The success of a team building day lies heavily in the preparation that goes into it. Regardless of what format you adopt – for example, assessments, retreats, sports-based exercises or community initiatives – you will struggle to get the right results from the day unless you have planned it properly.

As with all aspects of work, planning is key to success. If you create your action plan for a team build event, you will be able to set objectives and measure success. You will be able to ensure that activities are designed to achieve these. You can choose to manage the team build yourself, or hire a group of professional training consultants to support you, depending on your confidence level and prior experience. Whichever approach you choose, consider the steps outlined below.

Define the Objective

Why are you organising a team building session? What is the purpose of bringing the team away from work to spend time together? Common examples of objectives would include the desire to address a skills or performance deficiency, improve team communication and dynamics, boost creativity and innovation, strengthen working relationships, resolve a conflict or celebrate success together. Be clear about why you are having this team day and ensure that your understanding matches that of the decision-makers within your reporting line before you forge ahead with the next stage.

Determine the Correct Team Build Approach

You will find numerous possible activities for your team building session, designed to help you achieve your objectives. For example, there are communication workshops and assessments, which will help your team learn about different personality styles, develop techniques for negotiation and conflict management and practical ways to improve their communications. Team building games and activities are great for boosting innovation and consolidating relationships within the team for a strong and productive result once you get back to work. Team success celebrations are great for showing that you genuinely recognise achievement and are committed to rewarding it. Retreats and structured programmes will help the team carry out analysis and examination of their current work and develop action plans for moving ahead.

Most of these activities can be delivered through a range of different approaches, with either external facilitators or using internal team resources. For some of these options, individuals within the team itself can take the lead. Team building sessions do not need to be expensive!

Explain the Purpose of the Team Build

Let the team know why you are all gathering together. Share the goals. If they understand them, they are more likely to commit to them because the objective will be clear. Additionally, explain clearly what your expectations are, so the team can participate openly and actively and know that their contribution will be valued.

Finally, make sure you identify a post-training approach to follow up with the team after the event and ensure that the outcomes are sustained. A simple evaluation-and-feedback session is good and it is important that actions are quickly implemented in the workplace.

This guest post has been written on behalf of Liverpool University who aim to host such events.