When ramping up a new business venture—no matter how large or small—there are a myriad of things to consider. From financial worries to legal issues, there always seems to be something needing extra attention here or there. So, it’s no wonder, then, that amongst all of this chaos one of the first things to go overlooked is team morale and happiness.
But, business can be stressful and, just like a personal relationship, it will take a bit of work to ensure that all members are working together as best and efficiently as possible to achieve results. Any successful organization will tout the significant importance of effective teamwork. As much as one person might like to take credit for a success story, the truth is no one ever got where they are without a good, stable support system. Just as the old adage insists that “it takes a village to raise a child” it also takes a good team to help an idea grow to its full potential.
So, as you agonize over marketing methods, strategic plans and other components of success, force yourself to make time to develop the dedicated team that’s working with you. If you find that the well-being of your personnel is taking a backseat in your mind to the overall success of your business, it might be time to stop and try a few of the small business teambuilding exercises outlined below.
To complete this activity, there are a few materials you will need. First off, make sure you have a blindfold handy, as well as small objects such as balls, cones, Styrofoam cups—or really anything that can be used as a “mine” or small obstacle.
To set up the exercise, have someone distribute the pseudo-mines randomly, creating an artificial minefield. The team as a whole is divided into pairs, which can be altered depending on evenness. Participants will then have to navigate through the minefield, blindfolded, with the help of a partner (not blindfolded) serving as their eyes. The goal is to increase trust, teamwork and communication between participants. If the group desires, it can be turned into more of a competitive act where time and accuracy are measured then compared amongst pairs, but that is solely up to your team.
There are numerous variations of this activity so definitely personalize it to meet your group’s specific needs.
Light Highlights Activity
During this group exercise, participants will gain some insight into their co-workers as it includes the sharing of personal details that might normally go unknown by people you know only on a professional level.
To start, a facilitator asks everyone in the group to reflect on the best moments of their lives. Memories they cherish and hold with them. Depending on time allowances you can allow as much time as you’d like for this, but it’s generally suggested to only allow about a minute of reflection so that only the most instant, meaningful, natural memories have a chance to come to mind. After this, then tell them they have to select just 30 SECONDS from all of that that they would like to relive.
Once everyone has decided on their “30 seconds” go around the group and have everyone share theirs. This will great a level of understanding and insight that might not have been there before between co-workers—which will make working with each other a bit easier.
A collection of sequential, wordless pictures are necessary to complete this exercise. The pictures are shuffled around and distributed randomly to participants. The object is for them to get the photos in their correct order, without revealing to one another their specific picture. This will challenge lines of communication and force individuals to think outside of the box with each other as they strive for the solution. This is great because they may need to impart similar behavior during tricky business activities.
Overall, the ultimate goal of all of these activities is to get the focus off of the work at hand and rather refocus it on the individuals within a company. Employees are the most valuable resource a company has, so it’s important for them to work well together. When a good rapport is established, workers feel valued, mutual respect builds and overall productivity increases—making it a win-win for everyone. So, small business team-building is not only an investment in your staff, but in the longevity of your business.
Although we were all taught how to play nice as students in school, that can sometimes fall by the wayside as we go through the motions of day to day life. So, allow these activities to serve as a sort of refresher.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer and blogger who works in the higher education industry. She currently writes for a number of blogs about topics pertaining to pedagogical theory, technology, and the role of the prefrontal cortex in adolescent development. Her most recent professional project involves studying the trends of online colleges in Mississippi. She’s always eager to receive feedback regarding her online content. Please feel free to contact her at email@example.com.