Having a harmonious workforce can make a world of difference to the workplace, but it’s not always easy to achieve. Each role in your organisation requires a different skill set, and just as employees’ skill sets differ, so will their personalities.
These differing personalities can mean that conflicts will arise, and as Management Study Guide (MSG) suggests, no one benefits from that. It is time-consuming and detrimental to the business.
Team-building activities are a great way to help identify and resolve potential conflicts between employees and also strengthen existing workplace relationships, but what types of activities are there, which are the most worthwhile and how do you go about planning them?
Outsourcing Your Team-Building
There is a growing trend towards outsourcing the planning and running of team-building exercises. On the face of it this may sound like a great idea, as it can help to reduce costs somewhat. But remember that you know your workforce best and what your organisation is going to need to achieve in the short-, medium- and longer-term future. So if you do go down this route, you need to ensure that the company you choose is well briefed and has specific and clear objectives.
Doing It Yourself
It’s easy to fall into the trap that any social interaction between colleagues counts as team-building. But if you go to the pub after work, the same people will avoid each other as they do at the coffee machine unless you force the issue. So try not to waste too much time and money on these events and call them team-building.
But that doesn’t mean that team-building can’t be fun. Many employees have managed to find a common bond during a tank driving or paintballing experience. If you do want to organise this kind of activity, you can arrange to drive a tank with Armourgeddon.
Remember that building relationships takes time, and you should factor this into your planned activities. You’re probably not going to achieve too much in a two-hour session. Employees need time to find their feet and feel comfortable enough to take an active part in the conversation or venture.
Consider the value of the activity that you’re organising. There’s been a move in recent years towards both quite hazardous activities and, conversely, to softer arrangements that frankly benefit no one.