Event Profs Panel teambuilding Q&A with QHotels and Team Spirit

Teambuilding at Norton Park

As teambuilding season is upon us, we asked the QHotels Event Profs Panel of young event planners and bookers, their burning questions when it came to running a successful teambuilding event.

Here are their questions, answered by Chesford Grange's Senior Event Planner Sandra Balaire, and our teambuilding partner, Team Spirit, which we hope will be useful for any event professionals considering or planning their next teambuilding event.

1.      How do you demonstrate the value of running a teambuilding day to managers?

Team Spirit says:  The value of team building can be measured in a variety of ways, from initial feedback following the event, through to increased productivity or efficiency back in the workplace. If teambuilding is something that you'd like to introduce to your company then it's important to share the benefits that the day could bring with your manager, and suggestions on how it could be applied to your organisation.

Research has shown that taking part in teambuilding exercises boosts morale, improves interpersonal relationships and has a positive impact on staff retention. These positive effects can be brought back to the office by introducing simple changes such as scheduling team breaks, in larger organisations, which gives employees the chance to continue getting to know each other.

 

2.      How do you measure productivity after an event and where do you get your testimonials from and - are clients happy to give you their feedback?

Senior Event Planner, Sandra Balaire, says:  Ask your managers what they would like to achieve from the day, for example it could be that they wish to improve productivity or leave with a more connected team. Depending on your objectives, we can then advise on how best to measure outcomes. For some of our clients, this is comparing before and after surveys from your staff or using software you already have in place, for example timesheets and project completion timings.

Honest feedback is extremely important and we generally find that clients are happy to provide this, so all of our testimonials are from real events and customers. This also allows us to look at what they did achieve compared to what they wanted to achieve, which in turn informs the team on how we can evolve and continuously improve our offering to suit our corporate clients.   

 

3.       What are the main benefits of internal teambuilding and what types of activities would you suggest for a range of ages and job roles?

Team Spirit says: As an organisation, you want your team to work together to achieve a common goal. It's easy to assume that when the team works in the same office, interacting regularly, that this will happen naturally, but that's not always the case which is why it's worth investing in. 

The main benefits of internal teambuilding are increased productivity, building interpersonal relationships and improved team communication. In the office you'll typically find that individuals that look forward to coming into work, and teams that understand each other's strengths and use that information to support one another.

In terms of activities, if you've got a mixed group, we find that a task with a variety of different roles works really well. It gives individuals the chance to choose a role that they're most suited to but also pushes people of their usual team or office role. For mixed groups we can recommend a variety of activities, depending on the objectives. Activities such as Bridge The Gap, Accumulator or Back to School are great indoor options, whilst games like Outside Influence, It's a Knockout or Charity Challenge work really well in an outdoor space.

 

4.      What is the single most important element to running a successful teambuilding event? Location? The staff? Mood? Weather? 

Senior Event Planner, Sandra Balaire, says: As with any event, a whole host of elements need to be considered to ensure its success. Finding a location that works for you and your team is really important. Consider where your delegates are travelling from and if they need accommodation, as well as the activities you'll be doing and how that impacts the space you'll need. The logistics of the event will impact the effectiveness and enjoyment of the whole day for your delegates.

Team Spirit says: Choose a venue with teambuilding experts who know the site inside out, and who can work with you prior to the event to suggest relevant activities for your objectives and group demographic. On the day, your activity leader will work with the mood of the group and respond appropriately to influence the progression of the day. 

When it comes to avoiding potential weather issues, summer often springs to mind, but you don't need good weather for a successful teambuilding day. A venue experienced in these types of events will have a contingency plan in place, saving you any last minute panics.

 

5.      With teams working on a global scale or remotely - how do you organise teambuilding exercises and events which get the whole team together/virtually?

Team Spirit says:Ideally, having your team physically in one place will help them to get the most out of teambuilding. The direct interaction tends to enhance the connections made.

If you have a team that works remotely then we would suggest something that engages staff in the long term. For example, you could provide employees with a fitness tracker so teams can compete, exchange pictures and encourage each other to take part in the challenge. Combining this activity with a reward will motivate employees to take part and connect with each other.

 

6.      Some of our delegates work in non-client facing roles and are often reserved on incentive trips as it is a little out of their comfort zone. How would you suggest we go about choosing a teambuilding activity? What should we take into consideration? 

Senior Event Planner, Sandra Balaire, says:  When choosing your activity, bear in mind the demographic of the group and individual personalities. To help you identify activities that your group might enjoy, take a look at our 'seven delegate personality types' guide to get you thinking about what personality types make up your group, and for some tips on the types of people to pair together.

Team Spirit says:If your group has a mixture of personalities we can suggest activities that work for everyone. For example, our Moviedrome activity means that there are roles suited to those who like to be in front of the camera, as well as behind the scenes or script writing roles for those who prefer that.

 

 7.       For incentive events, how would you suggest we gel the group when they're spending three days together and they're from different countries, often with a language barrier?

Team Spirit says: Start with a warm-up exercise or energiser to ease people into the trip. We find that it's a good idea to have a number of these planned in for the duration of the trip to keep up morale and further bond the group. 

Simple games such as 'This or That' will suit groups with language barriers. This is where delegates are given a series of questions and the answers are assigned to different parts of the room. Delegates then move to the side of the room that has been assigned to their preferred answer. These types of activities get people interacting easily and you'll find that the group starts to bond after a quick and easy exercise that will break down those initial barriers. 

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