team building

5 ways to plan a successful team building activity

Organising a good team building activity should not be improvised as it requires some specific actions when planning and executing it. When it comes to organising a game, a meeting, or any other type of situation that is out of the ordinary, it seems obvious that it will never happen to everyone’s liking, i.e. it is not possible to please everyone. 

However, if you are in charge of this type of activity in your company, pay attention to the following tips in order to plan a successful team building for your employees.

What you should look for when designing team building activities

1. A team building activity has to be enjoyable and convenient

Sure, it’s hard to find an activity that will be fun and motivating for everyone. However, before assuming that what you have organised is enjoyable, consider whether it is the kind of activity that might, at the very least, upset your team members, especially if it is something very “exotic”.

Sometimes it’s not about the task itself, but the timing: if the activity is fun but takes time away from the employee, then it’s not so much fun. There are longer or more complex team building activities that require spending several hours out of the office, even going on a weekend outing together. They can be very useful, but the more complex the event we want to carry out, the better it has to be designed. 

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Think about your team’s needs. Before committing them to such an activity, consider how it may affect their daily organisation or their psychological comfort. Of course, if the team building takes time away from them, it is only fair they can make up for it later. 

2. A team building should not provoke insecurity

Sometimes the activities designed to bring the team together and “build” it are not the most fun in the world. That’s okay: the important thing is that employees don’t feel they have to do something that makes them uncomfortable, that might make them feel exposed, or that will make them look ridiculous in front of their colleagues and managers. 

Moreover, some team building activities are group dynamics oriented towards competition and aggressive initiative-taking. Sometimes these activities are directly aimed at “fighting” among team members to see who is the strongest or who “survives”. 

These types of games and dynamics can be very motivating for some people and may provide some interesting conclusions on a psychosocial level, but some team members may experience them as if stress has taken over the office. A good team building activity is not based on humiliating, singling out, or ridiculing any colleague. The right team building activities are geared towards building the team, not dynamiting it from within. 

3. Team building activities must have clear objectives

A team building activity, whatever the case, must have clear objectives in order to be as effective as possible. This means that, whatever the activity we propose to the team, must be coherent with the rest of the actions we carry out and be included in our strategy. 

In addition, if possible, team members should know what the specific objective of the event they are attending is. This way they will be able to get actively involved, they will not have to suspect that there are hidden intentions and they will not think that the activity supposedly designed to bring them together or to reward them as an emotional salary is an irrational act of the company.

4. Team building must include feedback

A team building activity is not improvised nor is it a random event that happens suddenly and just for the sake of it. It is an activity that is part of a strategy, it has objectives and, in order to achieve them, the participation and involvement of the team members should be requested.

This means that, especially in the case of particularly complex activities, those who have carried them out should know what conclusions have been drawn from them and what future decisions will be taken based on them. In short, the team building organisers should take note of the results of the activity and communicate them to the team.

5. It must be consistent with the company’s corporate culture

The fifth tip that should be taken into account to carry out a good team building activity has to do with all the team building actions that we have recommended so far. 

Indeed, if we take into account that the event will be consistent with communicable objectives and that, if it cannot be moderately fun, at least it will be respectful and not humiliating, this means that team building is connected to a certain corporate culture. 

What corporate culture? One that prioritises among its values not the survival of the fittest at any cost, but the psychological health and well-being of the employees who make up the company. Why? Because it is good for them, but it is also efficient at a corporate level

Transforming a collection of individuals into a cohesive group or, if you prefer, a constellation of talent that becomes the company’s powerful secret weapon is not easy. It is a process in which team building activities can either make a huge change for the better or torpedo the smooth functioning of work teams. It depends on how well or how poorly designed they are. 

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Why Are Team Building Activities Important?

In today’s work environment, mental well-being is crucial for both individual and collective success within an organisation. Companies that prioritise the mental health of their employees not only foster a positive work atmosphere but also cultivate stronger and more resilient teams. Therefore, incorporating team-building activities that promote mental well-being is essential. Let’s explore some of their benefits:

Benefits of Team Building Activities

Promote Team CohesionActivities designed to enhance mental well-being create opportunities for team members to connect on a deeper level. Sharing meaningful experiences and developing mutual understanding strengthens team bonds, improving collaboration and communication.
Improve Work ClimateProviding employees with tools to manage stress, anxiety, and other work-related tensions contributes to a more positive and healthy work environment. Supported teams tend to be more motivated, engaged, and productive.
Increase ResilienceMental well-being strategies help employees develop coping skills and resilience to both work-related and personal challenges. By learning to recognise and manage their emotions, team members are better prepared to face adversities and maintain optimal performance.
Promote Inclusion and EmpathyActivities that involve emotional expression and sharing personal experiences foster an environment of openness and mutual understanding. Validating diverse experiences and perspectives strengthens a culture of inclusion and promotes empathy within the team.

Organisations can create a supportive and cohesive work environment by implementing team-building activities that emphasise mental well-being, improving overall performance and employee satisfaction.

Examples of Team Building Activities

A team building activity can be any activity designed to foster team cohesion and promote the mental well-being of its members. However, if you need some ideas for team building activities, read on for examples:

  • Mindfulness or Meditation Workshops: Organising sessions where team members learn mindfulness and meditation techniques can help them reduce stress and improve focus.
  • Yoga Sessions: Offering group yoga classes is an excellent way to promote relaxation, flexibility, and connection among team members.
  • Stress Management Talks: Inviting expert psychologists in stress management to give informative and practical talks on how to identify and manage stress at work and in everyday life.
  • Outdoor Activities: Organising outdoor activities such as hiking, orienteering, or sports games can encourage teamwork while enjoying nature and disconnecting from the work environment.
  • Art Therapy Sessions: Promoting artistic activities like painting, drawing, or sculpture can help team members express emotions and foster creativity in a relaxed and pressure-free environment.
  • Conversation Circles: Organising conversation circles where team members can share their experiences, concerns, and successes in a safe and supportive environment can strengthen bonds and promote empathy.
  • Community Volunteering: Participating in team volunteering activities, such as helping at an animal shelter or participating in a local park cleanup, can promote a sense of community and mental well-being by contributing positively to society.

It is important to note that the activity you choose should be adapted to the characteristics of your team and their needs. While they should be fun, there should be a clear objective behind these activities to have a positive impact on the work environment and overall productivity.

The leading mental well-being solution

At ifeel, we understand that it is not possible to take care of the company without taking care of the psychological well-being of its employees. To do so, we have a mental well-being solution for organisations, designed by our team of occupational well-being psychologists with one main objective: to help companies place employee health at the center of their strategy to build their mission statement.  

Thanks to this partnership, the people in charge of HR departments can receive personalised, data-driven advice on how to make good decisions in a company to get the most out of the teams they are in charge of and take better care of the psychological well-being of the people in them. 

Moreover, this program offers employees a holistic mental health care service structured at different levels according to their needs. This service includes, if required, online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialised in cases like theirs. Try our program today so you can see how it could help you.

We hope you found this post about how to plan a good team building activity useful. If you want more information about our mental well-being solution for organisations, simply request it and we will contact your team as soon as possible.

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