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Build a Plan for Team Building

When you have decided to commit to team building on your team, build out your action plan to plan for team building. In this way, you’ll be sure that team building will be more than just some fun for the team (though that is important too!) but will also address the reasons why you are doing team building in the first place.

Take these seven (7) important steps to develop your team building action plan and ensure your team building events are a success:

  1. What’s the goal: Why are you doing team building? Are you trying to address a problem on the team? Do you want to improve the team’s ability to collaborate? Do you have some new members joining the group and want to integrate them with the rest of the team? Do you just want to celebrate some great work the team is doing? There are any number of reasons why you would launch a team building effort; understanding your goal for doing so enables for planning the right team building event or activity.
  2. Do research: Research some options to ensure your goals are met. Do you need training, team building activities, team assessments? What are the options available to help you achieve your team building goals? Ask friends, colleagues, look at what others in your industry are doing, do a Google search, and ask your employees for suggestions on team building events.
  3. Determine timing: What is good timing for any events planned? Consider busy time periods, planned vacations, holidays and other times of the year when it may not be conducive for team building. (For example, a finance group likely doesn’t want to think about team building during year end closing activities.) How can you ensure that all team members participate? (For example, if you have a customer service team that is required to be on the phones, how can you ensure they can get together and still ensure customers are taken care of? Can others in the organization cover for them?) Will this be a one-time event, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-annually? You might have a variety of activities throughout the year, some more complex than others.
  4. Determine budget available: What budget is available for team building? If you are planning for the next fiscal year, make the business case for budget monies for team building activities. There is much information available that shows that team building – when aligned to the goals to be accomplished or problems to be solved – is successful.
  5. Develop the plan: Create your plan. Include in the plan the goals or problems to be solved, activities aligned to each goal and/or to address a problem, timing, and other specifics necessary to ensure a successful event. I like to create a checklist to be sure I have planned for the team building event; ensuring we find a location, order food & beverage, have activities planned for the time together; do any pre-team building preparation; etc.
  6. Assign teams: Don’t take it all on yourself! Who are your team is a bit of the “social butterfly,” and would love to help plan a team building event? While you may not want to share the work when the team building event is to solve a team problem (handle that yourself), when you are trying to bring the team together just to enable for some time together or to integrate new members into the team, ask members of your team to help out with logistics, planning and maybe even facilitating some team building activities.
  7. Evaluate the results/get feedback: After the event, get feedback from your team about the event and their thoughts/opinions about it. Did they enjoy it? Did they see the value? If your team building event was to address a problem, make sure that you evaluate if that problem was solved and how much of that solution was attributed to the team building event.

Team building needs a plan! When a plan is in place you are hosting the right team building events at the right time to address particular needs of the team. With a plan in place you are more likely to ensure a successful event that meets the goals.  With a plan in place, your team building activities will pay off in the long run.

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