Top tips for a better team-building event

Any business, large or small, can't afford to waste a precious work day on fun and games if it's not going to help the bottom line.  Here at Bolton Whites Hotel we have seen it all and so have put some top tips together we've gleaned over the years as without proper planning, team-building activities can actually dampen morale if it becomes just another work obligation.

Carl Darcy

By Carl Darcy, head of sales and marketing, Bolton Whites Hotel

Set a goal and a budget

Think about what you want your day to accomplish and how much you want to spend.  It doesn't have to have an excessive budget to make a difference but it is important to know what you want to achieve.  Are you looking for staff to work together better or get to know each other on a more personal basis for example?

Make it interesting

It sounds straight forward but you'd be surprised how many people conform to the same old 'tried and tested' techniques but keeping it fresh is the key.  Ditch the time spent building towers with spaghetti and play dough and think differently.  Fun and unique experiences are the best ways to bring your team closer together. Near a beach - go and play volleyball or have a sandcastle contest?  Love the outdoors - go paintballing? Love to cook - book a cookery school?  Think about the interests and fitness levels of your employees and go from there! Challenge them, reward them with small, amusing prizes and have fun with some quirky punishments too!

Where possible, use facilities at the venue where you are holding your event.  Bolton Whites hotel is part of the Macron stadium and our clients have even used a football training course for something completely different!   I can assure you that the feel good factor they all got from that really set the team up for the next challenge.

Leave titles at the door

One of the keys to a successful day is for all employees to feel like they are on an equal footing. So, forget the hierarchy and positions back in the office and stress to the team that office titles don't exist for the day.  You could even make up a more 'personal' title for the day instead that says something unique about them.  Yoga Master, Karate Kid, Queen Knitter or Chief Gardener will become talking points on the day.

Get feedback  There is no point in going to all that trouble if you don't listen to your employees and get their feedback.  Have everyone provide anonymous feedback from the day as by knowing what your team liked and disliked you can plan better team-building activities in the future.  If you planned your day for a specific reason such as increasing productivity then make sure you benchmark results.  Re-evaluate every quarter to see if the results have changed and always question, if not, why not?