While the types of activities used during team building exercises will go a long way to determining their effectiveness, timing will play a significant role as well. If you go too long between team building events, you can lose the cohesion of the group and have to rebuild from the ground up. Alternatively, if you use team building exercises too frequently, they can lose their impact, resulting in people not taking them seriously enough to benefit from them. In the end, it is critical to get the timing right. The key to this is in realizing that circumstances, rather than time itself, can help to determine when to engage in team building exercises. Once you know, the circumstances to look for and then choosing the time for your events becomes a no-brainer.
When to Perform Team Building Exercise
One of the most beneficial times to perform team building exercises is during the orientation of new employees. Everyone knows that starting a new job can be overwhelming and stressful. Thus, creating a more playful environment where new members of your team can work off their nervous energy in a fun and competitive way can go a long way to calming their nerves. Additionally, these types of activities will help people to form friendships right from the start. Even if these new friends don’t wind up working in the same department, they will still feel better knowing that they have a friend somewhere in the building. This also makes the orientation process less boring than it has to be. Running around on a scavenger hunt will help keep the blood flowing and thus, help your new people to pay better attention when you share important information with them later in the day.
Another excellent time for team building exercises is during a stressful time of year. In retail, the hardest time of year is what is known as the fourth quarter. This is the three month period that incorporates Black Friday and Christmas in many countries. Choosing to take your team out for a fun day of team building exercises before this period begins is a good way to rejuvenate their spirits for the challenging time ahead. Additionally, this will give them a good atmosphere in which to work off their anxious energy. Everyone knows how hard things are about to get, so blowing off some steam can go a long way to calming nerves and improving morale overall.
Sometimes companies or departments go through changes that result in the merging or swapping of personnel. This results in a situation that is unique as it creates a new working environment despite the fact that none of the employees are actually new. Taking this time to implement team building will help to integrate the incoming employees with those already in the department. The key here is to divide teams in a way that evenly distributes the incoming staff with those already in the department, thus preventing the sense of division between the newbies and the veterans. Done right, these team building exercises will help form new bonds which will ensure that any restructuring unfolds quickly and smoothly.