A TEAM BUILDING GUIDE
What is Team Building?
Team building is a catalyst of positive corporate progress. It is the process of transforming a band of individual employees into one single-minded team, a group of people intentionally organised to finish a task together collaboratively.
Team Building can be worked in the daily interaction that employees engage in when collaborate together to accomplish out their given task or project. It can also involve fun structured activities and exercises that employees can lead.
With the right matching of budget, needs and corporate goals, managers can readily source from a rich source of external team building vendors.
To better understand team building from many experts in their fields, here are many excellent quotes on team building.
Why is Team Building Important?
Team Building is one of the most important investments any corporate company can make. These are their reasons for team building:
1) Team Building facilitates better communication
Perhaps the most notable benefits of team building lies in the fact that it helps to foster better communication and soft skills required to function healthily in a corporate environment of diverse talents and functions.
Jack Ma on the future of education (Teamwork included!)
2) Team Building Boosts team morale
It is easy to fall quickly into routines when most of the activities of the day are repetitive tasks. Incorporating collaborative or competitive team building activities in will refresh the country’s workers and serve as that extra vigour needed to break them out of the usual routine and put them in an much more exhilarating state. Not only do these bonding exercises add something new to the mix, well-organised team building sessions typically end in a highly energetic and relieving tone and leave an high aftereffect that could last for a long while.
3) Recognition of both unit and collaborative achievements
By working in teams, each member understands that he or she has a specific duty to perform and the achievement is attributed to the whole team as a unit. Team building uses small, fun and even competitive activities to help draw out strengths and weaknesses of each member of the team and further build a support structure where all members are not only motivated to work harder, but also commended in times of achievement. These teambuilding are great tools to overcome the team collaboration hurdles the affect every corporate team in the world.
This is particularly advantageous when there is a need for specialization in tasks to be carried out and the team consists of multi-disciplinary individuals. Each member of the team, through team bonding and team work is assured that his/her contributions are not only vital but also valuable to the overall collaborative success of the project.
4) An increase in productivity
Corporate Team building increases motivation, creates improvement in communication and an overall overhaul in the workforce morale serve as an effective catalyst to create a surge in productivity and efficiency. Obstacles that may have seemed difficult to overcome in the past become stepping stones as there are greater collaborations and commitment to one another.
5) Creates a happier and fun work environment
By being a part of a productive and active team, ideas and innovations can be shared between one another and each member of the team may improve the output by chipping in little inputs.
As we continually set up exercises to conduct great fun teambuilding that facilitates the outrageous fun and humour out of your teammates, bigger goals can later be accomplished by teams when they are back serious at work.
6) Team Building nurtures trust between team members
Bonding activities often comprises of collaborative or competitive processes that are both fun and exciting. This way, participants learn to open up to one another and trust in each other’s ability to handle designated task. Simple exercises like maintaining eye contact or holding hands helps to establish a connection that improves dependability on one another. Not only does this grow a mutual trust between employees but also, helps to foster the much needed comfort required daily in order to achieve organisational objectives. So by getting the workforce to loosen up and be more open with one another, they subconsciously break down psychological barriers, learn to trust and work together as a trusting unit.
7) Team building Trains Agility
Training Agility is such a big thing in the corporate world. It comprises of leadership and team agility. Great team building activities that allows teammates to learn a new life skill and collaborate outside of the usual work comfort zone are powerful environments to foster agility. These teaches teammates the life skill of change management, which is basically the resilience and ability to adapt to rapid changes, a skill highly required in the fast-changing business world.
This infographic from Bolt Insurance sums up the need for team building and proactive engagement of your corporate teams.
How do we start planning for external team building?
As a team manager, with an allocated budget, you are presented with choices of many different varieties of corporate teambuilding activities, vendors, consultants.
Here is a list of questions that can be served as a checklist before the Corporate Organiser commits to a teambuilding Vendor or Activity.
1) Scenario - What are the corporate changes and challenges happening right now in my company? Are there major change of roles, headcount, etc.? If so, it will be great to find activities that directly address the current need or challenge facing the team.
2) Goal - What is the ultimate goal for my team? What are the key impacts and lesson takeaways? These are some corporate goals to consider:
- Recast a new corporate common vision and mission
- Create a unique corporate identity
- Establish team unity and mutual appreciation
- Increase individual skill competencies
- Instill culture of trust, openness and honesty
- Raise the level of leadership/co-leadership
- New leader assimilation
- Develop Leadership Agility and resilience to Change
- Unleash creativity in your workplace
- Train resilience and commitment to the team
- Boost team collaboration
3) Impact & Benefits - What’s in it for me, them, us? How does it benefit the individual, team and organisation? Do we learn a new tangible skill or get to accomplish something we have never done before? Do we learn new perspectives? If so, it will be great to be able to pick up a new skill or gain a new perspectives that can be applied back at work.
4) Publicity - Are there any promotional brochures or videos of the program? What do others (including those from other departments) have to say about their previous experience with the teambuilding vendor and program? You might want to research on the testimonials and ask for referral contacts from past teambuilding corporate organisers. Get on the company’s social media page to find out, paying careful attention to the unmoderated comments.
5) Vendor Track Record - How many times have this activity been conducted? How many participants have gone through this program? Is there a proven track record or existing google reviews or facebook reviews? It is definitely reassuring to know that our teams are not taken in as ‘guinea pigs’ for new event tryout sessions. Teams love to be guided by patient and experienced event organisers and facilitators.
Has the Vendor won any human resource or highly recognised awards such as these.
6) Reputation - Check on Popular Blog sites for recommendations
Team Building in Singapore
- Singapore Tourism Board
- Top 10 Team Building Vendor Companies in Singapore
- City Nomads, the alternative guide to food and travel in Asia
- Pantry Green
- AspirantSG - Singapore Food, Travel & Lifestyle Blog
Team Building in Hong Kong
7) Company age - Shouldn't I research for the top 10 team building companies in my locality? When was this company incorporated? You want to engage a company with more experience in years, lowering the risk of event hiccups. But yet again, a new company could mean totally fresh new event ideas.
8) Team age range - What is the age range of everyone in the team? It will be great to find activities that suits and satisfies all possible age groups.
9) Facilitators - Are the facilitators well-trained and professional in delivering the program? This is so important to the quality that team participants are receiving. Facilitators account for 80% success of the program. Read their sections.
10) Novelty - #1 Novelty (meaning original, unusual) in terms of the unique teambuilding activity. Is this a fresh new experience for everyone in the team? Will they experience a breakthrough together? If so, it will be great if majority has not experienced the team activity, so that more of them can step out of their comfort zones together. #1 Novelty in terms of the uniqueness of the physical location. Countries such as the United States, Australia, Israel for example are potentially great locations for the great and wild outdoors. Countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand may be more well known for the culinary and city activities.
11) Country & Location - For your team building in Singapore or team bonding in Hong Kong, is the venue location central for all participants to arrive and head home? Is it accessible by public transport? Are there possible food and beverage places nearby that the participants can go to before or after the activity? Locations of convenience many times, have a upper hand. Has this location been used previously? Some would prefer totally new locations.
12) Safety - What are the fire safety measures that the company adheres to? Does the vendor take effort to ensure safety for all their participants? What are the safety guidelines for this program? Where is the assembly point in case of fire? Floor plans, video and maps are great aids to reinforce this safety guidelines. It is a great practice to ensure zero accidents and great safety, for the enjoyment and sweet memory of the event day.
13) Energy & Engagement - Employee engagement is super important. No one likes boring stuff. Will the program be fully engaging, interactive for all my team members? Is it engaging on all cognitive, emotional and behavioural levels?How much potential collaboration can there be in this program? Is there something for everyone to enjoy or learn? It is important to find an activity that gets everyone fully engaged, regardless of their age, natural abilities and preferences.
Take performance to the next higher level to as you achieve the 4 Key Qualities of Highly Engaged Employees.
14) Creative Customisation - Can I customise this program further? Great programs for example, allow for collaboration, competition or a combination of both.
15) Venue - Must this program be conducted in house or possibly at a convenient offsite team building venue? Is the venue comfortable for all if there is maximum attendance? Most teambuilding venues have a certain advantage such as nearby restaurants, walking distance to public transport or, just specially catered for loud indoor activities etc.
When looking for THE perfect private event space, this is perhaps the first most obvious factor that you’ll need to consider. How big is your group? Can everyone even fit comfortably into the space first of all? How much free space would be desirable for people to move around? The question of size alone could be a very effective first step in rounding down your choices and making life a bit easier for you. Sites such as We Are Spaces or Venuerific Singapore could be useful in helping you get an idea of all these details even before you make a physical visit to the space.
At this point, it’s a great idea to consider the event space rental as the next step before going any further. If your party venue rental alone is going to take up such a large chunk of your budget that it hardly leaves you anything left for your activities, you might want to think about balancing things out. Perhaps going for a cheap function room but leaving more budget for spectacular decorations to liven up the place, or allocating more resources for absolutely unforgettable activities could be a more effective plan for your corporate group. Reminder: cheap function rooms may not necessarily mean inferior quality; there could be other factors in play such as a less central location, or the establishment could be just starting up and offering a special rate. If your group isn’t too large and a colleague has a condo function room for rent, why not? Of course, it’s beneficial to do the necessary homework and pay a visit to the event space.
c) Available Facilities
But of course! Yes, available facilities should be the next item on your list when considering an event space for rent. This has direct implications on what you’ll be able to DO there. If there’s going to be conference-style or workshop-style talks or speeches, a proper sound system with the relevant staff with the know-how on how to operate it well is definitely a must. If there’s going to be music, dance or drama performances, perhaps even more than a simple sound system will be necessary. Even the seemingly simple things such as tables, chairs and flip boards might need a bit more thought than one may assume, as different corporate event venues have different limitations on these items.
16) Meetup Discussion - Can we have a discussion with Teambuilding Vendor at the office? This usually happens when the corporate group that is targeted for teambuilding is 50pax and above. We walk through detailed program flow, safety aspects and objectives of the event day etc.
17) Food & Beverage - Are there any Food & Beverage restrictions at the chosen venue? What are the catering choices? In Singapore, it’s a well-known fact that people get to eat good food at almost every corner of this small island.
18) Duration - What’s the duration of the whole program? Is there flexibility in the start and end timing of the program? Most corporate groups choose the afternoon timing for their teambuilding sessions. Rare but some would do it early morning or in the evening, after working hours.
19) Preparation - How early can I be there at the event? How early does my team need to prepare to be present? When latest must I make a booking for this event? Wise move to prepare all that’s to be prepared way before the event date. The earlier the necessary bookings confirmed, the better.
20) Recce - Can we do a personal recce just to check on all aspects of the program flow and venue status? Normally this happens when corporate organisers are more or less firm on a event. When can I recce and meetup with a representative from the team building company?
Does the vendor run public showcases or invite organisers like myself to sit in an event just to evaluate it as an observer? Corporate organisers tend to recce the venue to ascertain space needs, double check on safety standards, report on nearest conveniences, carpark etc.
21) Atmosphere - What’s the vibes do I get when I recce this location? Look for inspiring spaces.
22) Budget - What is the total allocated budget for the different items of the event day? Most corporate organisers have the best possible decision based on venue, transportation (for big groups), facilitation, equipment and Food & Beverage etc.
23) Program Flow - What is the entire program-timeline flow? It is great to have a transparent program timeline that Corporate Organiser and Teambuilding Vendor can agree with. Customisation according to corporate needs may affect the teambuilding program energy flow. It’s best to have common understanding, moving forward to event day.
24) Setting - Competitive or Collaborative? Sales teams for example, tend to like to go competitive. Most teams would usually go for Collaborative. Indoor or Outdoor? It really depends on the overall preferences of the group and feedback from previous teambuilding experiences.
25) Equipment - Are the teambuilding equipment safe for all? Are there enough equipment for all? Are Presentation equipment such as projector, projector screen, flipcharts readily available? These equipment are standard equipment used to facilitate presentations, boss speeches and sharings.
26) Surprise - Should we inform all participants what we are about to do? Many choose to keep mum about the whole team building activity until the point of commencement of the program.
27) Media - Does the vendor provide photos and videos of the event? Media is essential as companies would like to keep sweet memories of the event date. These media also serve as proof that the team did undertake the event. Also, they serve as collateral for great internal website or newsletter posts, just to journal the milestones and keep track of the progress of the team.
28) Debrief - Does the vendor do lesson pointers on how the teambuilding pointers actually apply back to business organisation? This is the clear difference between teambonding just for fun and relaxation, compared to team building where emphasis are on the clear lesson objectives that are takeaways from the activity.
29) Scheduling - Are all participants local, overseas or mixed? It will be great to arrive at a opportune date and time that all are able to commit to.
30) Quotation Proposals - What are all the most options available out there that is most suitable for our team? Depending on the advanced time and agenda given, corporate organisers get to narrow down from maybe top 5 to top 3 activities before finally deciding.
31) Booking Time - How early do we have to book the activity? Is there an option to postpone or change timings last-minute?
32) Price & Payment mode - Is the cost of the program per pax, within my budget? What is the payment mode and payment terms? Is there a booking fee? Are there extra charges for the use of presentation equipment? What is the breakdown of the whole entire teambuilding charge? What is the minimum cost regardless of the actual attendance or absenteeism?
33) Buy-in - Is there a general buy-in from your bosses? The final hurdle really has to be this. Any activity is good to run, as long as immediate superior checks through all event details and agrees to it.
After creating this list, I am so glad Team Music is on the side of Team building Vendors, ready to serve. To researching, note-taking corporate organisers out there, you guys are professional jugglers and power champions. And we look forward to meeting you very soon :)