Team Building in Three Steps

Updated: October 16, 2010

A lot of organizations think of team building as the occasional outdoor activity or get together but successful team building takes effort and commitment. When we create an ongoing team building program in our workplace we keep our employees happy and function more effectively. The results are that we build a workplace where people collaborate more effectively, get more done and do it with fewer interpersonal conflicts. Consider the following ideas as you design an approach that works for you.

Take the Time to Develop a Team Building Plan

Developing a plan will help you increase your chances of success. Determine when and where the meetings will take place, what activities you will do, who will facilitate the meetings and who will schedule and remind people to attend. It helps do have a designated person or group to keep the momentum going. Ongoing planning and coordination is vital if you want to keep the program going.

Invite Everyone

It's helpful to have people from various departments and job descriptions at the meetings because it increases the range of ideas and brings people together who might not otherwise have a chance to interact. It also build cohesiveness throughout the organization. Make sure to invite the people who are deemed "difficult." The team building process includes everyone and encourages them to participate. I recommend that leadership attend and it sends a strong positive signal that team building is important in the organization.

Schedule Practically

Schedule these meetings when there is time for staff to focus on building stronger teams and do it without interruptions. The idea is to help people focus on coming together. Set yourself up for success by scheduling meetings during less busy times when people can devote their full attention to participating. I recommend holding one-hour meetings weekly on a regular, ongoing schedule that everyone has on their calendars. Give these meetings importance by dedicating the time to actually do them.

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