Don’t Do Corporate Team Bonding activities in Singapore until You’ve Read these Tips
Do you think that your colleagues (and you too) feel that corporate team bonding activities are a waste of time, and money? Don’t worry, many people think the same way too.
As we are all told, team bonding activities are very ideal, as it helps to build team cohesiveness, improve productivity, boost morale etc. and the list of benefits can go on and on. But how true is all of that? The mentioned benefits could be true, only when some issues have been ironed out. So what are some of these prominent issues that are often ignored?
Village Singapura has identified some of these real issues commonly faced and paired it along with some useful tips that can help counter the negativity associated with bonding activities. Read on to avoid missing out.
Common Issues Associated with Team Bonding Activities (Tips Provided after each Issue listed!)
Group bonding sessions have become a yearly fashion, where the company does it every year. Besides, there is a budget allocated for team building as well, so why not make use of it? This results in the money being put to the wrong use, in the sense (and cents), where companies organise fun bonding events blindly year after year, simply doing it for the sake of doing it. Team building activities are planned and executed without an aim of what outcome would be achieved at the end of the session.
Cliche as it sounds, but it is incredibly important to begin with the end in mind. It is also coincidentally Habit 2 of Stephen R Covey’s best-selling “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“. Establish the desired outcome of the bonding activity first, even before the start of it, and be clear on the direction where the session is heading to, and the destination too. This way, you can never go wrong.
Mismatch in what is being trained. In some occasions, what the company need is effective team building, profiling or communication training that can fit the training needs. Whereas in other occasions, the company just needs some fun bonding for the team to get to know each other better or to build closer relationship and trust. This results in a gap between the activity chosen and the needs that the company actually require. More often than not, the type of training employees are required to undergo does not tally with the actual skills/ needs they require, resulting in gaps in training. As simple as it sounds, it is a problem that is often ignored and it’s about due time to shed some light on this issue.
First identify what are some of the needs of employees. Then, plan for the type of training appropriately to match their needs accordingly to avoid a mismatch. These have to be quickly identified during the planning stage of the activity. It is pivotal that training needs and training are aligned so as to prevent a mismatch resulting in a futile training session which just wastes everyone else’s time.
Office politics has always been a common problem across yes, all offices. It is a pressing issue and we just can’t seem to run away from it.
Let Harvard Business Review do the more-than-appropriate explanation on what should all of us here know about office politics. First and for most, it is fundamental to start off with understanding why playing politics is inevitable. Read on to find out more, because fun team bonding events work only when the level of office politics is of a manageable level.
The sad truth is that all the fun, bonds forged and relationships built during the team bonding literally stays only within the event itself. These good vibes among colleagues are short-lived, meaning that despite the great time everyone had together at that moment, once they are back in the office, all this disappears, animosity brews and backstabbing continues. Welcome back to the everyday-office-life. *sighs*
Be realistic. Human are complex creatures and efforts have to be put in order to maintain relationships. After the team bonding activity, it is crucial that the relationships forged are maintained. Regular opportunities have to be created for increased interaction among colleagues even after the event day so as to sustain the relationships forged in a voluntary manner, instead of ‘forcing’ them to go through corporate bonding part 2, 3, 4 and more again. Perhaps longer lunches? More break timings? Just some suggestions here to increase interactions among employees but you can do it in your own way, whatever that suits!
Corporate team building activities may have successfully incorporated some values or some useful learning points in their activities. However very often, how many of us still remember what these takeaways are once we are back in the office?
Studies have shown that average human beings tend to forget 50% of new information within an hour and this percentage increases to 70% within 24 hours. However, if this new information are revised within the first 24 hours, the individual would be able to retain this memory for up to 2 weeks. Revising this same piece of information in 2 weeks’ time would allow the retention of the memory up to another 2 months! Amazing isn’t it? As such, it would be good practice to send an email reminder to employees on what the learning points taught during the team bonding event to refresh their memory, and to encourage them to practice what was learnt.
Even if learning points are acknowledged and recognised, employees may not feel the need to practice whatever that was learnt because they simply don’t see the need to. Furthermore, there is no motivation for them to do so, which essentially puts the purpose of the otherwise effective bonding session to waste.
Public recognition for a particular behaviour that the company promotes would often motivate individuals to work towards that particular sought-after behaviour. Besides, research has shown that inevitably, motivation is linked to rewards. Hence, it is pivotal to reward employees appropriately as the situation deems fit, to give them a source of motivation to work harder.
Misunderstandings and inefficiency often results from a lack of communication and mutual understanding. This is a problem that can be avoided, but not given enough emphasis in many companies.
One to one conversations should be held regularly with employees, or at least, whenever the need arises. It is never ideal to run away from facing your problems because you can run away from them temporarily, but you definitely can’t hide from them forever. So talk it out! Find an opportunity to sit down and have a good feedback session with an individual employee over a cup of good coffee, discussing pressing matters and areas to improve on. Understand what some problems your employee may be facing, encourage the sharing of ideas and always be willing to listen and understand. Mutual understanding certainly goes a long way.
However, there are some important things to take note during the conversations on order to facilitate a more effective session, and these include: avoiding criticising or condemning, praising his/her achievements etc., as recommended in Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends & Influence People“, one of Warren Buffet’s favourite book of all times.
Beliefs are deeply-entrenched and hard to alter. Attempting to change the behaviour of employees may not be effective, be of a waste of time and may even cause an unintended backlash. Hence, other than attempting to do so, the company could consider focusing more on its recruitment efforts, recruiting only suitable candidates with personality that matches the culture in the company. Such qualities could include: working well in teams, task-oriented, high in agreeableness on the Big Five Model (you can try out the test here to see which personality type you belong!) etc., depending on the nature of the work.
Furthermore, other than attracting and recruiting suitable people to join the company, the company could also focus more on the promotion criteria. Only individuals exhibiting desirable traits and behaviour should be promoted instead of haphazard promotions without any legitimate basis. The rationale behind this is so that the correct message could be relayed to the other employees, who will then acknowledge that such behaviors are expected of them, ultimately resulting in them to work extra hard to achieve these qualities to have a chance to be promoted as well.
Otherwise, another wise move would be to shift employees accordingly, transferring them to other departments which will be of a better fit for them. This way, their skills and expertise would be a better match to their job and environment, and by being more comfortable, employees tend to feel happier, which increases their job satisfaction and lowers turnover rate. The company also benefits from this new arrangement when their employees become more efficient. A win-win situation for both parties is established.
After addressing all the aforementioned issue and taking into account some of the tips suggested, now you’re ready to go for successful corporate team bonding activities in Singapore and beyond! Have a good time! Cheers!
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