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How Does Team Building Lead to Team Cohesion?

March 2020

How-Does-Team-Building-Lead-to-Team-Cohesion

Before we explore how team building leads to team cohesion, we must first clarify exactly what is meant by team cohesion.

What is meant by “team cohesion”?

Team cohesion is when a team is firing on all cylinders, working together in a positive way to achieve a common goal. In many cases, a team that has achieved cohesion is more focused on the overall performance of the team rather than individual performance. However, they appreciate their own contributions and the contributions of others.

How to achieve team cohesion

When it comes to forming and developing a team, there are certain stages they must progress through before they reach cohesion. These are described by psychologist Bruce Tuckman as forming, storming, norming and performing.

Essentially, when a group reaches the performing stage, they have achieved team cohesion. This means that the team is working productively together. They are focused on fulfilling the expectations of the team, and each individual understands how their place within the team and their contributions feed into that success.

As we all know, reaching team cohesion isn’t always a straight path. In some cases, it takes hard work, strong leadership and more than a few setbacks to achieve. That being said, there are certain ways and means of forging ahead with the goal of reaching team cohesion.

Team building for team cohesion

Alongside strong leadership, clearly defined goals, boundaries and open communication, team building is vital for team cohesion.

Specifically, team building activities offer the opportunity for groups of people to come together and get to know each other and understand how to work together.

Team building in ‘forming’ stages

The forming stage of group development indicates the point at which teams are being formed. This is when they have been told they will be working with each other, what the project is and the goal they are expected to achieve.

For teams who have worked together before, or already know each other, the forming stage is an opportunity to get reacquainted and settle into the dynamic. Team building for team cohesion in the forming stage is a way to get everyone talking and working together in a fun and relaxed environment. It also presents the opportunity for team members to ‘feel each other out’, identifying each other’s strengths and skills and testing the waters of communication.

Team building in ‘storming’ stages

During the storming stages of group development, conflict is to be expected. This arises as individuals test boundaries and acclimatise to the task at hand. In some cases, there may be a struggle for power or status, as bigger characters seek to establish themselves within the group.

Although conflict may seem like a bad thing at first glance, if managed correctly it can be channelled productively. Team building activities at this stage will allow the group to get into the groove of working together in a neutral environment. Team building in this stage can work to improve communication skills and get a better understanding of how fellow teammates work.

What is also key in the storming stage is developing a sense of trust and a bond between team members. Team building is an effective way to do this as it gives people the opportunity to motivate each other, build confidence and improve problem-solving skills, which will be key to moving through the storming stage.

Team building in ‘norming’ stages

Norming is typically a period of calm after storming. In this stage, everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities and are settling into them. When a team reaches the norming stage, it may be tempting to feel complacent, but there is still work to be done to maintain this new norm.

Team building can work to great effect to re-energise a team, create a competitive spirit and motivate everyone involved. Further to this, team building always presents an opportunity for growth and skills development, which will push the team forward to perform.

Team building in ‘performing’ stages

In the performing stage of team development, the team has reached peak performance. They are working together well and reaching goals to deadlines and exceeding expectations. At this point, individual ego is no longer a priority. Instead, all members are focused on contributing to the success of the team.

This is team cohesion!

Creating Team Cohesion with Team Building Activities

At KDM Events, we develop team building activities focused on developing key skills that make successful teams. If you would like some help in supporting your team to reach team cohesion, contact us today. Our friendly team will be more than happy to help you formulate an away day or activity that is perfectly suited to capitalising on the strengths and supporting the growth of your workforce.

Posted in Team Building Blog

What are ice breaker activities?

March 2020

What-are-ice-breaker-activities

Ice breakers are short games or activities undertaken at the beginning of a training session, meeting, class or team building session. The aim of them is to literally ‘break the ice’ by helping attendees to get to know each other, relax and feel comfortable talking and sharing ideas.

Icebreaker activities can also be used as a segway into a discussion on a topic, or as an introduction to a subject or theory.

Types of Ice Breakers

Depending on your aim, there are a few different types of icebreakers you can use. We’ve listed a few below:

Ice Breakers to Make People Feel Comfortable

Ice breaker activities are a great way to have a bit of fun and make introductions a little less formal. They can also be used to spark conversation and encourage team members to share ideas.

An example of an icebreaker like this would be to invite participants to share 1 fact about themselves alongside 2 lies. The job of the other group members then would be to identify the facts from the lies, prompting conversation, discovery and perhaps a little bit of laughter.

In this kind of situation, ice breakers needn’t be serious or intimidating. If your aim is to get people to loosen up, keep your activity as fun and as light-hearted as possible to help draw participants out of their shell.

Ice breakers To Introduce A Topic

Ice breaker activities can also be used to introduce a topic to a meeting or session. While it can still be lighthearted, the aim is to ultimately get people’s brains firing and open the topic for discussion.

For example, in a team-building session, you may ask all team members at the beginning of the session to share, or write down, what they think makes a good team. At the end of the session, these can all be pulled together and added to reinforce learning and key takeaways.

Ice breakers for Meetings

Ice breaker activities can also be used in meetings to spark collaboration and cooperation. For example, if a group is meeting to discuss a project or task, they may start the session by writing a list of all their current priorities which are then shared with each other for a deeper understanding of workloads and processes.

Why should you use ice breakers?

While ice breakers aren’t necessary, they are effective. Not only do they break the ice by helping to facilitate introductions, they also support the leader of a session or meeting to engage a group in the chosen topics.

Ice breaker activities can also help to break down barriers – this is particularly helpful if you have a group of participants with different job titles or at varying levels of seniority. Ice breakers can also be used to:

  • Stimulate conversation
  • Encourage creativity and innovation
  • Unite teams
  • Generate ideas

When should you use ice breaker activities?

Ice breaker activities can be deployed in a variety of ways. You can use them at the beginning of a session to ‘warm up’ the room or as a way of transitioning between topics. You can also use them to reinforce learning in many situations, or just to break up a session, particularly if the subject matter is quite heavy.

The main aim of an ice breaker activity is to make people feel comfortable and promote openness within a group. So, when you’re planning a training session or meeting, you should feel free to add an ice breaker activity in at any point you may want to introduce a new topic, get everyone talking or even re-engage the group after their lunch break!

Posted in Team Building Blog

How to motivate a team?

March 2020

how-to-motivate-a-team

Motivation plays a huge role in the success of a team. Not only does it drive individuals to achieve, it also gives them a sense of pride and passion for their work. To that end, motivating and engaging employees and team members within the workplace is essential for maintaining performance. Here, we give you six tips for motivating your team and creating productive energy that leads to results.

Recognise & Reward Achievements

Recognition and reward can come in many forms – it doesn’t have to be monetary. But it can have a transformative effect on teams. In setting clearly defined goals with measurable results, you can create an incentive scheme that rewards hard work and achievement, pushing your team to go further and do better in the future.
The key to success is to be clear and consistent. Don’t set a target and change the goalposts. And deliver what you say you will. In doing this, your team will always have a goal to strive for, whether it’s a bonus, pay rise, promotion or something simpler such as a team day out, meal, vouchers or a gift.

Foster Creativity & Innovation

While clearly defined roles are important to the success of a team, giving flexibility for creativity and innovation is also vital too. In doing this, you appreciate that individuals have different ways of learning and doing – and give them the space to explore that.
Further to this, encouraging team members to freely voice ideas and suggestions in a neutral, non-judgmental environment will promote outside-of-the-box thinking that could accelerate growth and performance. Offering your team this flex within their role to innovate and create is a fantastic way of motivating them because they will feel like their suggestions are valued and appreciated.

Encourage Growth

The secret to success for most teams comes down to utilising and maximising the different strengths of everyone. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for growth either. By encouraging your team members to grow and develop you simultaneously motivate them and increase their confidence.
This could be in the form of investing in training or assigning a task that challenges a member of your team. Of course, this should be done with the appropriate support structures in place to foster growth. But when done correctly, encouraging growth can be a fantastic way to push team members out of their comfort zone and show them what they are capable of.

Minimise Dissatisfaction

People perform well when they feel satisfied within their role. Job dissatisfaction can arise for several reasons. Team members may not feel secure in their role, or they may feel micromanaged or belittled. Identifying dissatisfaction where possible and creating satisfaction can lead to a more motivated team that works productively with a sense of purpose and clear intent.

Change Up Your Expectations

High standards and expectations are key to a high performing work environment. But impossible expectations can lead to demotivation. Take some time to review the expectations of your team and assess whether they are clear and achievable. Then, ensure that there are clear standards and processes in place to meet those expectations.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve been set up to fail, so avoid this at all costs. With larger goals or projects, break them up into bitesize achievable targets with clear (but flexible) action plans. Further to this, review how you deal with ‘failure’ or what happens when someone falls short of expectations. Is there support in place to help your team achieve? If so, they’re more likely to push themselves.

Help Them to Work Together

Teams are basically just a group of people who have been put together and told to work together. To really make the magic happen you need to create cohesion and promote team working. This can be done in a variety of ways.
Firstly, you must allow teams to work through the stages of development with the help of strong leadership. Accept that there will be conflict and that some members of the group will push boundaries and test each other. What matters in these kinds of situations is how they are handled.
Team building activities are a fantastic way to promote better working relationships. Large or small, team building allows team members to get to know each other, understand each other better, and develop their own communication and problem-solving skills. As well as this, taking part in team-building activities helps teams to motivate one another, a skill which they can take back into the workplace and apply throughout complex projects.

Motivate Your Team with KDM Events

If you would like to engage, motivate and develop your team, then our events and activities are the perfect place to start. For new or established teams, team building activities from KDM Events are great for building key skills, confidence and motivation among colleagues. Contact us today to find out more.

Posted in Team Building Blog

Game of Thrones Theme at The Manor House

March 2020

It had been a busy start to the year for everybody here at KDM! So busy in fact we hadn’t had a chance to talk about this year’s annual agents party held by The Exclusive Collection!

With the current situation, I have found myself with quite a bit of time on my hands so took five minutes to talk to our newly promoted Director of Partnerships, Sarah FitzGerald and find out how they brought the Game of Thrones theme alive … literally!

Now, Sarah, we all know you are an avid Game of Thrones fan but how did the theme come about?

I know that you won’t believe me but it actually wasn’t my suggestion! The original concept was a Cluedo theme as The Manor lends itself to a good murder mystery! However, Sam Regan, Top Accounts Manager when out on appointments asked what theme agents would like to experience and a Game Of Thrones theme was a popular one. We had a meeting booked to discuss the event and sheepishly they let me know the theme had changed.

Well, I couldn’t have been more excited being a huge GOT fan and immediately launched into talk of dragons, the nights watch wolves and swords. Gaius Wyncoll, General Manager at The Manor bless him, looked bemused…….as he had never seen GOT! I had a lot of fun helping them create Westeros in Castle Combe!

 

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Seeing as my invite got lost #rude, can you walk us through what the guest experienced on arrival?

Guests arriving early were welcomed at The Castle Inn for drinks and nibbles as they waited for the evening to start. Our fire performers put on a spectacle at the front of the Manor as guests made their way to pre-dinner drinks. They were welcomed into the Dunstanville by a myriad of costumed Exclusive staff shortly followed by a visit from our White Walker and Dragon. Guests were then led down to the Bybrook which had been turned into a baronial hall with medieval banners, dragons, crossed swords and fur. Once guests had taken their seats the lights went off and when back on the serving staff had fallen to the floor……soon to be raised up by our White Walker! I love a bit of theatre…..and thankfully so do the Manor staff!

What a welcome! How did you and team at Exclusive continue the theme into the rest of the evening?

The menu was a real experience with beef dripping candles and the most amazing beef joints carved in front of guests by their Exclusive hosts, a fab touch! Then it was time for dessert which was a spectacle itself, served in the Drawing Room with dragon eggs, wildfire trifles and Weirwood cakes.

 

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After dinner, guests had their chance to claim the Throne, take part in the GOT themed games and had their photos taken in the studio. The band then kicked in and guests danced the night away. It is always the sign of a good night when you hear stories the next day of people going to bed at 7 am!!

 

How did this event compare to the previous years?

I like a challenge and have thoroughly enjoyed working with Exclusive on this event for the last 3 years……but this year topped it for me. Exclusive fully commit to this event each year, no detail is too small which makes the evening one of the best in the industry. 10 out of 10!

Huge thanks to Steph, Sam, Gaius and the Manor staff for allowing me to go wild and putting up with my craziness! They fully immersed themselves into the evening with their fancy dress and enthusiasm and created a truly memorable evening from the start right through to breakfast the following morning……despite some people not getting to bed until the early hours!

 

Want to see more photos from the evening. Check out our Flickr account here 

 


Sarahs TOP 5 Game of thrones themed props and entertainment

  • The animatronic dragon,
  • Our White Walker raising the serving staff from the dead,
  • The giant red dragon prop and LED Weirwood Tree,
  • The dragon egg candles
  • … and of course our amazing Throne!

 

We have a huge array of themed events available. Why not check out our themed evening page 

What makes a good leader?

March 2020

What-makes-a-good-leader

There has been more than a little debate over the years as to what makes a good leader. And a brief look at many of the definitions out there shows that it’s certainly not a one-size fits all role. Good leaders take many different forms that can be dependent on the industry, goals and team dynamics.

What we can do is distil most of what we know into a loose list of skills and qualities that make a good leader. Which is what we have done here. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at each and exploring how they can be used to get the most out of a team while working towards a goal.

10 Skills and Qualities of a Good Leader

Want to know what makes a good leader truly great? Read on for our list of 10 skills and qualities that do just that – then see how you can apply them to your leadership role!

1. Confidence

Confidence in one of the biggest skills a leader can possess. When you have a team behind you, their confidence grows organically from yours. So, demonstrating this quality in everything you do is certainly a catalyst to success.
This begins with confidence in yourself, and your ability to the job, and extends to confidence in your decision process and assertiveness when assigning roles and tasks.

2. Decisiveness

Being an effective leader is all about making smart, informed decisions with confidence. That means gathering all the information you need to help you decide and standing by it once it is done.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can’t ask for help when making decisions, though! In fact, the very best leaders listen to the expertise of colleagues and stakeholders around them and take this into consideration before moving forward.

3. Empathy

Leaders who rule by fear soon run into problems as they move down the line. On the other hand, leaders with empathy, who go the extra mile to connect with their team members and understand what motivates them, ultimately thrive.

Empathy is an incredibly human trait and demonstrating it shows that you care and are passionate about the wellbeing of your team members. That means making time for them, actively listening, responding sensitively and taking steps to help where possible.

Demonstrating genuine interest in the people around you and giving ample opportunity for candid feedback is a winning way to keep people on-side and performing.

4. Passion

Passion is contagious. And as a leader, consistently showing your passion for what you are doing (and what others are doing) is essential to keeping a team energised and motivated. Not only that, passion removed from ego – in other words, a genuine verve for your job and projects – helps you to stay agile and on task, keeping you one step ahead of the competition and motivating yourself to move forward regardless of the kind of challenges that may lie ahead.

5. Knowledge of the team

Knowledge of your team, their strengths, weaknesses, personal ambitions and goals is paramount to success as a leader. When you are aware of what your team is good at, you can put it to good use. When you know what may be demotivating for someone, you can anticipate it and ensure the correct support is in place.

Knowing what makes people in your team tick also helps you to incentivise them and reward them – an essential part of leadership.

6. A clear vision

Before you can begin leading in earnest, it’s vital to have a clear vision and purpose. This means stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, understanding where things are heading, where you want to take them and the impact that will have on those around you.

Articulating this as far as possible to your team is important too, particularly if substantial changes are to be made. People are much more responsive when they feel informed and involved. One of the best ways to do this is to formulate a strategy and then communicate the what’s and why’s to the appropriate people before any major overhauls are undertaken.

7. Humility and self-awareness

Good leaders always keep in mind the effects their decisions have on others and take this into account. This means setting your ego aside and acting selflessly in some situations. It also means demonstrating empathy and good grace when it comes to difficult decisions.

8. Communicative

Excellent communication skills are paramount for any good leader. You must be able to communicate to the team your vision, goals and plan of action, clearly defining roles and responsibilities as you go. A breakdown in communication can lead to confusion and demotivation, which can be costly all round.

A way to be communicative with team members is to have clear, defined ways for them to share feedback with you, and ensuring that you respond in a timely and appropriate manner.

9. Resilience

Resilience and tenacity are the qualities that will keep you forging ahead as a leader. Undoubtedly, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies when you take on a leadership role and it’s likely the going will be tough at points. The key to weathering the storm is resilience and the conviction to never give up.

Yes, it may mean that you must change direction or tact periodically – it may even mean you have to swallow your pride and admit you are wrong. But great leaders are made when they get knocked down and get back up again.

10. Creativity

Regardless of the type of team you lead or the industry you are in, creativity gives you a distinct edge. When you can think outside of the box, innovate and push boundaries you will move forward effectively. Creativity can extend to anything, including the forms your leadership takes and reviewing processes to make them more streamlined. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination wherever possible, because great things will happen when you do.

Becoming a good leader

Nobody is born a leader. Yes, you may already possess some of the qualities and skills to make a successful leader. But often, becoming a leader is a process that requires experience and more than a little trial and error.

Adopting a growth mindset is, without doubt, the best way to develop in a leadership role and refine the qualities listed above. This comes with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and demonstrating commitment to your cause each day to get there. It may not be an easy road, and it is one that takes more than a little bit of hard work and zeal to get there. In short, it is the amalgamation of all these skills and qualities that truly makes a leader great!

Posted in Leadership Blog

Competitive vs Collaborative Team Building

March 2020

Competitive-vs-collaborative-team-building

When searching for team building activities, you may notice that events and activities are often grouped into two types, “competitive” and “collaborative”. Both styles can make for a memorable day out for all involved, whilst also helping employees to grow and develop, but the key question that we’re often asked is which style will best suit my team building objectives?

To help you to make an informed decision, we’ve put together a handy overview of competitive Vs collaborative team building.

What is competitive team building?

As humans, we are innately competitive. From childhood we have a natural desire to succeed. Competitive team-building experiences build on this by involving an activity which requires individuals or small teams to complete a task or solve a problem quicker and more effectively than the opposing side.

What are the benefits of competitive team building?

Competitive activities can be exceptionally fun and are perfectly suited to teams that work within a competitive environment daily.
In addition to getting those competitive juices flowing, a competitive activity also brings with it the following long-term benefits:

  • Competitive activities can quickly highlight the communication styles of those around you – and consequently areas for improvement!
  • The satisfaction of winning as a result of working together towards one shared goal can greatly boost morale not only on the day, but also back in the workplace.
  • Members of your team may react to pressure differently. Some people may be natural-born leaders whilst others may listen for advice and instructions. Acknowledging these differences within a fun environment can lead to a better understanding of one another and enhanced communication.

What is collaborative team building?

Quite the opposite to competitive team building, collaborative experiences involve an activity or event which requires those involved to work together towards one end goal. There are no sides, you need to work as one collective entity to succeed. This could be to solve a problem, navigate an unfamiliar problem or overcome a series of challenges.

Success within these activities relies heavily on effective communication. Unlike competitive activities, there are no winners or losers here. If the group succeeds, everyone is a winner!

What are the benefits of collaborative team building?

Effective collaboration between team members can play a vital role in the success of any business. If a team is working towards one shared end goal, the ability to collaborate, co-operate and communicate effectively is crucial.

Collaborative team building helps workforces to put this into practice, quite literally.

Below are just some of the key benefits of taking part in a collaborative event:

  • Employees have the chance to demonstrate and draw upon a range of hard and soft skills – skills may be underutilised within the workplace
  • The activity can give employees the chance to appreciate the skill sets of other members of the team
  • Employees can also explore new roles and delegate
  • A newfound trust and patience can arise
  • Communication can be enhanced as each member actively listens to the ideas and concerns of others

So, which is better, competitive or collaborative team building?

If you’re looking for some light-hearted fun, any type of event would be ideal.

If you’re looking for team building activities to tackle an under-performing team, or you looking to develop personal development, you will need to think carefully about whether competitiveness or collaboration will help you to achieve your desired outcome. A little friendly competition can go a long way to encouraging people to co-operate and think critically. Collaboration, on the other hand, can be a great option for bringing departments closer together, bridging gaps and strengthening working relationships.

Indoor and Outdoor Team Building by KDM

At KDM Events, we develop team building activities focused on developing skills that make successful teams. From competitive activities such as dragon-boat racing and our ever-popular Hungry Games, to collaborative activities such as our GPS treasure hunts and our hugely popular Crystal Maze event, we guarantee to have something to suit every need.

For more information about our team building days out or to discuss your requirements in more detail, please give us a call today! A member of our team will be more than happy to help and can advise you on suitable options in your area.

You can also browse our complete indoor and outdoor team building portfolio online here.

Posted in Team Building Blog

What Are The Benefits of Team Building?

March 2020

Tug of war team building

Often a business’ success depends on how well its employees can co-operate on a day-to-day basis. Team building can play a vital role in not only strengthening and developing workplace relationships, but also ensuring that goals and deadlines are met. If we look through the lens of Bruce Tuckman’s group development theory at team building, there are many benefits…

Breaking the Ice

In the ‘Forming’ stages, team members may be full of positivity, but they may also feel nervous or anxious. At this point, team building activities break the ice and give a group of people the opportunity to get to know each other in a friendly, non-work-related environment.

It also gives new teams their first taste of working with each other, as they negotiate roles and test out lines of communication. In a team building activity, the stakes are much lower, and people feel more able to put themselves out there without fear of making a mistake.

Re-Energising

Teams who are in the ‘Storming’ stage of group development may be experiencing a turbulent time. In this phase, members of the team are increasingly starting to push established boundaries, or conflict and frustrations are starting to appear. It is worth nothing that storming is normal, but it’s how it is handled that determines success.

Teams in the ‘storming’ phase can use team building to reconnect with one another, understand the ways in which they communicate and generate synergy. Certainly, in this situation team building exercises can help ‘reset’ a team to a certain extent and re-energise them, eventually leading to ‘norming’ and ‘performing’.

Reflection

Finally, team building activities can be hugely valuable in the final stages of group development too. They help to keep teams fresh, agile and creative providing feedback on how well they are performing together and giving the opportunity for feedback outside of the work environment.

What skills can team building improve?

As well as helping with group development, team building can also work to improve skills both in individual participants and the team. These include:

In some cases, team building activities can work to bring people out of their shell and reveal hidden talents or skills. In these situations, it may be that what is discovered can be applied within the team moving forwards for more effective collaboration and cohesion.

Why is team building important?

As we’ve covered earlier within this article, team building is essential to reaching the successful phases of group development: norming and performing.

In order to get the very best out of your team, they must be clear of the intended goal, understand their role and its importance (as well as the roles of others) and communicate effectively. Team building gives them the opportunity to try out different techniques and work on the communication skills needed in order to do so.

This, alongside appropriate support and continued professional development within the workplace has a transformative effect on teams as they pave the way to success.

If you would like to find out more about team building, contact us for more information. We are constantly formulating new ideas around team building exercises from Escape Rooms to Treasure Hunts and outdoor pursuits that are ideal for any group of individuals, all of which are designed to help develop a series of important skills as well as promote better team working.

Posted in Team Building Blog

How to build an effective team?

March 2020

how-to-build-an-effective-team

In a performance-driven world, building effective teams is the key to success. While strong leadership is a powerful force behind any team, creating one that works harmoniously, motivates itself and has the flexibility to accommodate change is where half the battle is won.

So, what is the secret to building effective teams? Well, you might be surprised to hear that it’s simpler than you think. Of course, when working with individuals and their unique personalities it is inevitable that compromise will need to be made. But with the right amount of nurture, personal development and support it’s possible for any group of individuals to fly when they’re working towards a common goal. Here’s how…

According to Bruce Wayne Tuckman’s stages of group development, there are four phases of group development: forming, storming, norming and performing. According to him, all these phases are vital (and inevitable) for a team to grow, handle challenges, overcome problems, find solutions, work together well, and deliver results.

With this in mind, building effective teams is not always plain sailing. In fact, it’s completely normal for conflict to arise, particularly around power and status, before the group moves on to working successfully and smashing targets.

Clearly Defined Roles & Goals

Before any team can start working towards success, they need clearly defined goals. This may be straightforward, depending on the situation. Or it may be more complex. What is important is that goals are defined with specific targets and timeframes before anything else. When goals are clearly defined, your team will be clear about what they are working towards, allowing them to formulate a plan (under strong leadership) of how to get there.

Once a goal has been defined, roles must be assigned. Each person should know what their role is within a team, their individual goals, and understand the route they must take to get there. Depending on the specified goal, this may be laid out very clearly from the beginning, or it may be thrashed out by the team in the brainstorming session.

However, what is vital is that prior to even getting into the nitty-gritty of the task or project is that everyone is clear about what it is they must do, why they are doing it, and how to get there.

Open Communication

Whether your team is made up of two people or 20 people, communication is key to performance. In very broad terms, that means encouraging members of the group to share their ideas, voice their concerns and propose new ways of working without fear.

Further to this, it is important to figure out ways in which your team will make decisions or solve problems. There’s no doubt that throughout the course of a project or task that issues will arise, particularly in the storming group stages. But it is how the team communicate and deal with these issues that will determine their success, so having robust plans in place for when this happens is vital.

Nurture Innovation and Creativity

In many cases, the most successful solutions to bumps in the road or hiccups during a project are discovered when you allow a team to be innovative and creative. Therefore, making space for this and facilitating collaborative working where team members can bounce ideas off one another can be more productive than you expect.

Of course, boundaries and ground rules are also important to ensure a team stays on track and on task. But allowing a little flex, nurturing and rewarding innovation when it arises is key to a strong and effective team.

Check-In Regularly

Giving team members the freedom to do their assigned job shows that you have faith in their ability. But you do need to check-in every now and again. This can be on an individual or group level, at set intervals throughout the project.

Doing this helps you to monitor the progress of the team as a whole and check-in on individual team members to ensure they’re working effectively. While having an open and communicative team should help to bring any challenges or problems to light, making time for one-on-one check in’s gives greater control and can shine a light on processes that should be changed or tweaked.
Ideally, when forming a team, you should assign roles based on strengths. But as a project or a team develops, you may notice that certain individuals would be better suited doing something else or taking on further tasks. Checking in with everyone will help keep a team on the rails and ensure they continue to work together effectively.

Recognise and Reward Achievement

Keeping morale high within a team helps to keep everyone motivated and driving forwards. And one of the easiest ways to do this is to recognise and reward achievement. This can be done by using incentives at key intervals throughout a project, or when certain milestones have been reached.

For some businesses, reward and recognition come in the form of monetary bonuses, but there are other ways of doing this too. For example, rewarding employees at an award ceremony recognising their achievement can be a fantastic way to motivate and inspire. Further to this, events such as away days or trips out can be hugely motivating.

Whatever form it takes, recognising the strengths and achievements of team members is important to push them on to continue reaching and exceeding their goals.

Use Team Building Activities

There is always room for improvement, even in high performing teams and team building presents the opportunity for groups of individuals to grow together, learn how to work more effectively and communicate with one another.

Team building can take many forms, from small activities and icebreakers to more structured activities or outdoor pursuits. By regularly engaging your team in these types of activities they will progress in their effectiveness as a team by improving communication, problem-solving skills, having fun and getting to know each other better.

For more information and advice on team building activities, conferences and other events, contact us today. We specialise in planning, organising and hosting fantastic events across the UK to help you build more effective successful teams.

Posted in Team Building Blog

Why is team building important in the workplace?

February 2020

team-building-in-the-workplace

Team building gets a hard time, for many reasons. But the truth of the matter is that team building activities in the workplace is a solid investment for many businesses. This is because they do pay off – when it’s done right.

Benefits of team building in the workplace

  • Working Together Effectively

Teams that know and understand one another are more effective than those who don’t. And it’s not rocket science to understand why. If we consider the theory of team development, it’s crucial for groups of people to go through key stages before reaching success. The first of these is ‘forming’. This is where, essentially, a group of strangers are thrust together and expected to work in harmony towards a common goal.

Without knowing one another – and knowing how to get along – moving past the norming stage is nigh on impossible. Which is where team building comes in. For new teams, or new employees joining, team building activities present the opportunity for colleagues to get to know each other both on a social and professional level.

Of course, we’re all different and perhaps some of us aren’t destined to get along all the time. That being said, team building activities can help team members gain valuable insight into the motivations, thought processes and methods used by their colleagues, and support them in finding a way to work together productively.

  • Better communication

Effective communication is essential to any successful team. Whatever the project, or the end goal, colleagues need to work together to get the desired result. Ineffective communication skills can seriously stand in the way of this.

Team building activities are particularly good at helping to build communication and trust between team members in an alternative environment. While it may be dressed up as ‘a bit of fun’ team members will be learning how to effectively communicate information between them and use this to achieve something.

For example, in an Escape Room setting, team members need to find and solve clues that aren’t necessarily discovered in a linear order. Not only does this require them to think outside of the box, it requires them to organise themselves in a way to progress and communicate their findings effectively in a high-pressure situation.

  • Increased creativity

When team members feel comfortable with one another, they’re more likely to share ideas and be innovative. In any workplace creativity and innovation is crucial to driving forwards, and team building activities contribute to this in two ways.

Firstly, many team building activities require an element of thinking outside the box or strategy. These sorts of non-threatening settings allow participants to try new things and implement different strategies. They can then take this new-found confidence and apply it to their own role within the team.

Secondly, team building offers an opportunity for participants to get to know one another. And when they do, they’ll be more likely to share innovative ideas without fear.

  • A more motivated team

Winning brings everyone closer together. Even the most divided teams can’t help but congratulate one another when things go right. Team building offers this experience on a smaller scale.
For example, if an activity requires individual members of the team to carry out a task, simply being cheered on (and congratulated) can offer an incredible confidence boost. Following this, the sense of togetherness a team feels following a successful event will carry through back into the workplace and be applied moving forwards in everything that they do together.

  • Competitive spirit

Competition is healthy when done right. We see this in sales environments where colleagues battle to be the top seller for the month. And so, the same applies to team building. Pitting two teams against each other in a fun way is a great method for bringing people together to achieve a common goal.

Team building in the workplace

We’re no stranger to apprehensions about team building. When done wrong it can be boring, cringe-worthy and more than a bit awkward. But, when it is organised and executed effectively, it has this wonderfully magic way of creating a bond between teams that grows organically.

One of the best ways to do this is to break away from the norms. Simply setting your team a task that mirrors what they do day-to-day won’t be enough to open their minds and encourage better teamwork. Instead, a creative (dare we say it, fun!) approach to team building can tap into a side of participants that you hadn’t discovered before and have them learning how to work together better.

Speak to us Today for Team Building Ideas

Here at KDM Events, our team works hard to create innovative and creative team building activities that foster a sense of fun and motivation while building on trust, communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution. Contact us today to speak to an Event Manager about your next team building activity.

Posted in Team Building Blog

What is Team Building?

February 2020

What is team building?

No man is an island. In fact, working well in a team is a fundamental skill that is important for all aspects of life. Look back to the dawn of time and you will see that humans have always worked together towards a common goal. It is what has made us so successful, and something that we continue to do today both at work and in our day-to-day lives.

For that reason, team building activities are an important way of bringing together groups of people who are required to work in collaboration to achieve something. This can be applied in schools, sports teams, within the workplace, and beyond.

Team building Explained

Team building is a broad term for any sort of activity or exercise that is undertaken with the aim of building trust, developing key skills and defining roles within a group of people.

In the workplace, team building usually takes the form of structured activities, where teams are given a task to complete or a goal to work towards. Within this, teams are required to assign and clarify roles and devise an approach that utilises communication, trust and problem solving in order to be successful.
In many cases, team building can be used to shine a light on how well a team works together and highlight areas for change. Not all teams naturally gel and work collaboratively, and team building presents an opportunity to identify this and work towards change.

Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development

Team building became more popular following a series of academic studies on teamwork. The first of these was by American Psychological Researcher, Bruce Tuckman. In 1965, he published his theory called ‘Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development’, which explored the stages a group moves through as they develop. These are known as:

  1. Forming
  2. Storming
  3. Norming
  4. Performing

This theory of group development aims to understand how teams grow and work together. Of course, at the beginning most teams are essentially a group of strangers who have been put together for one reason or another. But what we hope to achieve is a united group working towards (and achieving) common goals.

The four stages (which would eventually become five in 1977 with the addition of ‘adjourning’), track a team as they move towards ‘success.’ From the forming stage, where roles and responsibilities aren’t clear and the team aren’t familiar with one another to performing, where clearly defined roles, effective communication, synergy, trust and mutual understanding result in achievement.

This is, of course, a whistle stops tour of Tuckman’s theory, but even at a glance we can see where team building slots into this theory and how it can lead to higher performance and achievement of goals.

From Tuckman’s theory, many more have arisen, and many different factors hold sway over the outcome. But the core idea of group development is still used today in understanding how teams grow, work together effectively, and how we can help the process along.

Develop Your Team With KDM

As the UK’s leading event specialists with over 30 years’ experience, we’ve built up a fantastic portfolio of team building activities. From light-hearted fun to focused team and personal development, we have a range of activities and events to meet every need! If you would like to find out more or need support in organising your very own team building day, give us a call today!

Posted in Team Building Blog

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