Start off on the right foot when creating a team, so they’ll work well together. We discuss how to choose the right people and establish a team centric environment in the workplace.
Perhaps you’ve been tasked with creating an entirely new team for an exciting project, or maybe your old team has left, and you have to start afresh. While this may seem daunting, especially if you are still dealing with the repercussions of the previous team’s departure, it’s a unique opportunity to jumpstart a better working environment and establish a team that will thrive.
Building a new team is an opportunity to reassess the direction of the business and the type of skills you need to find to help it achieve success. You will have learnt from your experiences with the last team and should have a much better understanding of the challenges this new team might face, and the characteristics and skillset they will need to overcome them. We have found that these useful suggestions for team building will ensure your new hires have what it takes to drive your company forward.
Why do teams fall apart?
With hindsight, it’s easy to see the warning signs that were missed before the old dream team fell apart. These include signs such as lowered motivation, missed deadlines, and frequent absenteeism. It’s important to reflect on these issues, as any problems which occurred in the past have the potential to pop up again if you don’t deal with the root cause.
There’s an old trope which contains a kernel of truth. “People don’t quit companies, they quit bosses”. Bad management with an ineffective or undesirable leadership style is a common reason for employees leaving a company. This often occurs after introducing new managers, but the departure of a good leader can have the same effect.
During a merger or acquisition, the possibility of a mass exodus increases again. Due not only to new management but also reorganization and fear of layoffs, mergers tend to trigger an excessive employee turnover. This can leave the organization short-handed of people who understand the smaller company’s procedures, objectives and clients.
Changing responsibilities, whether that means additional work, assignment to a different office, the implementation of new technology which removes workers from their comfort zone or a return-to-office mandate, can also have a similar effect.
Regardless of the reason you need to build a new team, these suggestions offer insights into what makes a dream team click and teach you how to build a team that succeeds, from scratch.
Fight your instincts
When hiring new employees, it can be easy to stick to what you know. You may be tempted to hire staff with similar opinions, backgrounds, and education to you. Perhaps you’ve even found yourself looking for carbon copies of the team that just left, because you suspect that familiar is usually better.
Fight against this impulse. If you want to build a team that can solve problems effectively and move the company towards a brighter future, variety is your friend. Build a diverse team that values inclusivity and differences, and you’ll find they have better ideas, multiple perspectives on how to solve a problem, and the ability to play off each other’s different strengths.
A team composed of five versions of the same person is only as useful as that one person would be on their own, supposing the team is required to think and problem-solve. Bring in a team composed of five people from entirely different backgrounds, with a range of work and life experiences, and you’ll find that not only does your team have balance, it has all the combined skills it needs to get the job done.
Encourage open communication
Once you have collected diverse brains with the potential to make your company thrive, start encouraging openness and communication from day one. Teams with a better understanding of each other’s lives, desires, and pet peeves have a better chance of communicating effectively when they hit a stumbling block and, ultimately, of finding success.
This can be boiled down to one key statement. Make your new team members feel as if they can be themselves. Encourage this by giving your team the opportunity to talk, laugh, and tell each other stories.
That’s why we recommend starting with the ice-breaking game “Two Truths and a Lie.” During this game, each participant must present two truths and one lie about themselves, and the rest of the team must guess which statement is a lie. This game encourages humour and connection, and can help employees feel more comfortable sharing what they have overcome or achieved.
Keep the team together
Now that your dream team are communicating transparently and with trust, don’t assume everything will stay the same. You need to keep your team working well together and maintain good relations, and keep an eye out for any of the warning signs you missed before.
Avoid your employees becoming reserved and withdrawn, and keep motivation, enthusiasm and work quality up by prioritizing a commitment to the team’s health. One of the easiest ways to ensure your team stays on top form is to hold regular team building activities, where strong relationships can be forged, and any animosity dealt with productively.
Engage them with motivational events such as the old-school sports day (complete with skipping and sack races), orienteering challenges or iPad film making. Even host your very own version of The Apprentice. White Rhino’s impressive selection of team building activities encourage communication, interaction outside the office, and friendly competition.
Think outside of the treasure chest
Our exciting team building treasure hunts are among our best suggestions for team building days out. Teams will explore the local area looking for magical items on the endlessly entertaining Escape the Dark Curse Treasure Hunt, collecting the parts they need to repair their crashed spaceship with Space Survival Treasure Hunt.
To find out more, visit our corporate treasure hunts page