Team building adventures that include outings to a local facility are a good way for coworkers to bond with one another. These outings are events that should be planned well in advance and you should look at a variety of activities over the course of the day. There are a few things that you really should think about when making the plans so you do not make some common mistakes.
Mistake - Not Considering The Introverts
If you have certain coworkers that seem to keep to themselves during the day, then it may be your goal to get these individuals to come out of their shells a bit. This is a great idea if you want employees to work together in harmony. However, it may not have occurred to you that these individuals are introverts and not merely shy. There are a lot of misconceptions about introverts and this may lead to you stressing out your quieter employees.
Contrary to popular belief, introverts typically like to interact socially with others. However, introverts may like to spend time in smaller groups. When they interact with a larger number of people, they can easily become overstimulated. Over-stimulation can lead to anxiety and withdrawing from the group, and this will obviously have the opposite effect of what you are trying to go for.
Many introverts can do well socially in larger groups. However, group activities can be draining mentally and physically, and your employees may need some quiet downtime during the day to recharge. Many of these feelings and anxieties are due to differences in brain structure as well as neurotransmitter variations. This means that it is unkind and unreasonable to expect introverts to deal with constant activity for an entire day. Make sure to schedule long breaks during the day or even break up team building activities over a two day period to accommodate individuals who may need the down time.
Keep in mind that research suggests that adults can really only focus their undivided attention on a single task for about 20 minutes. Focusing on short activities and exercises is something that can benefit all your workers and reduce mental fatigue.
Mistake - Choosing Activities That Involve Touch
There is nothing that can destroy a team building exercise or a moral building event than making your employees feel uncomfortable. If you think about team building exercises, then the common "trust fall" activities may come to mind. This involves someone falling backward and allowing a coworker to catch that individual. This activity is something that may be appropriate for couples looking to build a stronger relationship, but it is really not something that is acceptable in a corporate or professional setting, no matter how laid back your office environment is.
Any team building activity that involves touching in some way can cause employees to feel as though their personal boundaries are being violated. This can have the opposite effect on the individual and make them feel as though they cannot trust their employer or their managers.
Most workplaces have very specific rules when it comes to inappropriate touch. While team building exercises that involve touch are not "inappropriate," they may leave individuals feeling uncomfortable due to hygiene concerns, general sensitivities, and even the perception of someone else being hostile.
Instead of choosing any touch activities, consider exercises that let employees work together on certain tasks to build or problem solve. Team building activities that help employees get to know each other better are a good idea and so are creative games and food activities. If possible, allow your employees to choose from a variety of options so they have some control over the day and you can avoid any sensitivity issues and hurt feelings.