Team building refers to exercises designed to push your group toward greater effectiveness. The objective is to promote group productivity; you want to encourage behaviors that will ultimately improve your KPIs. What is important is to learn about team building mistakes in order not to make them.
There are several activities to pick from depending on the goal you’re trying to accomplish: some will help your staff members develop more empathy and trust; others will help them realign themselves with company-wide goals and objectives.
In this article we will tackle some of the most popular team building mistakes as well as look at an example of a quest as a team building exercise.
The most common team building mistakes
Let’s start with some of the most common team building mistakes to look out from.
1. There are no set goals
A team-building activity assumes that, for some reason, the team isn’t collaborating as well as it could. Fixing the habits preventing the team from evolving should be the exercise’s aim.
You must be aware of the behaviors your team must engage in in order to achieve its goals. When the group returns, you hope that the ideal conditions created by the productive team-building exercise would encourage these behaviors to stick.
There is a good probability that your investment won’t result in long-term improvements if you don’t know what the exercise’s purpose is. The best-case scenario is that there may be a brief spike in employee morale, but no changes in knowledge, attitudes, or behavior.
2. You do not know your employees
Team-building exercises are disliked by a significant number of people. It is simple to understand why, particularly if the audience was not considered when the event was planned.
While some team-building exercises may be entertaining to some, they may be embarrassing to others. While those who detest puzzles will find a puzzle-solving activity boring, introverts will become anxious at the thought of taking part in social activities.
You can’t expect the team-building activity to be successful if your audience doesn’t participate in it.
3. Lack of communication
Make sure that everyone is involved from the beginning as you plan your great team event. Keep a few surprises in reserve, but keep in mind that your team members should be involved as early as possible in the event’s planning, preparation, and management.
Participating team members in the planning process helps to prevent a number of problems, such as dissatisfaction, a lack of motivation, and early team event rejection.
On the intranet, create a microsite in advance of your team event. This makes sure that each employee is always up to date on the essentials (such as where, when, what, and how to get there).
Check out our articles on similar topics such as What is a positive company culture and Corporate gift giving traditions around the world.
An example of a team building exercise, and what to take care of
Quests typically require team members to work together to solve problems and find clues.
There are 2 types of quests that we will talk about:
- Escape-room-like quests;
- Outdoor quests.
Escape room quests are usually organized indoors. There can be several rooms and a story that the team must follow. The main goal is to get out (escape) of the room in just one hour. Team has to look for clues, follow instructions and be creative.
Outdoor quests are usually organized in a set location, for example a park, a theme park or generally just in the city. Then the team members have to walk longer distances and the quest might take up a big portion of the day. For example, StreetQuest is a team building exercise that keeps your team entertained for hours. Exploring the city while bonding with your teammates.
Most importantly – the team has to work together. That is the main benefit of quests. However things can still go wrong at times.
So here are some team building mistakes that could be made if you’re choosing an outdoor quest for your team.
Know that physical ability is different to each member
Some team members may have physical limitations that make it difficult for them to participate in certain aspects of the quest, such as running, climbing, or crawling.
In the end this could cause frustration or embarrassment for the team member, and hinder their ability to fully participate in the exercise. Therefore it is crucial to choose a team building quest that is actually doable for all.
Take care of safety concerns
Depending on the nature of the quest, there may be safety concerns that need to be taken into account. Those always have to be taken into account as possibilities.
For example, since the quest takes place outside, there could be hazards such as uneven terrain, traffic, or wildlife. In addition, if the quest involves physical challenges, such as climbing or crawling, there is a risk of injury.
Plan out the quest as much as you can
Communication and planning are the main keys of a successful team building event. However insufficient planning could lead to a quest that is too difficult or too easy. It could also be too long or too short, or that fails to account for safety concerns.
To avoid this, be sure to plan the quest carefully, taking into account the fitness levels and abilities of the team members, the weather conditions, and any potential hazards.
And when it comes to communication, provide clear instructions to team members before the quest begins. Make sure that everyone knows who is responsible for each task or clue.
Give room for equal participation
Finding out if your employees would be interested in an outdoor quest is always a good first step. However in some cases, certain team members may dominate the quest exercise while others are left out.
That is also a possibility to consider. So maybe taking care of a middle person who could manage the quest is a good idea. That is why platforms like StreetQuest are good because they take care of a lot of the planning and organizing process.
This could be due to a variety of factors, such as personality differences or differences in skill level. If some team members feel like they are not being heard or that their contributions are not valued, this could lead to some conflict within the team.
By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that your outdoor quest is a safe, enjoyable, and productive team-building experience.