A small business owner or entrepreneur is only as good as the team he or she leads. If the team does not fire at full efficiency, the entrepreneur’s business suffers. Often the case with inexperienced leaders, they fail to initiate and promote small business team building for the purpose of motivating and helping staff reach goals.
Team building is the process of executing exercises, games, or other activities that promote the cohesiveness of the company culture and work ethic. It helps people socialize with one another, as well as helps encourage creativity and enthusiasm to help the company succeed as a team. It can transform employees into high performers.
Other benefits of team building include promoting respect among employees and across departmental boundaries. These types of activities can even improve problem solving and communication to help your team work smarter, not harder.
Signs That You May Need Small Business Team Building
What are the signs that your staff or executive crew may need team building? Take a look at the following clues:
- Frequent “personal days” – Do your team members frequently call in sick, or decide to take unplanned personal days? If you see this trend, it may be a sure sign your staff is lacking in team spirit.
- Lack of interest – Do your employees lack enthusiasm while performing their job duties? A lack of interest or enthusiasm can lead to poor teamwork.
- Gossip – Do you notice there is prominent gossip or “cliques” of employees? This can be highly detrimental to overall team spirit and cohesiveness.
Types of Team Building
So what types of team building is available? Here are some of the general activities where team building can help improve company cohesiveness.
Improve Team Skills
Use team building to help your staff learn new skills, and use current skills in better ways. These activities usually include having a group solve problems, working together and communicating to find the best solution. These activities also help bring greater awareness of communication and the effects of decision-making.
A group of people will work better together when they respect each other. It’s nice if a team all has similar things in common and all like one another. But a “cozy” group is the exception. You can use team building to help gain understanding and respect of one another.
A happy group works well together. If your team accomplishes a goal, take the time and effort to celebrate. These types of team building activities could be as simple as joining up for happy hour on a Friday after work or setting up a catered lunch for your employees.
How to Approach Your Plan
Your team building plan needs to start with an analysis of what you want to accomplish. What are your goals? Do you want to build a more cohesive group through relationship exercises? Or perhaps you want your team to solve problems more efficiently and quickly?
Another big aspect to consider is your budget. Do you have funds set aside to hire a team building consultant? Or will you have to create and execute your own team building program?
Examples of Team Building Exercises
Getting a group involved in team building exercises usually goes much smoother and has more effectiveness when there is an icebreaker. Icebreakers usually involve questions and games that include creativity and sharing.
Thanks to Dan Brown, many people are into a “treasure hunt” activity, where the group must analyze clues and solve problems in order to find the “treasure” at the end. This helps with communication, problem solving, and thinking outside the box.
Competitive Situation Analysis
he team is divided into smaller groups and given the same problem to solve. The goal is to see which team can come up with the best solution. The competition aspect of this type of activity helps motivate your workers to do their best.
Extensive team building doesn’t have to be something you do for your staff every week or even every month. While smaller team activities like celebrations and group socials are recommended frequently, a once-a-year larger team building retreat is a great way to keep your family of staff working their best.