As learning managers and leaders, your responsibilities extend beyond the modern classroom. Creating unity and trust within your team increases the success of your short-term projects and long-term goals. Guest contributor Jenny Holt provides guidance on how to build a sense of community within your department and connects the process back to what we do best: ongoing professional development.
If you’re not convinced of the effectiveness of team-building activities that allow your employees to develop professional skills while also learning more about the company and their colleagues, then you’ll be interested to know that poorly managed work groups are on average 50% less productive and 44% less profitable than well-managed groups.
Managing your employees means allowing them space and opportunities to grow and foster deeper relationships with the people they work with. Simply being together, sharing, and solving problems as a group can be enough. Here are a few ideas for the most effective activities to foster professional development together while also enjoying the great outdoors.
Take it Outdoors for Fresh Air and Fresh Ideas
The key to successful team-building activities is to create structured opportunities for all of your employees to mingle and foster deeper workplace relationships that will build trust, mitigate conflict, encourage communication, and increase collaboration. To help increase the ample opportunities to generate fresh ideas and perspectives during a team building activity, take it outdoors.
Fresh air has been shown to change your brain in many ways, so much so that a 2018 study of schoolchildren showed that the more they were exposed to green spaces, the more grey matter their brains possessed.
To accomplish this, try organizing a scavenger hunt. Break the group into teams of two or more. Make a list of silly, fun tasks for each team to accomplish together that force them to problem-solve and learn more about each other and their surroundings.
Or, set up a geocaching activity to stimulate the mind and creativity by adding riddles and puzzles to the search. The activity, similar to a scavenger hunt, requires your employees to search for certain objects according to GPS coordinates, activating other problem-solving and navigating skills that will be beneficial in the workplace long after the activity is over.
Always Follow Up on Professional Development
When organizing a day of team-building activities, you’ll want to make sure to structure activities that don’t feel like just another day at the office. Try to go for ones that don’t overtly draw attention to leadership skills or other things that seem to “in your face.”
It’s important to follow up on any type of team building activity you engage in, just as you would with corporate training. Continue to foster ways for your employees to stay engaged and interacting with the company and their colleagues and you’ll get the most out of a day of fun team building.