Why is it important?
Team building is a proven way to effectively connect a group of workers through fun and motivational activities. As part of a psychological discipline called organisational psychology, team building is often used to break departmental barriers in large companies, build trust between employees and ease existing conflicts.
Team buidling is an event where all staff who rarely work together find themselves in a casual setting and have the opportunities to interact collaboratively towards a common set goal. A well-planned activity will get staff to loosen up outside the typical work environment and have de-stressing effects while energising team members and strengthening colleagues’ bonds.
How startups can benefit?
As far as the nature of startup goes, the team usually remains a small, close-knit circle of like-minded people who are probably friends or couples. Team building is simply put off as unnecessary due to the conventional thinking that the team already know and get on well with each other.
Not only so, many people think that team building activities use up a lot of financial resources because you need to go somewhere far away with your teammates and pay big dollars for a good activity. Startups are, unfortunately, not particularly known to have readily available extra cash to spend on such ‘luxuries’.
Yet think again, because of such nature, every team member is vital to the survival and growth of the startup and it is certainly not a good idea if you have an unmotivated team who only encounter each other under artificial fluorescent lighting with a large cup of coffee. Team building is said to strongly correlate with affective and process outcomes (Klein et al., 2009) and its many benefits can easily outweigh the costs when planning is right, even under a tight budget.
What should you aim for?
With a sprinkle of creativity (and a practical cost-effective plan), team building activities that satisfy the four criteria of cheap, healthy, truly collaborative initiatives and out in the open air are easily made possible.
- Make use of your local park for some green space
- Utilise the power of the net (a.k.a. Google) for collaborative activity’ ideas
- Dedicate at least half a day or ideally a full day (mark it on the team’s work calendar)
- Plan ahead for some healthy snacks (by ‘healthy’ we mean more fruits and veggies rather than salty party treats, and no, fermented grapes a.k.a. wine does not count as fruits).
Some team-building ideas
1. A simple blindfold does the trick *wink wink*
Team of two with one being blindfolded and the other one needs to instruct the ‘blind partner’ through obstacles set out beforehand. Whichever team reaches the finish line first – WIN!
2. Slow bicycling relay-race
Sounds a little complicated, but it is actually not. The idea of slow bike racing is that you ride the bike as slow as possible and who reaches the destination last is the winner. To make it more team-spirited, teammates take turn to race with the same relay-race idea and the slowest team? WIN!
3. Monkey-in-the-middle with a twist
The name says it all, and who didn’t play monkey in the middle as kids? Embrace your childhood game and make it extra by putting two ‘monkeys’ inside a hula hoop and let the good times roll. Whoever gets the ball first, WIN!
4. Chinese whisper
The easy classic that never gets old, plus there is no win or lose, only laughter.
Line up in teams and the first one get shown a picture which he/she needs to explain to the next one in line. The last in the line has to recreate the picture in drawing based on the description. You would not imagine how hilarious it gets, be prepared for lots of belly laughs with your teammates - WIN-WIN!
5. Don’t forget handcuffs also do wonders *wink wink*
Plastic cable ties will suffice as handcuffs in this activity of ours. ‘Handcuff’ two team members back- to-back and create a few simple tasks for them to solve while being handcuffed to each other. Going extra? ‘Feetcuff’ and blindfold them too *muhahahaha* – EVIL WIN!
Did we manage to convince you to throw a team building event for your second family, i.e., your startup? If you are ever looking to spice up your event with a service with conscience behind, Inventshift provides a large range of wonderful catered food and other services that are available at an instant mouse click.
Go on now, what do you choose for your team building event?
Klein, C., DiazGranados, D., Salas, E., Le, H., Burke, C., Lyons, R., & Goodwin, G. (2009). Does Team Building Work?. Small Group Research, 40(2), 181-222. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1046496408328821