Hiring outstanding individuals for your small business does not automatically translate into having a strong team. For your company to thrive, people need to get along and work together cohesively. This sync doesn’t always come naturally, so some nurturing may be required. Team-building activities can help.
Now if the notion of trust falls and wilderness retreats makes you shutter, don’t despair. Plenty of other options exist for encouraging your group to bond. Here are a few that may prove perfect for your small business:
Uniting for a great cause creates feelings of pride, purpose, and togetherness. The activity provides instant common ground and promotes natural interaction. Conversation is bound to flow as people clean up a neighborhood park together or work side-by-side at a soup kitchen. Solicit ideas from staff members – the discussion itself will help employees learn about one another. And as an added bonus, performing charity work improves your small business’s image in the community and among potential recruits.
Taking a field trip
Remember the buzz in your fourth grade classroom as a day at the zoo drew nearer? Adults love routine-breaking excursions, too, so gather the troops for an outing. Once again, asking for suggestions can be a valuable experience in and of itself. Whether you end up bowling, touring a local brewery, or catching a new exhibit at an art museum, the change in environment will allow your small business employees to interact with one another in different ways.
Learning something new
Bring in an expert to teach your staff a certain skill. An improv instructor will get everyone laughing while cooperating as they discover how to feed off one another to make scenes work. An art teacher can promote group creativity and teamwork through designing a mural or other piece for workplace display.
Other educational ideas include starting a lunchtime book club, watching TED talks together and discussing afterwards, and holding shadowing days in which staff members teach one another about their specific company role. Look for professional development opportunities outside of the office too. Co-workers attending a conference or training session together likely will stay close to one another and interact while traveling, eating lunch or participating in activities.
For a natural way to bring people together, food takes the cake (sorry, couldn’t resist). A surprise pizza party or an afternoon ice cream social can help your small business team relax and converse. Or provide a budget for a themed monthly luncheon for which staff members work together to come up with a menu and decorations. Interaction with purpose eliminates the feeling of being “forced” to bond and should yield delicious results.