Outdoor group activities are a great way to build a cohesive team. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a sports team, an office department team, a family reunion team, or anything in between, bringing people together for a fun activity and a common goal will lead to a stronger bond. Just make sure you do a little planning.
Family or Work
Are you trying to get your colleagues to unite as a team so they can take on workplace challenges together? Or are you interested in expanding your next family reunion to include long-lost and distant folks so that they feel connected? Either way, you’ll want to engage the participants mentally and physically.
Family members might be ready for fun, but at work you’ll need to fight any negative sense people might have about team-building activities. US News cites a 2012 study that found up to 30% of office workers are not entirely comfortable with team-building activities. As long as you’re aware of this statistic, you can make sure your team-building activities rise above the expected.
Know Your Participants
Since the goal is to build a stronger, more connected team, make sure you understand your team’s limitations. Don’t choose activities that will discourage or leave anyone out. For example, if you run a paper supply company and your employees are sedentary, don’t plan a marathon as your first team-building activity. Instead, maybe start a 5K walk/run training program. Include folks at all levels of fitness and allow some training during work hours.
Or your employees might prefer a group excursion to learn more about local flora or fauna. Hire a guide and use some company time to educate yourself and your employees about your community. If you can tie it back to your company business, all the better.
Understand the Rewards
Some people are more motivated by the prize than the journey. That’s okay. It doesn’t hurt to reward teams, and a trophy is a physical symbol of any achievement. Before you choose your trophies, consider whether you want one large trophy (think: The Stanley Cup) that is engraved and transferred to the winning team each year or individual trophies for everyone. You can even personalize trophies to fit your specific business and the teams’ accomplishments.
Remember that trophies come in all sizes. Since your aim is to build a stronger team, consider getting a memento of some type for every participant, whether it’s a smaller trophy or a company-branded key chain, it will be a reminder of successful teamwork.
Do It Your Way
With a quick internet search, you’ll find dozens of team-building activity ideas. Ask your employees to vote on their favorite. Let them decide if volunteering at a nearby food bank is more meaningful than training together for a race. Whatever they decide, you’ll have no problem finding just the right trophy or plaque to remind them that they did it together.
Jeffery Brauer is a writer based in San Francisco, California. He specializes in motivational and human resources-related posts, amongst others. When he’s not up against a deadline, Jeffrey enjoys a good book and walking on the beach with his Australian Shepherd, Daisy.