Spend enough time working for a company and team building days can feel like they’re kind of in a rut. After all, how many presentations can anyone sit through on problem solving year after year? More role playing, more practice. But nothing changes – because employees are not being shown, but told. For more effective team building, problem solving programs need to go beyond the cookie cutter style. No more lectures. No more role playing. Instead, consider a customized program built around a charity project.
Re-thinking Problem Solving Programs
Bold and dynamic programs can empower and motivate staff, opening their eyes to the potential right in front of them. A strong marriage between meaningful work and a creative outlet offers employees an opportunity to participate in all facets of a project. Staff will be issued a challenge, and then draw on reserves of creativity, communication, and resilience to rise to the occasion. They’ll practice offering and accepting input to each other. Evaluation, delegation, and assessment are just some of the practical skills developed. And the benefit of contributing to a charity project can motivate folks to really work it out – after all, real folks and their hopes and dreams are riding on this. It isn’t academic, it’s life.
Creative projects that involve a charity component get folks out of their normal work roles – mixing up the typical workday dynamic. Participants can exercise new patterns of communication, interpersonal relationships and workflow in a unique environment that’s low-stakes (as far as ordinary assigned duties and responsibilities) and yet still high-value (people are still counting on a positive result of this project). They’ll try something new, and get a chance to “be” someone new. Maybe the department secretary has a hidden talent for delegation; perhaps that guy from the finance department is really good at understanding engineering.
Team Building? Problem Solving Activities Can Help
Instead of ordinary team building, problem solving programs offer something more valuable – the chance to actually carry out work that makes a difference for someone else. A stronger team is a byproduct of that, yes, and that may be the point of the whole program, but employees will feel empowered, motivated, and capable of more than they thought they could do. The lessons learned here can be readily applied in typical workplace settings, with long-term positive effects. The genius in this strategy is that employees are shown, not told, how to problem solve for success.