November 30, 2008

3 Common Errors of Teambuilding Programmes

These days everybody wants to “do teambuilding” to derive the benefits for their business. But it’s very easy to get it wrong, resulting in a waste of time and money. Even worse, getting teambuilding wrong can actually result in damaging your team performance and result in key individuals leaving the business.

There are a few things you can do to ensure the exercise works for you, and a few key mistakes you want to avoid.

The most common mistakes made in teambuilding are these:

1. Not including the whole team
2. Not employing a qualified facilitator
3. Not following up when you get “home”

1 If you want to improve the performance of your team as a whole, you should include all the people whose performance you want to improve. If you leave a certain member of your team back at the office, they won’t get the benefits of the exercise which could form divides in the workforce as some members feel left out. If you are a small team and need to keep the office staffed by someone, look at running 2 events a week apart. Sure, it costs more money, but what is the cost of recruiting someone new to replace a dissatisfied person who has just left the team?

2 Spending time together as a group is helpful for team bonding, but is not enough to be called “teambuilding”. Teambuilding is a structured and facilitated process, involving a task, or tasks, that are designed to uncover people’s true skills and abilities, regardless of their workplace roles, and force the individuals to work together as a real team. To ensure that this happens you need a facilitator with the appropriate qualifications and experience.

3 Don’t treat your teambuilding event as an isolated event. The money and time your company has spent on the teambuilding exercise will be wasted if the learning gathered about your people is not put into action as you return. Did you find out that the office junior, has a flair pulling the important points out of a complex situation? Put him in charge of meeting minutes and train him on your corporate reporting protocols. Were the book-keeper and the facilities manager the pair that found the fastest route through the maze on the last day? Set them to cost planning for your intended office move now, they will probably save you time and money.

You have invested in your team by arranging your teambuilding event because you believe that your people are worth it and it will bring you results. You can make those results more likely to happen by not making these mistakes.

About the Author:

Tamsin spoke with Doug Henderson, the UK Teambuilding Expert who has developed a fun and successful London-based teambuilding programme with London RIB Voyages, the luxury fast boat tour providers. Programmes take place over 1 or 2 days on and around the Thames, with clients benefiting from easy access and minimum time for their teams to be away from work. For more info, email or use the form at

Filed under Building the Future, Developing Your People by Martin

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Empowerment – A Management ‘Must-Have’

Many managers have worked their way up in an organization and feel a close relationship with being in the thick of the work.

When they try to take a step upwards into a full management role, it makes them feel uncomfortable – as if they are not working ‘hard enough’.

So they find it hard to not  do the whole job, despite having people around them who would willingly do a bit more.

Filed under Developing Your People, Managing Me by Martin

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