Having fun together is the well-demonstrated way to convert the strength of the Individuals into an asset of a team. Winning in the workplace is the key tool to winning in the market place.
Jack Welch, the renowned Management Guru and well-known as a CEO of GE classifies ‘Employee Engagement' as the first among three measurement techniques for the overall performance of the organization. He says, “There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow.” He is placing ‘Team Engagement’ before customer satisfaction and a cash flow.’
If we observe keenly, many organizations fail because they fail to focus on the employee well-being and team engagement. The companies put customer and revenue before employees unless the employees are encouraged through appropriate mentoring and team games, it will reflect negatively in their productivity.
Taking care of the personal growth of the employees will reflect positively in the productivity. Team engagement activities and games provide an amazing opportunity for the companies to focus on the personal growth of the employees. The personal growth results in positive career growth for the teams which will result in elevated organizational growth. The cycle goes without an interruption, resulting and creating highly passive growth for all.
Especially in the current technology dominating business scenario, the amount of importance given to improving the ‘technical skills’ of the team is much higher than the other ‘survival’ and ‘success’ skill. The team should be taught and trained in the below key attributes as well.
Even if you have ‘No’ as an answer to any one of the above questions, it is high time to get them involved in team engagement activities.
Unfortunately, team engagement activities are considered as a responsibility of ‘HR Function' in many organizations. It is not entirely appropriate. Unless, the team engagement activities are designed in collaboration with the HR, project teams, achieving the results as aimed would be highly challenging. It requires brainstorming sessions, discussing various issues, analysing team effectiveness, defining the requirements, identifying the gaps between Employees engagement and productivity issues followed by the well-designed Employee Engagement activities.
The author of ‘Employee Engagement 2.0, Kevin Kruse insists the fact, "Employee engagement advocates the emotional commitment of the employees towards the organization and its goals."
To advocate such emotional commitment, the professionals who organise the team games must have astonishing emotional intelligence. What does it take to build the best employee engagement activity? The process should start with asking ‘why'.
‘Why’ are we conducting the Team Engagement activities now? What is the key goal behind the initiative? The answer will set the goal or a vision. Once the vision is set, then comes the teams. Teams need to be given utmost priority while building any team games.
Foremost among all, one fact needs to be remembered again and again. Whatever position they are in and the years of experience they have gained as professionals, the employees are first ‘normal’ human beings with ‘normal’ feelings, emotions and needs. Often, teams are considered as ‘mere professionals’ with ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ skills, the emotional part is ignored completely. The organizers need to understand the emotional needs of the teams.
For example, conflicts become difficult to manage when the teams do not understand each other well. The emotional intelligence among team members is the key here. Many times, only the ‘communication among teams' is seen as the barrier in ‘conflict management'. It is beyond that. Unless the organizers understand why the team struggles to understand each other well, it is tough to manage the conflicts. Communication skill could be ‘one' among various factors that disturb the team effort. Such intricacies need to be analysed.
As said earlier about considering ‘communication skill' as the only barrier to conflict management, the organizers often generalise the issues and conduct team engagement games to solve that particular issue. The employees show lot understanding and maturity while playing such games and get themselves involved in team engagement activities, but once they are back to work, the situation continues as before.
The time, cost and effort spent by the HR Team, Project Team, Team members and other stakeholders go absolute waste here. It is highly essential to spend quality time and the good amount of time in planning the team engagement games rather randomly picking something just to engage the employees. How can this be done?
After the brainstorming session, it is essential to note down all the issues and groups them together. The team building activity or a game requires in-depth designing capability. Think through the game multiple times to see if it addresses all the issues clearly.
And, also it requires checking whether the activity planned is the right one for your team. Conducting a 10k marathon for a small team of senior most employees and pregnant women may not be appropriate if they are not runners. Making them running ‘out of the blue’ might bring negative consequences. One cannot argue the beautiful benefits a ‘Marathon running’ comes up with.
Will that specific activity suit your team? This is the question one must raise while planning for an activity. At the same time, thinking too conservatively and ignoring interesting team engagement games is also too risky. Let us take engaging ‘senior most employees or aged employees’ as an example again here. If the activity doesn’t involve any physical movements, focus only on something to give work to their brain and mind, they might lose interest.
While seriously thinking and planning about team engagement games, one must also remember to include ‘fun’ as a key aspect. The teams look forward to having fun while they engage themselves in team games. This is where the emotional intelligence plays a key role. The team building activities are the best tools to share knowledge among teams. When it is done creatively and full of fun, the knowledge sharing becomes highly impactful.
When ‘FUN' is used as a foundation while building team engagement games, the employees become closely-knit, highly productive and strong A teams.
Create curiosity about the forthcoming events and games. Spread a word about a proposed trip or one-day corporate team outing where the team engagement games will be conducted. If you have a newsletter, company magazine, weekly columns, indicate about the exciting days ahead. This will make them involved. Once the activity or team engagement games are done, publish an article about that in your periodic communications.
You can involve your participants also here. Collect the experiences and publish in the form of ‘testimonials' in your communications. Remember to mention the names, teams and give credits to the organizers. Do not forget to add colourful pictures which become a great memory of your employee's tenure in your organization. Such brand building activities for your team engagement activities encourages the emotional attachment towards organizational goals, motivate the teams to produce high as ever.
The team building efforts don't end with just conducting a few team engagement games or activities. The real impact, In fact, begins after the games when the employees are back to the deck. Monitor the changes happening in the team. Creating a measurement technique is highly important here.
Do you have the KPIs set to measure the impact the team engagement activities induced? If not, setting the KPIs should be the first step. Do not just focus on individual strength, rather give utmost and keen attention to how the team works overall. No change can happen in a single moment. Keep your teams encouraged and motivated by reminding the learning as often as possible.
At the same time, overdoing will kill the motivation. Hence, it becomes highly critical to plan activities involved in carefully monitoring the work as a team, keenly measuring the impact the team building activities created and diligently motivating the teams to follow the learning. Trebound team designs the team building activities in such a way that all the above attributes are well taken care of.