Benefits, Strategic HR

Do You Hold Teambuilding Events?

Does your organization sponsor events for employees to encourage teambuilding? Why or why not?

Many employers opt to hold these types of events, and they feel the benefits far outweigh the costs involved. Let’s take a look at some of the potential benefits of holding teambuilding events for your organization.

Potential Benefits of Teambuilding Events

Here are a few of the potential benefits of teambuilding events:

    • “Putting a face to a name” can have a bigger impact than it would seem. This personal interaction can mean that employees are more likely to give others the benefit of the doubt, be more empathetic in their interactions, and be less likely to judge someone’s actions negatively after they’ve met in person.
    • Seeing people in person can foster better working relationships, especially for employees who may work in different locations from one another. This can mean increased productivity later. Employees often work in different locations from their colleagues and may not know one another very well outside of e-mails and a few phone calls. Team events can change that.

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  • A teambuilding event can focus on getting work done, too. This is, of course, optional, but you can choose to create an event in which the team works toward a specific goal and uses the time together to increase productivity. Simply being in a new location can help employees to be more focused and productive.
  • Your employees may trust one another more afterward. Team events can help to improve working relationships and overall employee cooperation and, by extension, encourage better productivity in the future.
  • It can help everyone feel more committed to the team goals by bringing everyone together to bond and to foster better working relationships.
  • An off-site event can be rejuvenating. While it’s not as good for relaxation as a vacation would be, it’s still an opportunity to get employees out of their normal routine and allow them some time to reset by putting them into a new environment.

Some Tips When Holding Teambuilding Events

When creating one of these events, keep these tips in mind:

  • It’s probably a good idea to let event attendance be voluntary. While clearly it would be ideal for everyone to get the benefits described above, the reality is that there’s probably no single event that will be appealing to all employees. Forcing people to attend something they’re dreading will likely create resentment and cause more problems than it solves. (And remember, if it’s not voluntary, it’s “work time” and will need to be paid time. Whether or not a voluntary event is paid is another consideration.)
  • It will probably be more successful if the employer pays for everything. Expecting the employees to pay sends the signal that you’re not actually invested in them. It also is likely to reduce the participation and could even put a strain on some employees. At the end of the day, this event is for the organization’s benefit, so the organization should probably be the one footing the bill. (There may be exceptions or ways to split some expenses, depending on what event has been scheduled and whether there are reasonable ways to divide some of the costs.)
  • Carefully consider whether alcohol will be allowed. (This of course may not be a consideration, depending on the type of event). Outside of holiday parties, it may be more problematic to have alcohol as it raises additional liability questions.
  • Pay careful attention to safety. Obviously no one wants any injuries to occur—especially preventable ones that could have been avoided by taking extra care.
  • Pay attention to employee morale before an event, and take it into account when planning. If there is already an air of negativity, that will influence what events are more likely to have a positive impact. Be especially aware of any type of event that is or could be portrayed as a competition; while friendly competition can be fun, it has a high chance of backfiring.
  • Consider holding the event during work hours to increase participation.

Have you held teambuilding activities for your organization? What other lessons have you learned?