When I am contacted about team building, I listen to what the coordinator says is needed, which typically emphasizes the word “fun”. My response is “I have lots of activities that are fun, so we can definitely do that. What is it you want your team(s) to learn at this event?” I guess I need a better way to communicate this questions because I sometimes get a reply that they want “team-building not training.” If there is nothing to be gained from the event other than a day of fun, is it really worth the company’s investment of not only the event cost but the employee time in attending? Yes the event may help the team members bond with other individuals, but how does this equate to working together?
- Does the team have an issue that is keeping them from moving forward with their work? (Examples: accountability, attendance, attitude, communication, cooperation, conflict management, creativity, diversity, email etiquette, flexibility, meetings, presentations, time management, training plans, trust, recognition, or respect)
- Does the team have a defined mission and goals or objectives? Do they have ground rules for working together and team member responsibilities? If not, would the event be a good place to include developing those as a team or sharing that information with them?
- Does the team need to experience designing processes, planning quality improvement efforts, serving customer well, solving problems, risk-taking, or making decisions on their own?