Team building is essential for improving communication and cohesion within your team and giving employees a sense of belonging within the company. Getting the team together outside of the meeting room also reduces stress and conflict by encouraging dialogue and cooperation. But contrary to appearances, a team building weekend requires a great deal of organisation – you can’t exactly play it by ear. From choosing the date, location and activity to making sure people attend…nothing should be left to chance.
Step 1 : identifying your needs
Before researching the different options available for a team-building weekend, ask yourself why you want to organise this event. Of course, the main objective is to boost team spirit, but why now?
Maybe it’s because you’ve just recruited some new employees and want them to integrate faster. Or perhaps it’s to motivate your sales team. Or you might have noticed tensions and conflicts between certain departments. By considering the factor/s that have prompted your decision, you’ll be able to choose the activity that best suits your needs.
For example, sports activities such as kayaking or football are ideal for improving team spirit and collaboration, while cookery workshops are a great way to enhance listening, integration and synergy.
Step 2 : choosing the activity and venue
How to select the perfect team building activity
So now you’ve outlined your needs and motives, it’s time to choose the right team-building activity. This should be based not only on your objective, but also on your company’s values, the number of participants and of course, their profile :
- What’s the average age of the group?
- Are there more men than women, or vice versa?
- Are there any pregnant women, people with reduced mobility, etc.?
The different types of team building activity
Going back to the activities, you can choose between :
- Sporting activities : rallying, karting, hiking, mountain biking…
- Cultural and artistic activities : film workshop, floristry…
- Culinary activities : cocktail making, tasting session, patisserie course…
- Fun activities : treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, murder mystery…
A weekend at the beach, or in the countryside?
Obviously, this depends on the type of activity you’ve chosen. Whatever you’re doing, make sure the location is easily accessible and not too far by car or train. Having said that, there’s nothing to stop you from organising a team building weekend in Paris, Brussels, or even Morocco, if you have the budget (or if your team are willing to pay their own way).
Who can I ask to help me organise my team-building weekend?
When it comes to organising a team building weekend, you have two options :
- Either organise the activities yourself by booking through a professional team-building events company (available all over the UK) ;
- Or go for an all-inclusive package – for example, a skiing weekend in Scotland or a hiking weekend in Snowdonia.
You could conduct a small survey to find out what type of activity would appeal to most of your team. This way, you will save precious time and be sure that your colleagues will be up for the event.
Still, be wary of “unusual” team-building activities that don’t meet your objectives. Sure, they may sound fun, but these activities should be a management tool above all else.
If you don’t opt for an all-inclusive stay, you need to choose an accommodation package that’s within your budget. But above all, you need to ensure that the accommodation is actually able to cater for your entire team (both in terms of bedrooms and dining tables). Finally, don’t forget to send details of any special dietary requirements to the accommodation provider, and to confirm the rooming list one week beforehand in order to avoid any nasty surprises.
Step 3 : setting the date
First of all, whenever possible, avoid booking during the school holidays or on bank holidays, as parents are unlikely to attend – or worse still, they’ll come reluctantly and may be in a bad mood for the whole weekend (which could spoil the vibe). Also avoid booking during major sporting events such as the World Cup or the Olympics.
Secondly, announce the date for your team building event well in advance, so that it’s less likely to clash with something else on your employees’ calendars.
Of course, you should also take the company’s schedule into account. Plan the team-building event for a period where things are slightly less busy – otherwise you risk having your team checking their emails all weekend and feeling more stressed when they return to work.
Step 4 : issuing invitations
When you’re sending out the invitations, provide as much information as possible in order to prepare your employees and generate enthusiasm. Explain why you’re organising the team building weekend (what are the aims and expected results) and don’t forget to send practical information (departure and arrival time, suitable clothing to pack, etc.).
Step 5 : evaluating the event afterwards
So, everything went as planned, and the team building weekend is now over. Find out the participants’ initial thoughts by handing out feedback forms. It’s also a good idea to share photos and videos of the event on Facebook or another social media site.