Team building strategies often include the types of activities you should be doing, and the objectives you are focusing on, but all too often we forget to think beyond the event itself and consider how frequent team building events should be.
For some teams it can be easy to forget to schedule team building events with any type of consistency, simply because they seem to work together effortlessly. While other teams are more obviously struggling with specific issues. So the question is:
How Often Should You Do Team Building?
The plain fact of the matter is that when it comes to team building, each team is different. What works for one team won’t work for another. Your team may be struggling in a specific area and need a consistent team building schedule in order to work out specific issues. Or you may find that once a year is plenty for your close knit crew.
It really comes down to the objectives you have in mind for your team and the frequency you require those objectives to be reached or reiterated.
Some common reasons include:
- Integrating a new team member.
- Merging two departments or groups together to form a new team.
- Working on a specific issue, like communication or innovation.
Whatever the case may be, it is important to know exactly what you are hoping to accomplish before you plan your event. And the more often you have new hires, the more often you may need to hold team building events.
Once you’ve selected a clear objective for your event, there are still a few basic principles to follow when it comes to choosing a time for your event.
Schedule Around Busy Seasons
Typically every business has a busy season where the workload increases, as does the level of stress in the office. Obviously you shouldn’t add to your team’s load with a team building event, but you may find that having a team building event right before the busy season helps energize the team and get them geared up and on the same page to conquer the busy period.
For some teams it may be better to schedule an event for after the busy season has passed. Though it may be more appropriate to have a more relaxed group outing to help the team decompress.
Choose the Right Day of the Week
When scheduling a specific day of the week to get your team together, it is important to be aware of what days of the week are the busiest. Monday is most likely a poor choice because many people use Monday to set themselves up for success during the rest of the week. A mandatory event scheduled on Monday can end up throwing off the productivity of the rest of the week.
A better option might be Wednesday or Thursday which present good opportunities to get out of the office and recharge for the rest of the week, or perhaps you want to take advantage of slow Friday’s. Whatever the case may be, give your team plenty of warning so that they can arrange their schedules and be prepared to focus on team building and not worrying about all the work back at the office.
Ask Your Team
Finally, taking a poll in the office of when they think the best time for a team building event would be might yield some interesting results. Ask your team specifically what dates and times they think would work best. Your team knows best when it comes to scheduling events that will interfere the least with productivity and allow them to focus fully on the event itself.
The best team building strategies are ones that are customized to fit your team’s unique needs. While determining the frequency of team building events is not always a simple answer, taking the time to consider what is best for the team can result in improved teamwork and unity.