There is a lot of focus on coming up with a great team building event every few months. Your poor office manager or team lead is going to scour the internet for some kind of bonding experience that can outdo the last one. These efforts are both worthwhile and appreciated, but it is important to remember that true team building is a daily affair. Limiting team building to a quarterly event is similar to a husband who only showers time and gifts on his wife on Valentine’s Day.
A true relationship requires repetition and intention.
So what does “every day” team building look like? Here are some ideas:
- Have some fun at work! You can facilitate this with big ticket items like a ping pong table or a foosball table (watch the noise!) or a less expensive approach like providing board games for people to play over lunch.
- Let people have some fun and show their personality with their office communications. Chat platforms like Slack that allow people to share pictures, post videos, and issue Karma points are a great way to do this.
- Provide recognition. Give people a weekly forum to share their kudos and receive appreciation from their co-workers.
- Feed them. Eating is the universal team builder! Provide the occasional meal, but encourage people not to return to their desk and eat in front of their computer.
- Show their pets. Pets are another one of those odd ways that people can show off their personalities. Seeing what kind of pets your co-workers have and the pet names they dreamed up provides an inside view to who they are outside of work.
- Ask intriguing questions. If you have a remotely dispersed team, take some time at the beginning of the meeting to ask some fun questions. Who is the most recent person to have gotten a tattoo? Who is currently the most miles away from where they were born? Have you ever named a vehicle that you owned?
As you can see, most of these ideas cost next to nothing. Team building happens every single day in the office if you take a few small steps to help people connect. The big team building events are just one piece of the puzzle.