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How to Plan & Host Successful Team Building Activities

In 2009, a group of researchers set out to investigate the effectiveness of team building in the workplace. This study considered the impact of four specific team building components on performance outcomes. These components were goal setting, interpersonal relations, problem solving and role clarification. The results of this study showed that team building has a positive effect across all outcomes.

Is Team Building Worth It?

So, if you find yourself asking the question ‘Is team building worth it?’ the answer is a resounding “yes!”. The question you should be asking is how you go about making team building activities successful for your goals and the team you’re working with.

If you’re considering employing team building to improve performance outcomes, develop skills or build on a team’s ability to work together effectively, we’ve put together some tips you can use to do just that. So read on, and then get planning your next team building activity!


Start with A Clear Goal
First, which areas of development are most important for your team? It may be communication skills, problem solving, innovation or something else entirely. The key is to know well in advance of planning which areas you want team building to focus on so you can choose the right kind of activity.

Team building is incredibly versatile, and there are huge amounts of activities available that focus on different elements of teamwork. Explore these options fully and take great care to investigate which skills certain team building activities focus on and choose them accordingly.

Focus on Collaboration
A little competition can be healthy. Indeed, you probably employ this in your day-to-day as a way of motivating and incentivising team members. However, too much competition can be counterproductive, especially in team building. It ultimately comes down to knowing your team but putting the focus on winning can spark the competitive side of some people’s personality, meaning they become more focused on winning than working together.

Instead, team building activities that centre collaboration and problem solving will encourage team members to support each other and work towards a common goal, rather than getting caught up in the winning element of the exercise.

Escape the Office
While there are team building activities that can be done in the workplace, sometimes a change of scenery does the world of good. Simply being away from the office can help energise people and give a healthy distance from the regular working day, allowing space to grow and develop. Further to this, when it comes to building relationships within teams, being away from the office can help individuals gain a new perspective and get to know each other outside of the four walls of work. Don’t underestimate the power that just getting out and about can have on a group of people under your charge.

Make It Accessible
Energetic, high-octane team building activities are good for some, but they’re not accessible to everyone. When you’re planning team building it’s important to consider everyone on your team and whether the activity is accessible for them. It’s no good meticulously planning a full-on team building activity if half of your team will have to sit it out because they’re not comfortable or unable to do it. Therefore, take the time to understand the accessibility of each activity and consider any adjustments to ensure all team members get the full benefit of the exercise.

Break Down Barriers
If a team is in the ‘storming’ phase of group development the going may be getting tough. Team members may not trust one another, or frequently pull rank to get their way rather than fostering a community of collaboration. If this is the case, team building should aim to break down barriers and shake people out of toxic mindsets.

This can be achieved in several ways. The first is to encourage people to leave their job titles at the door. Asking individuals to drop their ego and truly embrace working as a team breaks down barriers and allows for an immersive experience. This rule should apply for everyone too, even those in leadership roles.

Have Fun but Debrief
Encouraging teams to have fun and let down their guard is key to successful team building. But it is also imperative to debrief afterwards and make it explicit how the skills that they have used throughout the course of the activity can be applied to the workplace.

As well as this, ask for feedback from your team. You could create an anonymous survey to gauge how effective team members found the event, what they liked and what they would change. You can even ask them what they will take away from the event. Not only will this give you a greater insight into the effectiveness of your chosen team building activity and help you plan for future events, it will also give you an insight into the mindset of your team and what support they may need moving forwards.

Speak to KDM Today for Team Build Ideas and More

At its core, team building activities should be an investment of time and money that focuses on developing working relationships and promoting collaboration and innovation. With a clear goal in mind, robust planning and thorough research it’s possible to plan and execute effective team building activities that are tailored to the unique goals of your team. To find out more about how KDM Events and team building, drop us a line by contacting us today!