Bettering workplace culture through team building
Most of us are inclined to withdraw when we are invited to participate in team building. At face value, it can be hard to understand the value of these game-like exercises, that often feel competitive and ultimately display our vulnerabilities. With so much to do and so little time, why would any of us incorporate this into our workplaces?
At a time when finding employees can be challenging and retaining the best is critical, you may be reluctant to spend any energy in this direction, but it just may be one of the most valuable investments you can make.
Scott Snow, owner of 4 Your Car Connection (4YCC), has been holding an annual retreat for his employees for two years. This mandatory exercise each fall, while his business closes for two days, includes time for several team building games. Scott shares that he has always found it important to recognize and reward employees for their commitment at work, but this has evolved over the years. With the goal of having a very highly engaged team, he plans monthly dinners and other getaways, encouraging staff to get to know each other better and to provide him with feedback.
Reacting to the challenges of the pandemic workforce, 4 Your Car Connection has been very intentional in finding ways to strengthen employee relationships. At their retreat in September, held at Chautauqua Lake, staff participated in several team building activities. Liz Amendola, the Manager of the Service Department at 4YCC, said she believes team building creates better collaboration across the company. “It was really nice to get to know my co-workers better in a relaxed setting,” she said.
Leadership Venango, the Chamber’s leadership program, begins each year with an overnight retreat. Among the activities included are personality profiling and team building, preparing participants for their nine months together as evolving leaders. They learn about their different communication and leadership styles and the importance of collaboration, and often identify hidden strengths and talents.
How can you incorporate team building into the culture of your business and who should participate? Most importantly, EVERYONE should participate.
During the Leadership Venango retreat, the staff of Whitehall Camp and Conference Center lead the class through a low ropes course team building session that included three activities. In the past, we have included games that could be easily done in the office or in a small outside area. A quick search of the internet will yield many ideas for team building, but if you’d like to get started, you can contact the Chamber and we’ll share some of our favorites or introduce you to those who can facilitate team building for you.
This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s October 2021 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.