Team Building Do’s and Don’ts! Top 5 Traps

Top 5 Team building Traps

As a Certified Behavioural Consultant, I have overseen hundreds of team building and corporate training activities, from local SMEs to MNCs, from Asian companies to Western companies. There are plenty of types of team building and I deal with quite a lot of event organizers or planners on a regular basis and most of them are working as Human Resources, Secretaries, or Personal Assistants, either simple or complex team building activities are great for them. I’m also aware that many companies have a designated colleague to organise the events every year; however, some companies’ team building are planned by different colleagues, which means every colleague has the opportunity to participate in the process of organising and getting some new ideas, to plan a team building event. Based on my past experience, I have listed out the following points about the “Do’s and Don’ts” for team building process and planning.

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The 5 Traps of Team Building

Many companies regularly organise Team Building, aiming for the activities to increase communication and cooperation between colleagues, to boost productivity, effectiveness and improving the working atmosphere.  However, Team Building can be a double-edged sword for organisers, you may earn the appreciation of your colleagues; or you may get an earful of complaints.

Trap 1: Too Much Physical Movement

Some sports like rock climbing, hiking, cycling, or even war games, laser tag etc. are a popular choice for outdoor team building activties.  Youngsters or sport-lovers may love it so much, but have you ever thought that your seniors or management staff may not enjoy it at all? Unless you are aiming to “take them down” during the game.  You may win the game, but you might lose your career… Also, thinking about your colleagues, as an organiser, people might expect you to consider everyone’s interest, what if people are not familiar with too much exercise due to being pregnant?  That’s why you must remember “3W1H” when organising. Who’s attending the team building? What do they like? Why this kind of team building activity? How to make sure everyone is satisfied? Especially your boss!

Trap 2: Boring Team Building Seminars

Holding seminars or workshops for team building is easier and you may please your boss (if he is very money-oriented) as long as there is a session for inviting some successful sales person sharing, giving a speech or a tutorial.  However, I am sure you will see a lot of snoozing faces… Your colleagues were expecting a fun event to chill out and release their pressure during the team building, so you might need to balance everyone’s expectation to make yourself in a good position.

Trap 3: No Interaction During Team Games

Nowadays, video games like VR or AR are very common and you may consider it for team building.  Players need to carry the heavy equipment, and emulate shooting monsters/zombies (most of the VR) in 10-15 minutes. It could be fun, but you may have missed a very important point and that is “interaction”.  The spirit of team building is to gather everyone to complete a task or mission within a certain time, but can you see their face while everyone is wearing VR goggles? Is that a team building game? Can you read their body language?  Can you communicate in person? I personally do not recommend this as their not too many benefits and the result of the team building isn’t that obvious.

Trap 4: Not suitable for All Ages

Imagine a professional like lawyers, bankers or a doctor participating in some kid games, that might work like a 5 minute team building game.  Well, you may say it’s the best memory you enjoyed during your child age, but there might some embarrassing scenes, and teasing during the kid games.  Bear in mind, the money you are spending for team building is by the company, your job is to organise a great team building event with everyone’s enjoyment in-mind.

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Trap 5: Unfair Team Games

Singing or some sport activities could be another consideration for team building, and there might be some hidden superstars in your company who are familiar with it.  If you want to create a platform to let them show off, that’s fine! Unless the one who shows off is your boss, or you are the boss, most people would not like to keep an eye on a single person for an entire team building activity because that’s not the purpose, right?

 In conclusion, as a team building organiser, you need to consider the importance of team building and really have to think carefully about how to organize the activity that could affect your teammates participation and emotion.  Especially if your boss takes this task as an assessment of your ability to do business, the applause and evaluation by your colleagues will really affect your career. Sometimes it might be wise to think out of the box and think of unusual team building activities to get a breath of fresh air for both you and your colleagues. Based on my many years of team building experience and HR friends who get headaches just thinking about how to organize their events, I have compiled “Five Tips for Team Building”, in hopes to solve everyone’s team building headaches, just leave your email, it will be delivered soon after!  We wish you the best of luck on your team building efforts!

Want to know what are the things you SHOULD do?
Click here to see the top 5 team building tips!


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