Team building is an often overlooked, yet crucial management idea – this applies to Small Businesses too! Guest poster Dave Johnson gives us the real deal with a few crucial Small Business Team Building Ideas.
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Small Business Team Building Ideas – That We Often Overlook
Whether it’s a weekend-long planning session for your executive team, or whether it’s a company-wide reward for several record-breaking quarters in a row, a corporate getaway can be a wonderful opportunity. Not only can most of the expenses of the trip be written off for tax purposes, traveling together provides opportunities for team-building that many other activities can’t.
Choosing the right corporate getaway is important, however. Depending on the nature of your trip, you might want to choose a place where there’s plenty to do and see during the off hours. You might choose a destination that’s family-friendly, so your employees can bring along their broods if they wish.
Here are some tips for choosing the right corporate getaway for your company:
Choose a destination that reflects the purpose of the trip.
If a corporate getaway is limited to employees and those employees will be expected to participate in business activities during regular business hours, you’ll want to choose a destination that’s geared toward a corporate world. Depending on the size of your group, that could mean traveling to a city that has convention and meeting facilities, or it could simply mean arranging for use of your hotel’s conference room.
If there will be minimal work-related activities for your employees to engage in during the day, however, you’ll want to choose a destination with plenty to do. Try to choose a destination with a wide variety of activities; what’s exciting for one employee might be a drag for another.
Here again, if families will be accompanying employees, you’ll want to choose a destination that’s family-friendly, but that also appeals to single employees. A destination like Las Vegas, for example, offers plenty to do for families as well as individuals.
Look for a destination that provides team-building activities.
Team-building isn’t only accomplished on a ropes course out in the wilderness somewhere (although that is of course an option). Even if you’re having a four-day business session, there should still be opportunities to improve the camaraderie and cohesiveness of your group.
You can accomplish this in a couple of different ways:
- Outdoor destinations. A retreat at a remote lodge can offer team-building activities including things like whitewater rafting, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and more.
- Entertainment destinations. Simply attending an event together as a group and then enjoying some social time afterwards can help build rapport, as well. Try to choose events that are unique, that your group can’t experience on a regular basis at home. Your destination city will determine what’s available in this regard. Attending a Broadway show in Manhattan or Cirque du Solei in Las Vegas, for example, are experiences your team isn’t likely to forget anytime soon.
- Cultural destinations. This can be a destination that has to do with national culture, such as an iconic city. Alternatively, it can be one that has to do with your corporate history. For example, visiting the city where your company’s founder opened her first branch can be an excellent opportunity to instill company pride via your team-building activities.
Make the destination part of the motivation for employees to attend.
Keep in mind that, generally speaking, you can’t compel your employees to take a corporate getaway – especially if it’s not expressly for business purposes. You’re going to have those employees that are reluctant to go, for a variety of reasons.
You can help incentivize the trip by choosing the right destination. For example, you want to offer your employees the ability to feel like they’re not stuck in an office the entire time, and that they’re free of the hustle and bustle of daily work life.
You also want your employees to feel as though you’re providing them with a special experience. This goes back to the idea of having something in the destination city for everyone to enjoy.
One way to accomplish this is to get some feedback from your employees. Let them know the purpose of the trip, and give them a few destination options. While you might ultimately make a decision different from what the majority wants, it will at least help you have a feel for what destinations might motivate your employees.
No matter what destination you choose, recognize that the corporate getaway can be a massive opportunity. If you do it right, it will help improve your employees’ efficiency, help them work better together as a team, and increase their company loyalty.
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