Team building initiatives can be a key component of planning for long term success. Just like a budget process, it’s a framework that can keep an organization on task and move forward toward organizational goals, especially those centered on soft skills.
Establishing a Schedule of Team Building Initiatives
Long-range planning begins with a thoughtful and thorough assessment of staff skills and abilities. When coupled with a tandem assessment of company needs, it becomes easier to lay out a schedule of programming that addresses the most acute issues, and then builds on that foundation. A skilled outside facilitator can use his or her expertise to assist in developing a series of events that makes sense in terms of flow. His or her expertise can also be crucial in planning the kind of customized, hands-on activities that generate results, instead of easily-forgettable games.
For example, let’s say a company is set to undergo significant change – perhaps downsizing or a merger of multiple locations. In this case, it may be best to work with an outside pro to come up with tiered team building programs that are hosted over the course of several months. The first program can be geared toward upper management staff, giving them the freedom and security to address high-level issues and concerns with candor. Subsequent programs can be expanded to all-hands meetings that advance progress toward goals laid out by management in that first meeting.
Working with a Team Building Professional
Here’s where working with a team building pro becomes especially valuable. It can be difficult to keep long-range goals in mind during the best of times, where it’s easy to get off course just taking care of daily tasks. An outside leader can require accountability in a way that minimizes the potential for interpersonal conflict, which can sometimes arise when long-term initiatives are planned and carried out in-house.
Eliminating the stress of planning and carrying out company-wide development programs in-house also frees up upper management and human resources staff. An outside leader allows these employees to work side-by-side with their coworkers in hands-on activities, and gain those same benefits as all other staff.
The advantages of working with an impartial program leader include honest feedback about when revisions to the planned program framework may be necessary. The program facilitator may observe scenarios where there’s a key area in which more attention is needed. For example, a group may be struggling with conflict resolution. In that case, perhaps the framework of team building initiatives needs to be modified, either in the timing or planned activities of the next session, and he or she can make those changes while still maintaining the integrity of the original initiative.