Team Building That Sucks

We've all been to that retreat or off-site when the team building activities felt like just that, team building. Forced, generic and well, pretty lame. We often leave feeling less inspired by our teammates and our organization. Pretty much the opposite of what we all set out for. 

As company's are investing more in their people and culture, we're proud to a part of the shift toward hyper-focused activities that actually drive authentic bonds and unique relationships amongst team members. As part of our process to understand teams and cultures, we always inquire about previous retreat experiences. Here are 5 team building activities we have to recommend avoiding if you're planning the itinerary. 

Avoid these and find and don't forget, the more you can customize these activities, the better off your team will be. 

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#5 – The Wrong Time for The Wrong Activity

Every retreat we plan with our clients involves the force of momentum. We don't randomly place activities throughout the retreat because we wan't to create a build up to those transformation or MAGIC moments for your team. 

Spending that extra time to plan out the itinerary to find a momentum will drive impact and success for your teams time away.

#4 – When will I ever use this?

Activities that can't be related to your teams work or life, won't garner much engagement. This is a fantastic time to slow everything down and focus on a handful of very actionable applications for your team. Team building activities that feel awkward and forced are going to make your team question how much effort actually wen't into planning the retreat.

Incorporating applicable workshops and activities into your retreat isn't hard. No one knows your people and your company culture like you, so don't hesitate to dig into that to find those key themes that will drive engagement from your team. When people learn something new, they can light up inside! 

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#3 – This isn't Therapy 

Focusing too much on very personal issues can be a risky proposition with your team. No doubt, a session that feels like therapy hour can snowball into a very negative experience for everyone. Going back to momentum, this will it it! 

Stay away from large group or all-hands personal subjects. If you do want to dive into personal feedback and issues, use group sessions or anonymous forms.

#2 – Breaking Comfort Zones

Please don't set your team building goal to get everyone out of their comfort zone. Having your team arrive in this destination, stay with colleagues and partake in these group experiences - for some, that's already out of their comfort zones. 

Leaving our comfort zones has definitive effects on learning but, we must do that in fun way with a low barrier to entry. Use tactics that are comfortable for everyone and knowing your team will enable you to do this best. 

#1 – Best Time Ever

Yes, this is going to be great retreat. We will have fun and walk away with some amazing experiences to help our company get stronger. But, trying too hard to make sure everyone has 'The Best Time Ever' is going to hurt the experience. Focus on the high-level goals of your organization. What do we wan't to see in 3, 6 and 9 months after this retreat for the organization. 

We hope this will helps avoid some not-so-obvious pitfalls when it comes to planning for team building activities. Need some more advice on Team Building for your next retreat? 

Check out our 5 Best UpSkill Sessions we've run with clients this year. 

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