Team productivity often relies on two things, team cohesiveness and employee happiness. And as a manager, you have no choice but to make these a priority. It’s easy to get lost in all the work of reaching deadlines, acquiring new customers, or keeping clients happy while forgetting about the important part of the business, your employees. Your employees are doing a great job, working longer hours, covering multiple areas, and are spread a bit thin. But factors like these can lead to dissatisfaction and interpersonal issues, if you are not intentional about encouraging strong team dynamics.
Simply dedicating time with employees outside of the business environment will yield a more positive group dynamic. There are many ways you can go about doing this, but don’t expect employees to do it on their own. Plan and sponsor some organized social activities that keep people getting together on a regular basis. Here are some great examples that will help you get started.
Sponsor a Company Sports Team
Starting a sports team is a great teambuilding option. It will help your employees get to know each other, in a fun environment, while practicing some great skills that are applicable in the workplace, like communication and teamwork. As players, employees from various departments, buildings can come together as a unified team, working together toward a common goal. Good examples of team sports that everyone can enjoy are softball, soccer, flag-football or ultimate frisbee.
Have an Activity Day
You could plan a fun day of activities with your team. Your employees could choose to do virtually anything in the area, such as canoeing, a group fitness class, a trip to a museum or an amusement park, indoor rock climbing, group yoga, there is no end to the how creative you could be. You could plan activities ahead annually, with events quarterly or even monthly, and your team could work together to pick various activities to rotate throughout the year. Simple ideas like these are great for giving employees the opportunity to interact with each other and leave work back at the office. Remember your employees have different things going on in their personal lives, so make sure the day of the week and time of day, as well as type of activity is frequently varied to maximize attendance.
Bond through Volunteer Service
Another good way to create team unity is to work together to help someone else. You can create a very powerful, positive experience for your team through volunteer work as it drives a strong emotional bond while they work together to give back. There are always volunteer opportunities available within a community. You can search for group opportunities in your area at sites like Volunteer Match or Habitat for Humanity. Once you identify an opportunity, organize a group of employee volunteers. And if your company mission talks about giving back to the community, this is all the more reason to get involved.
Just a Casual Dinner
Sometimes the best teambuilding experiences are the simplest. Reserving a large table at a favorite, local restaurant for a low-key meal is an effortless way for you to get people together. It is virtually no pressure for them, no planning for you, and one of the easiest ways for your employees to really relax and talk to each other without any distractions. And let’s face it; eating is a universal activity that we all enjoy, so your employees are bound to show up for this. Dinners don’t require much notice either, so if it has been a hectic week, and you feel compelled to take everyone out for some fun, it can happen practically on the spot.