It’s a common scenario: you’ve tried a variety of team building ideas and techniques — from retreats, to assessments, even fun teambuilding activities — but you’ve found it difficult to sustain team motivation and cohesiveness.
You’re not alone, this happens to many team leaders, but it’s a problem that can be overcome by creating and implementing an action plan for team building.
Why Create an Action Plan for Team Building?
As with any initiative, a little planning goes a long way to ensuring success. By creating an action plan for team building, leaders can ensure that their team building activities create a lasting effect on team motivation, productivity and effectiveness.
A well-designed action plan will ensure your team building efforts work and have a lasting impact on your team’s success. Whether you hire a professional team building consultant or conduct team building activities yourself, a team building action plan will help you prepare for team building events and will provide the needed support and follow-up to ensure your success.
Steps in Creating an Action Plan for Team Building
Step 1: Decide why you want to do team building
Think about the purpose of your team building activity. What are your reasons for bringing the team together? Do you want to:
- Address a team deficiency?
- Improve the team’s communication and team dynamics?
- Boost team innovation and creativity?
- Help the team strengthen work relationships?
- Discuss and resolve a particular team conflict?
- Recognize your team by celebrating a team achievement?
By deciding upon a goal before you choose your team building method, you will increase the likelihood that the team building activity gives you the result you are looking for.
Step 2: Determine the best team building approach based on the goal
There are a variety of team building activities and ideas available depending on what you are aiming to achieve:
- Team communication assessments and workshops can enhance team communications, strengthen understanding of personality styles and enhance the team’s ability to manage and resolve conflict.
- Team building activities and games can boost creativity and innovation and strengthen relationships among team members.
- Team celebrations are excellent opportunities to recognize and reward team milestones and achievements.
- Team building programs and retreats can help the team to examine and enhance its effectiveness and can result in concrete action plans to improve the team’s effectiveness.
Most of these team building activities can be conducted by team leaders or by using other resources in the organization. Team members can even lead some of them. There are many easy-to-use resources available that can assist you in selecting the right team building activity.
Step 3: Communicate the purpose of the team building activity to the team
By explaining to your team the reason for the team building activity and the goals you hope to achieve, you will increase the likelihood that the team building effort will be successful.
This vital step of creating an action plan for team building will focus every member of the team on the objective and ensure that they understand what the team is trying to achieve.
When team members understand what is expected, they are more likely to participate actively and contribute to the process.
Step 4: Identify follow-up steps to ensure the team building goal is achieved
Follow-up with the team once the activity is over to sustain the team building outcomes that result. Conduct a simple evaluation to gather feedback from the team on the effectiveness of the team building activity and how it has helped them to achieve the team building goal.
Act quickly to implement any actions that were agreed upon in the team building activity and stay in the team building conversation to keep everyone focused on team collaboration and effectiveness.
While this step is the measure to ensure that the team building activity had a positive and meaningful impact on the team’s success, it is often the step that is given the least attention. By completing this step you show the team your commitment to ensuring they succeed.
By implementing these four simple steps, you will create an easy-to-implement action plan for team building that will improve the effectiveness and success of your team.