the budget.
Thinking about the budget and at least setting a limit on what you can invest is crucial...
And you need to do this BEFORE thinking about the actual activities to include in the team building event.
For example, exploring cost-effective yet impactful activities, such as the 10 best team building activities in and near The Loop, can help you plan an event that's both memorable and within budget.
How to set the budget
Ask the management how much is available for the event.
If they don't have any specific numbers, try to find out what the budgets for previous team events were, and align your costs accordingly.
Accounting for overhead costs
As in any event, be prepared for costs apart from that of the main event, like
Transportation and parking.
Post-event party (mostly food and beverage).
Fees and charges such as credit card fees.
These may seem negligible by themselves but will add up when taken together.
5. Choose the activities and venues
With the objectives, timeline, and estimated budget decided, it's time to choose the activities and venues for your team building event.
Outdoor activities vs indoor events
As the team already spends so much time inside the office (or inside their home office, if you follow work-from-home or hybrid work models), activities out in the open can be very exciting.
On the other hand, you can have indoor events regardless of how the weather is, and there are numerous choices that can be equally fun as outdoor events.
For instance, exploring the 15 best indoor things to do in Chicago could provide some inspiration for your next team building event.
Get people out of their comfort zone
Even though team building events are often awkward and people may be shy at first, it is important to try and get everyone out of their comfort zone while still maintaining an atmosphere that promotes bonding.
Some activities you can include in your event
Improv workshop: It gives everyone an opportunity to know one another better, ultimately strengthening team bonding.
Escape rooms: Escape rooms are well-known for being effective at team building. They draw everyone in to participate and sharpen skills like quick thinking, observation, and time management.
Volunteering: Working towards a noble cause unites people like few other things do; it also shows you as a socially conscious brand.
Potluck party: It's easy to organize and gives the entire office a chance to bridge gaps and see one another on a personal level.
Office Olympics: Teams that like being active will relish such an event.
After-hours happy hour: It can be a welcome chance for employees to relax and share stories; however, people who don't consume alcohol may feel left out.
Looking for more options? Here are 19 team building activities for the holiday season!
6. Draw up a detailed team building event itinerary
With the list of activities and venues decided, it's time to chalk up a detailed event plan.
This is where you focus on smaller issues and logistics, ensuring the entire event proceeds as smoothly as possible.
The itinerary should be as detailed as possible, beginning from where folks should meet up to how everyone should get back home when the event's over.
Email the itinerary to all the participants at least a week in advance.
A few things to consider
Will the company arrange for transportation or will the participants have to make their own arrangements?
Who's in charge of food and drinks?
Are there any special conditions/requirements (for example, can participants with mobility issues take part in all the activities)?
Do any liability waivers need to be signed? Can that be done beforehand?
Do participants need to know anything in advance?
Will there be a post-event party?
7. Ask for feedback
The final step of a successful team building event is to ask the participants how they felt during the experience, what can be improved upon, and whether they have any ideas for the next event.
By encouraging team members to be candid, you will be able to understand what the team is looking for and what they need to function better as one unit.
This is invaluable at giving you inputs for when you're planning the next event.
A team building event that’s brought to you!
Want to make things even easier?
Prefer if the event was brought to you instead?
We have a popup team building escape room that we can set up at a location of your choosing.
Up to 90 people can take part at a location of your choosing!
All we need from you is a conference room; leave the rest to us!
Featured image by Nick Fewings on Unsplash.