So you planned an hosted a charity team building event for your people. Unless something very strange happened, you likely left there feeling really good about what happened. Your workshop facilitator likely was energetic, fun and allowed your group to enjoy some engaging activities and friendly competition. And then, giving back is always a good thing and makes people happy to have helped.
It is so much fun to see the smiles and excitement shown directly following an event. There is so much energy and conversation as co-workers have become friends and have had this great experiences of giving bikes to kids, military care packages to service members, stuffed animals to first responders or any number of charity give backs. You can’t help but come out of that pretty pumped up.
So why let this just happen and be over? Why not use this opportunity to enhance engagement and form building blocks to lift up your people?
Real team building is not a workshop. Corporate responsibility is not an event. These are cultures. The makeup of a business from the inside out. And like any true characteristic, this shows up a lot and is part of who you are, not what you do. Here are a few ideas to consider coming off your event:
1.Immediately talk about the good you did
Bring up the charity presentation. Ask where others personally have an interest in giving back. Ask what their favorite part of the event was. Talk about the fun or funny things they learned about other team members.
2. Focus on the positive
It is difficult to impress everyone and complainers will complain, no matter what the experience. Do not let a small negative define the experience. It doesn’t matter if the facilitator or activities were weak. If your culture is positive, you will find the good and it will benefit everyone to focus on that.
3. Build on what you saw
Some of your quieter people may have made known they appreciate being heard through some goofy activity. Make sure to follow up on that in real work scenarios. If you see that ‘cheating’ in simple team building games really bothers someone, it’s likely that comes into play in a big way with co-workers and you need to pay attention to their attitude in the business and also those who cause the tension. If you really pay attention during your event, you should learn some important details about your people that will help you to help them. And from time to time, bring up some memorable moments from the event, to draw back the good feelings your people had together.
4. Create a long lasting connection to the charity
There are two strong benefits to establishing a relationship with the charity who attends your event. First, you will make a more real and long lasting difference which benefits the community. Second, your people will know that you were not just trying to buy a little good feeling from your team, but that your company really does care. Make sure to share pictures from the event, but also distribute charity info that allows people to know and understand more. Determine how you can connect further with the charity. Remind people 2, 3 or 6 months down the line about the charity. Of course, that will mean you will have to keep a connection there too, but can that be a bad thing?
Look, if you are going to invest time and money into a charity team building event, make the most of it. Continue to build past the workshop itself and your investment will continue to pay dividends.