Every workplace needs a break from time to time. If you’ve ever been tasked with putting together the proposal or taken the initiative to get the ball rolling, you’ll know that the boss has a million questions before they sign off.
You can save time and avoid the headaches by getting a head start on the important questions that inevitably arise with group events, especially when the company is footing the bill.
Answer these five unknowns, and your boss will have no reason to waffle and every reason to enthusiastically approve the office’s next team building activity.
Why Do We Need It?
If you can’t muster a response to this basic question, your proposal is DOA, and your boss might not give you a second chance to convince them. Don’t overlook this critical question.
Most managers and department heads already know the importance of engaged employees; be prepared to support why a certain team building activity will open up lines of communication and improve productivity, and lead to a more engaged workplace. Author Simon Sinek puts it perfectly: “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”
How Does This Align With Our Company Goals?
Following closely in hand with “Why do we need it?”, elevate your proposal a step further by answering the question your boss didn’t even know to ask. It’s like doing a little unprompted extra credit in school. Research shows only 4 in 10 people know what their company stands for and less than 50% feel connected to their organization’s mission.
Company goals naturally run parallel with an overall mission statement in the form of more tangible objectives, and objectives require production. 70% of business executives say embracing the company mission boosts employee productivity ‘to a great extent’; connecting these first two questions is critically important, not only for your team building activity to be approved but for the overall success of your company.
Will This Do More Harm Than Good?
Not everybody looks forward to having attention drawn to themselves, with some people actively fearing the embarrassment and humiliation of stereotypical team building activities. Coworkers with health limitations, introverted personalities, etc. should be kept at the forefront of every group event planning to ensure their inclusion.
Group meals and after-hours socializing don’t quite meet the bar for quality team building; additionally, while you may be a great golfer, there are likely more than a few who have never even swung a club. Remember, the purpose of team building is to do just that: build your team UP!
How Much Is This Going To Cost?
Team building activities come in all shapes and sizes, with price tags ranging from free to luxury. Many free or minimal cost activities revolve around office competitions and role-playing scenarios which have a negative connotation across most employees as gimmicky and even condescending.
Looking outside the workplace setting, costs start to rise, so it is important to focus on inclusive activities everyone can enjoy. If this is your first team building activity, look for a shorter (read: less expensive) experience than an all-day retreat. If an office lunch is a monthly or quarterly expense already, an off-site activity which includes a meal doesn’t have to eat into the budget much at all.
What Is The Expected ROI?
Companies with engaged employees see 2.5X more revenue than companies with disengaged employees, proving the financial benefit of investing in employee engagement. Shorter term benefits of team building may fade over time if done in a one-off event.
Looking over the long term, increased engagement and productivity can go a long way to bolstering the bottom line. Check out this ROI calculator from the folks at Office Vibe to see how a consistent focus on employee engagement affects your company’s revenue.
Now Go Ask Your Boss
New experiences can lead to new break-throughs. No matter what the experts say, there’s no exact science in the most effective team building since there’s so many variables.
As with many aspects of business, you have to test a hypothesis and evaluate results. Now that you’re equipped with answers to questions, go get that budget approval for your next team building activity.
If we see you here at Laser Flash, we’ll know how your boss responded.