How do you organize a successful corporate team building workshop?

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Answered by: Amanda, An Expert in the Team Building and Work Teams Category
Corporate team building has become a buzzword that is thrown around in organizations to say how great and cohesive a business is. Unfortunately, a Christmas party and a softball game don't necessarily fix all of the problems that a group has to overcome. While these things are good icebreakers that help you to get to know each other a little better, they are only the beginning. A successful team building workshop takes that initial socialization and directs the group to work through the good and the bad of their everyday work.

Planning For Your Workshop

The first thing you need to do is figure out the goal and focus of your team building workshop. Once you know what your goal of the team building workshop is, then you can come up with a detailed schedule and plan for your workshop. Make sure that you have these 4 categories included.

1.     Icebreakers/socialization - Depending on the length of your team building workshop, you will want to include 1-2 of these. They do help to loosen everyone up and get them into a collaborative mood. One of my favorite icebreakers is the helium stick, but a nice breakfast/ lunch also goes a long way in getting everyone in a good mood!

2.     Group pains-What are issues that continually come up with this group? Are there any interpersonal problems in the group? Are there any production issues that this group isn't succeeding at? Write down a few of your own ideas about what this group needs to work through and then think of some ways that the group can work to improve upon these specific areas.

3.     Group successes- What has gone well recently? What accomplishments has the group made? Even if the accomplishments are small, you need to come up with some positive things to bring the group back to feeling optimistic after discussing their pains. Come up with some successes that you have seen yourself and keep them in your personal notes.

4.     Planning for the future- What would you like to see this group in the organization accomplishing in the near future? What are the business's goals and how does that affect this group? This is the area where the group as a whole will come up with goals and figure out ways that they can accomplish these goals together. This will be your action plan for the future.

Obtaining Supplies

Once you have a detailed plan, you can start to pick up supplies that you will need. For your main focal point of the workshop, you can use a PowerPoint or dry erase board. Personally, I actually suggest going with an old fashioned marker and blank flip board. This allows you to write all of the topics that you want to cover at the top of the pages ahead of time so that you can smoothly transition from one topic to the next. Then while you are discussing the topics, you can write down the group's ideas and your thoughts as well. Then unlike a whiteboard, you and the group members can refer back to them later.

Team Building Day

When you start discussing a new topic, don't give your thoughts until the end. Let the group say everything they can think of first, your main job is just to write them all down. It does not matter how much you agree or disagree with an idea. This is an open forum, so you just write them all down. After everyone has said their two cents, you can add your thoughts. Then circle about 3 ideas that the group feels they can really focus on. This will automatically weed out those ideas that aren't really practical.

Team Building Follow Up

Don't go through all of the effort of putting together a team building workshop just to forget about it as soon as the workshop is concluded. If you don't put the effort into referring back to the workshop and gauging goal progress, then neither will your employees. You don't have to invest a lot of time, but doing a few of your regularly scheduled meetings, bring out the flip board paper from your team building workshop. Ask the group how they are doing in their goals. In areas that they aren't succeeding, help them come up with some new ideas to try.

In conclusion

Plan thoroughly to create a professional and productive corporate team building workshop. Ue food and icebreakers to create an atmosphere that is friendly and non-threatening. Discuss group pains and successes to help the group understand where they currently are. Set goals to create an action plan for going forward to help the group thrive. Follow up regularly and make adjustments to your action plan as necessary.

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