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Strengthening the Bonds: What to Do After a Team Building Programme
Hooray! You have successfully run a team building programme for your team.
Everyone had a good time, spirits are high, and for a moment, everybody is actually in good terms with each other.
All is indeed good…for now.
One of the bigger challenges leaders face in team building is being able to sustain that “team high” once the programme is over. It is quite like inflating a balloon. Time and effort is spent inflating a lovely floating balloon to its perfect size, yet then it gradually deflates with time once the party is over.
While many leaders work hard to crafting a great programme, there is a need to ensure that the lessons from your team building stick.
Here is what you can do to strengthen the bonds of your team post eventum.
Before the Programme
Okay, so we did say post eventum. Yet with any great planning, it has to begin from the start to help you in your efforts after the programme. Here’s how:
Prior to running your team building programme, identify a few team members who can champion your cause for team building. These Champions can, not only help to keep the energy alive during the sessions, but can also help ensure that the enthusiasm follows through after the programme.
The key is to empower them with this role from the start – make them involved in the process of planning and believe in the objectives you wish to achieve.
The Champions are then able to plan follow-up sessions outside of the programme to keep the camaraderie strong in your team. A night out bowling or even some after-work karaoke sessions will keep the spirits alive.
Immediately After the Programme
It’s the end of your 1 or 3-day team building programme. Everyone had a great time and is looking forward to going home early. In many situations, companies generally hand out a single page feedback form to its participants. The questions are generally standard:
- Did you enjoy the programme?
- How would you rate the facilitator?
- Was the food provided up to your satisfaction?
Feedback from participants is definitely important, however, it’s time to relook into the questions we ask. We need to ask meaningful questions that are practical, and serve the objective. Ask:
- How has your relationship with your colleagues changed?
- What do you wish to see change in your working environment?
- Are you able to apply what you have learnt to the way you relate to your colleagues?
This feedback can carry the conversation on after the programme has ended.
The programme is over and all is back to their daily grind. Yet, team building is a continual effort that does not stop at one session.
Schedule quarterly sessions with your team for a short recap or simply a heart-to-heart round table coffee session. Let your team share their working experiences and/or grievances.
These sessions do not have to be long or draggy. Plan for short but impactful meetings – half hour to an hour can do the trick.
Remember your Champions? They too can help in bringing the spirit up through these sessions.
1 Year After the Programme
A year has passed since your team building session. This is a good time to take stock of the effectiveness of the programme, and how your team can progress in its growth.
Identify some key areas which you then would like to build upon in your team. Bring your team together by working on some challenges faced collectively. That way, your annual team building programmes need not be the same each year and your peers can look forward to growing the team together.
Team building is tough, yet essential to any successful team and organisation. Start strong, stay the course and don’t give up. You can then be sure of having a strong team that can achieve greater goals.
Article by Andy Pan, the Director of Training at Right Impact and the author of Happy Companies, Healthy Profits.