Team-Building Dos and Don’ts


One of the best ways to build a cohesive team in the workplace is by team-building exercises. At best, you can imagine that doing such things will bring a team together for one purpose. Unfortunately, some managers can potentially make things worse when it comes to fostering team building. Here are some tips from career coach professionals to build your team in a cohesive way, and keep things from spinning out of control:

Don’t plan boring events

Having a formal team-building event for an accounting firm that consists of staying late to do taxes is not exactly going to get people excited. But planning an event for the group at the beach should be better received. Sure, you can do a team-building event that ties into your work place somehow. But that can be things like taking an interesting leadership class together, or listening to a dynamic speaker, and not just more standard work drudgery, but with a different name.

Do plan events that are inclusive

It is important to do a variety of events, to eventually appeal to everybody in the group. If your office has a variety of age groups and interests, career coach experts say you should try to find things that most people will enjoy, or at least tolerate. For example, focusing on heavy-duty athletic events when not everybody is in tip-top shape could potentially alienate the unathletic – make at least some part of the day fun for those people. Having steak dinners with plenty of booze and no options for the vegans, the health-conscious, and the teetolalers in the group could also be problematic. Try to come up with ways to utilize everybody’s skills.

Don’t take too much time away from work – or from real life

You cannot really expect your staff to enjoy the team-building event if it puts them behind on their regular work. They aren’t going to find even the most imaginative event fun if it means having to stay late on other nights to get caught up. The same goes with having team-building events that take up their entire weekends, unless you let them have commensurate time off. It is important to listen to your staff, and pay attention to how they feel on the issue.

Do have a strategy

Career coach experts say that you should have a plan behind the team-building. Do you want to increase communication? Stop cliquishness? Get staff members in different offices to know each other? Decrease conflict? Plan an event that can work towards that. Good luck.

Lisa Swan