4 Easy Steps to Team Building: Turn Your Office Into a Community
To achieve success, we have found that unity among our team members is more critical than anything. Ever since the first days at Power Digital, we have made it our top priority to develop a sense of community within our company. Our team has done this through internal team building initiatives as well as by bringing in outside experts and companies that specialize in team building to support us and facilitate connectivity and growth.
We believe that creating a strong bond between team members leads to more a collaborative environment that puts the focus on creativity, productivity, and communication across departments and business units. This bond is a catalyst to our success and was a huge driver in earning us San Diego’s #2 Fastest Growing Company in 2016 while also scoring in top 10 for healthiest and best places to work. It is hard to scale revenue and headcount at a rapid rate and maintain culture and cohesiveness and investing in team building is critical to this.
Our goal is to empower our employees to not only strive to succeed in our company, but to also fully develop into well-rounded individuals and business people that can adapt to any work environment. We believe that team unity facilitates friendships and leads to higher employee retention, a major leg up in recruitment, and mutual respect between all levels of team members and management.
Below are some tips that we have learned through trial and error as we invested in team building within our company. We hope they help you deploy these programs in your organizations. The key is to start somewhere and see what how your team responds and iterate on your strategy as you go.
Don’t Forget To Stay Diverse
Power Digital focuses on a broad range of activities for our team building exercises. For us, creativity is of the utmost importance when planning our events. While everyone loves when we plan a Friday afternoon happy hour, we also strive to provide a more in-depth and enriched experience for our team members beyond cocktails, beers, and socializing. These beneficial activities not only strengthen the overall team but also influence the positive growth of each individual.
One way we get inspiration for team building exercises is by hosting culture committee meetings and asking each individual what events they’d like to see in the next quarter. Not only does this provide us with fresh new ideas, but it also gives each employee a voice in the company and gets the team way more bought into what we are doing.
Another tool we have used in the past is to ask other business owners their strategy on team collaboration. Talking to other business owners allows us to share new approaches on improving our overall company culture. We found that we can gain great insight on improving company cohesion through other successful business owners and outside organizations. Seeing activities that has worked for other companies allows us to be as proactive and time efficient as possible when planning these events.
Take Action And Plan Fun Events
Below are a few examples of activities Power Digital has done to build strong relationships within our company and just have a blast as a team. These exercises encourage the entire office to work together when dealing with our clients. Any kind of team building we have done in the past has positively influenced the relationships within our company, which has lead to a happy, creative, and collaborative working environment.
This outing was a great success for us because it created a friendly competition among the colleagues with an activity that many individuals had never done before. This casual setting was beneficial to facilitate personal interactions outside of a standard work environment, while having some fun in the process.
Day at The Bay
This is an excellent example of an activity that doesn’t have to break the bank. Incorporating team building exercises can be as cost efficient as needed. Something as simple as planning a day at the bay was a relaxing activity where everyone wanted to participate. This just goes to show that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have an effective team bonding experience.
If you want to start incorporating team building into a group or organization, a great way to do this is by introducing an easy and laid-back gathering such as a day at the beach or bay. (Tip: Plan this on a Friday and head out of the office early to reward your team for a great week and capitalize on sunshine).
Bringing in outside speakers within your industry can be a very beneficial learning experience for the entire team. This helps our young staff acquire a greater understanding of all our digital marketing departments, which allows for our team to proactively do their work with the rest of the team in mind. We believe it is imperative for our staff to constantly be learning and understanding this rapid forward-moving industry to further their individual skill set.
We have found that many companies are more than willing to come in and give our team a lesson in their specialized field. Power Digital has sent our own representatives to other companies to discuss the importance of digital marketing in specified areas. Collaborating with other organizations through guest speakers provides useful knowledge to each participating company.
For this event, we created small groups made up of individuals from different departments within our company. This friendly competition encouraged everyone to get to know each other no matter what department they work for. Having all the different departments mixed up and working together creates a more cohesive working environment that enhances communication between the entire office.
Take a Coworker to Lunch Day
For this easy activity, we had all the employees draw a name out of a hat from a different department. It is important for us to promote to our team that unity is part of our foundation at Power Digital Marketing. That is why we want our entire team to socialize together in any way possible, even if it’s on their daily lunch break.
Office Olympics is always a major hit and success. It creates an atmosphere where teams compete and cheer for each other and we purposely select teams that are cross departmental so that employees that don’t work super close with each other on a day-to-day basis are rooting for each other and competing and building that bond.
Some of the other events that we have done include a 3 legged race, a ping-pong tournament, a spelling bee, trivia questions, Horse (as in the Basketball game), a Bazooka Bubble gum blowing contest, and many more. It’s fun to get a bit goofy with the events and put something cool on the line for the winning team. We have come up with cool prizes such as the most premium seat in the office, front and center parking spots in the parking structure and trophies.
Turn To The Pros
For our smaller scale team building exercises, we have a committee within the office that organizes these events. However, some of our most beneficial activities have been when we brought in an outside company that specifically specializes in team building. One business that has enhanced our company culture in an influential way is called Positive Adventures.
Positive Adventures is a local San Diego company that excels at building a stronger and more integrated team through professionally organized team building events. They also motivate each individual to strive to be the best version of themselves in and outside of work, which has proven to strengthen our company as a whole. They achieve this by organizing activities and games that enhance the communication between a group or organization.
Some of the larger companies that they have worked with in the past are Nike, Coca Cola, and Kaiser Permanente. Positive Adventures is unique because they offer custom programs for any size company to cater specifically to each individual client. Their data driven strategies bond teams to create a more productive and positive working environment.
The activity Positive Adventures organized for us was a guacamole and margarita making contest. The entire office was divided into different teams that had to work together to create the best guacamole and margaritas they could in a limited amount of time.
Each team was given the same amount of ingredients but had the opportunity to win more ingredients by correctly answering trivia questions. Finally, Positive Adventure organizer acted as a judge and voted on the team with the best Margaritas and guacamole. This engaging activity got the entire team participating in a fun and collaborative way. Plus, who doesn’t love homemade guac and margs?
No matter the size of the company, every team can benefit from making it a priority to strengthen the relationships within their office. This can be done in a range of different ways. For companies who are just starting to incorporate team building into their work environment, a simple and cost efficient activity can easily be implemented to improve your company culture. If you want to bring in the new year with a stronger initiative to improve the overall work environment, try organizing a company program through an outside service like Positive Adventures.
Outside organizations use their specialized knowledge to cater to each individual client to develop a unique plan to unite a team. At Power Digital Marketing, our goal since day one was to hold a high emphasis on our relationships within the office. Having a strong and united company culture has provided a positive work environment, fostered relationships, and guided or team to excel in the field of digital marketing. This year San Diego Business Journal named us as the second fastest growing company in San Diego. Coincidence? I think not.