Have you noticed a decline in engagement and productivity in your staff? Are co-worker relationships strained or nonexistent? Perhaps you’re thinking of fixing this by planning a team-building event. Before you begin, here are 3 keys to getting the desired results from your team building event.


1. Understand what you want to accomplish.

All events are not made equal, so before you decide that a wilderness retreat is exactly what your team needs, make sure you have a clear idea of what it is you’re looking to accomplish. Are you trying to improve communication or instill company values? Is the goal to encourage relationships and team mentality or motivate your staff for better performance. Your event will look a lot different depending on the end goal.


2. Understand your team culture.

Even if your employees aren’t functioning as a team, there’s definitely a unique team dynamic in effect. Take the time to assess what that is and how it relates to where you want it to be. Be sure, also, to acknowledge the characteristics that make up your team. What is the age range, physical capabilities, or are there language differences? Is the group highly competitive or are they mainly introverts? Going one step further, how well do the members currently know each other and do they get along? Perhaps the first step in reaching your goal may be as simple as setting aside time for co-workers to learn each other’s names and spend a few minutes not working together. On the other hand, if your team has been together for a while, a refreshing or immersive experience might very well be called for.


3. Ask if an event is what is needed right now.

Some people (points to self) love the idea of an event, regardless of the situation. But there are times when team building objectives are best  met in other ways. For instance, if the management in an organization only communicates with employees in directives, scheduling a full-day ropes course training will not improve company morale. So take an honest look and make the necessary adjustments before plunging into the event planning process.


In the end, companies can’t look at team building events like an ER, ignoring good health practices from day to day and then running in when things take a turn for the worst. Think of them like your yearly checkup. Team building events are most effective when you have a healthy team!