As Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group, a leading workforce solutions firm serving clients globally, I’ve always believed in the power of team-building events and have invested significantly in them.
In the early years of our company, we centered our team-building events around fun social activities, like bowling, go-kart racing, and escape rooms. But over the years, as more of our associates started their own families and had fewer after-work hours available, we had to become more intentional about our company events, making sure that they always provide real value to our team.
Today, Pinnacle Group’s corporate team is spread across 15 states and 5 countries (and counting), and there is a real need to create connection and trust between our associates. Team-building events offer a perfect opportunity to do that.
However, organizing meaningful and engaging company events is not easy. And if too many employees decide to skip the event, it can feel like a failure. This often happens when companies organize single firm-wide activities that only a specific group of employees would enjoy.
To avoid this and make sure that all participants connect with the activity, I recommend creating smaller events for specific cross-functional teams that can engage in the activities they enjoy. At Pinnacle, we hold company-wide events at least three or four times per year. We’ve done everything from painting, to cooking classes, to dodgeball, to golf, etc.
Our secret to having high engagement and positive feedback for those events lies in making sure that all of them have these four components:
To be effective at serving its purpose, your corporate event must include appropriate messaging that reflects your company values. To help develop your event messaging, ask yourself these three questions: What is the purpose behind my event? What message do I want my employees to walk away with? How am I going to convey that message?
Stick to one or two messages per event and keep them simple and memorable.
It never hurts to mix some learning into your fun team-building activities. One of the best ways to do this is through gamification, which is the application of the typical elements of game playing to non-game activities. This trend has gained momentum in recent years as more and more companies began to realize the benefits gamification can bring to corporate learning. Such learning activities often incorporate elements of competition, feedback, and rewards to keep employees entertained, engaged, and committed to a successful outcome.
Try to experiment and introduce gamified training to your next corporate event.
Connection between the members of your team is extremely important to the success of your business. However, connection-building activities often get a bad rap. That’s because when most people think of such activities, they imagine awkward icebreaker games or trust falls into their coworkers’ arms. But there is much more to quality connection-building activities than that. In fact, if done right, they can be very creative and entertaining. Connection-building activities allow your team to get to know each other, establish better communication across departments, encourage teamwork and collaboration, and improve overall morale and engagement.
Do a little research online, and you’ll find a variety of creative new ideas to take your team-building exercises to the next level.
Finally, your corporate event will be a missed opportunity if it doesn’t celebrate your team and company culture. Some of the ways you can do this include recognizing work anniversaries, milestones, successful completion of projects, and other events (both professional and personal) that are meaningful to your employees. Sharing positive stories about co-workers and the company is what takes your corporate culture from an abstract idea to a living and breathing ecosystem.
Make sure to utilize company events to remind your team that their work truly matters and demonstrate how it moves the organization forward.
So, ditch the old trust falls and try to incorporate these four elements into your next event. You will find that with the right approach, team-building events can become a powerful tool for fostering a thriving culture and creating meaningful connections between the members of your team.