Taking time for corporate team building probably feels like a low priority for businesses simply trying to keep their doors open. If you have a bunch of strangers working for you, not communicating or even unintentionally focusing on opposing goals, it’s time to consider ways to build cohesive work groups.
Any outsider who wandered into The Omnia Group's office and overheard our conversations would think we were crazy. We talk like a math problem gone horribly wrong. Considering it objectively, I have to admit…we sound ridiculous.
Here's a sampling of what it's like:
"Well, you know me; I'm a 3, so I was like, "Please, do say more!'"
"Hey, she's a 6/7; she's going to do what she's going to do."
"Come on, take it easy, you know how high my 8 is!"
"That's what happens when you’re a 2/4."
“If an 8 and a 7 got married, what would their kid be like?”
Not only will my colleagues agree with this, they know who I'm talking about. Like folks in every business, we talk about what we do. Since we do behavioral assessments, we help clients with employee team building and we assess a LOT of behaviors...co-workers, friends, families, you name it. We even have our profile patterns on name plaques outside our office doors (true story). I have often referred to someone's plaque before or after a conversation to help me process it better. And let me assure you, it's not just the analysts or the client advisers who do this, it’s everyone…IT, accounting, administration, we communicate through our profiles.
I know I'm biased, but I can say without a doubt that it helps us bond and work as a team. We know how to communicate with one another, and we are aware and respectful of people's differences. We take our numbers into account when making plans.
For example, two people hit milestone birthdays this fall, and we had to consider how to honor them. The high column 3 (outgoing people-person) would love a public celebration. The high column 4 (reserved introvert) would prefer if we just slipped a birthday card under her office door, or better yet, ignored the date altogether. In this case, we compromised. We had a big public celebration, because it's good for the column 4 to be dragged out of her darn shell every once in a while!
People spend 40 or more hours a week with their co-workers, if they don't know or like one another, it makes the whole working experience less pleasant. Unhappy employees are less productive.
What are some benefits of team building? Glad you asked:
No time better than the present...here are some ideas to get started:
|1.||Of course one great way would be to attend our Lunch & Learn seminar, "What Behavioral Insight REALLY Can Do for You". People love to learn about themselves, and they connect better to others when they can identify differences as differences, instead of making judgments. (Omnia can help with that.)|
|2.||Break the ice: Sure they've been sitting near one another for years, but have they met? Take occasional quick breaks to play ice breaker exercises. A quick online search for "office ice breakers" turns up over 3 million hits, so you should be able to find something that works for you. (Just make sure to pick ones that are safe and don't violate any HR policies).|
|3.||Have some fun: Consider occasional social outings (or innings) to allow people to loosen up and interact in a non-work setting. Monthly employee luncheons in house are nice!|
|4.||Give them a challenge: Create groups of people who don't usually work together and involve them in a project, scavenger hunt or other fun but competitive task.|
|5.||Better yet, make it for a cause: Rallying team members behind a charitable organization or cause encourages people to put aside their differences to make things happen. It also tends to bring out the best in everyone.|
It's hard to scrape together the time and resources to focus on team building, but your people are your biggest asset, and it’s a worthwhile expense. So come on, don't be such a 4, do some team building!