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Tag Archives: Team building

Building Work Teams That are Successful

 

Most every job in every place of employment stresses the idea of team work. They discuss building teams and working in teams. But discussing and doing are two different things. There are actually not many people who really understand how to develop an effective work team. In order to do so there are a few good tips you should follow in order to be successful in team building. This is a very important aspect in many different businesses and fields so learn all that you can to stay on top of your game.

Tip 1: Make your expectations clearly understood. Ask yourself the following questions: does each member of my team know what is expected of them? Do they know exactly why the team was built in the first place? If the answer is no then you have not done a very good job of team building. Before anything else can happen the way it should, each team member must know exactly why they are there and what they are to do for the team and the company. If they do not, it is well past time to sit them down and have a serious discussion about these things. Until you do the team will be nothing but a figurehead that has no specific reason for being.

Tip 2: Assess the competence of your team. Do you feel that each team member is participating appropriately? Do they have the experience and knowledge to successfully contribute to the team as a whole? Do they have access to everything they could possibly need to get the work done that the team was created to do? All of these things are vital to the success of your team. It must be built upon competence.

Tip 3: Empowerment and freedom are both important aspects to team building and team work. What are the boundaries of each team member? What is the extent of their power to find solutions? If there are any sort of limitations they should be set forth at the very beginning of the team building process so that there is no confusion in the future. Giving too much freedom and empowerment will not go over well in the end, but giving too little will stifle the team members who will not be happy in their work or their place.

Tip 4: Collaboration is also important when it comes to working well as a team. Without it there will be no real team work happening. Each member must know and understand what their individual role is so there is no confusion. There must be a recorder so all information during meetings is lost of forgotten. This person is the minute taker. If money is involved there must be a treasurer installed. The process of problem solving should also be well thought out and executed by all team members equally.

By following these tips you will find it easier to hand pick the best ones for your team and have a team that is on board with the entire group with the success of the company at the heart of everything.

Simon Johnson is a team building (interesting to know is that the Danish term is teambuilding) expert, sharing his great tips online and currently working for a Danish coaching company – Attractor.

 

 

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Why Dogs Can Be A Workplace’s Best Friend

 

We all work harder than ever these days – with longer hours becoming ever more common. And there’s not always a pay rise to look forward to at the end of the year either!  Just one more reason people get stressed in the workplace. Combating that stress isn’t easy. But recent research has shown that having dogs in the workplace can make a big difference to the health and mood of staff.

That may sound surprising to some, but the fact is, putting a pooch in the workplace (especially an office environment) is a strategy based on sound science. And here are just a few reasons why.

Increasing the feel-good factor

One of the main ways to combat stress is to encourage the release of endorphins – our body’s natural feel-good chemicals.  Research in the US has shown that stroking a pet (particularly a cat or dog) can trigger for this process. Some zoologists believe that’s because it taps into a primal need to act out ancient grooming rituals.  What is known for sure is that increased endorphins can reduce anxiety and – as a result – act as preventative measure against all too common stress-related illnesses such as heart attack and stroke. Which should give anyone paws for thought!

A welcome distraction from the grind

We all know how easy it is to get immersed in work and miss out on breaks or a proper lunch. The trouble is, while it may mean hitting that deadline or target, it can mean hitting your health too. Tired, tight muscles or strained eyes are not good for anyone’s productivity levels. Having a dog on hand means an extra incentive and focus for a well-earned break from the day-to-day grind.

Mood-enhancing and team building

It’s remarkable to think that many major organisations still spend silly money on elaborate team-building exercises. If only they’d discovered how much man’s best friend can influence how work colleagues get on. Studies have shown that with a dog in the workplace, the collective mood is enhanced and people are more inclined to co-operate to get the best result for the ‘team’.

But, some things to bear in mind…

So, dogs in the workplace: a good thing? Well, there is strong evidence to show it offer real benefits. But remember, some breeds work better than others (quiet calm types of dog work best!). And of course, practically, you need to make provision for the animal’s food, water and toilet requirements.

David Grieves knows a lot about dogs because he has been the proud owner of a golden retriever for years and regularly takes his dog to work. David work dealing with car accident compensation claims in Glasgow.

 

 

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4 of the Best Ice-Breaking, Team Building and Problem Solving Activities

 

To some employees the words ‘team-building activities’ can bring on a sense of dread. When organised properly, with the good of the employees as a central focus, these days can be a great way to build a good team at work and get to know your peers in a different context.

Here I will suggest a few ideas that can make your team building day a beneficial one, not just one of the dozens they’ve attended before.

To keep your group engaged you need activities that really require thinking and active discussions between team members.

Ideally, for half a day, you’d have 2 ice-breakers, one team-building, and one problem solving activity. So here are the four best activities to provide you with an ideal agenda for a team building session.

Icebreaking

  1. Two Truths and a Lie

This is a great ice-breaking exercise for groups who aren’t familiar with each other – so ideal for conferences.

Simply get each team member to write down two truths and a lie about themselves, and then share the 3 statements with each other. The aim of the game is to work out which statement is false, whilst learning a bit about everyone in the group – but only reveal the false statement once everyone has taken a guess!

2. The Classification Game

This is a great game to break the ice both in situations where participants know each other well, and where they don’t know each other at all.

Break the team down into small groups, and give them 10 minutes to find out all they can about each other. Then ask every group to come up with three “categories” that describe each person within the team – without being negative, discriminatory or prejudicial – for example, someone could be a “sci-fi fan”, a “toffee popcorn lover”, and a “Twitter addict”. This shows how every person has more to them than meets the eye, and gets everyone to open up.

Team Building

3. The Shipwrecked Game

This exercise gets down to the nitty gritty of team-building – it gets people to voice their opinions, argue their points and come to compromises.

Split your group up into teams of 4-10. Give the teams the scenario that they are about to be shipwrecked on a desert island, and can chose 10 items to take with them. Give them a time limit of 15 minutes, and let them debate!

Problem Solving

4. Toxic Waste Dump

This activity takes a little setting up, but is ideal for really getting people to work together to problem solve.

You will need a bucket filled with water or tennis balls (I would recommend only using water outside), a larger bucket, 8 x 2.5m lengths of cord, 1 x 4m length of rope and a bungee cord loop.

Place the bucket in the middle of the room, and map out a circle around it with the rope, and place the larger bucket about 3m away from the circle. The bucket with balls/water represents a container of “toxic waste” and the circle around it represents the “contamination zone”.

The aim of the game is for the team to move the toxic waste into the larger “toxic waste neutralising” bucket within 30 minutes – but only using the 8 cords and the bungee loop. If they enter the contamination zone they will suffer severe injury, and if they spill the contents of the bucket, or do not complete the task, the world will be destroyed!

These exercises are actually a really great way to get to know your team, build trust between you and establish a working bond. When organising one of these events, plan ahead.

Planning a team building session isn’t easy – you’ll need to make sure you’ve sorted your meeting room hire, and you’ll need around four main activities, and no one wants to be the person who suggests, for the hundredth time, to do the Trust Lean!

Any team building fails you would like to share?

James Duval is blogging genius with a flair for IT, business and education. He blogs for Keele Conference.

 

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Reduce Stress Levels at Work and Unlock Employee Potential

Experts agree that work related stress is detrimental to an individual’s health and in turn, unhealthy workers can negatively affect the productivity of a company. Thus it is in the best interest of employers to implement creative and sustainable solutions to reduce stress at work. Not only will it ensure that workers are healthy and performing to the best of their abilities, but boost staff morale as well. Unfortunately the weak economic climate has meant that more companies have had to lay off staff, creating more pressure with an even larger workload on existing employees. There are a few simple and cost-effective methods that can be implemented by employers to reduce stress and anxiety at work. If well-executed in a genuine manner, these methods could actively engage employees, improve their health in the workplace and reduce stress-related illnesses and absenteeism.

Understanding Stress to Reduce Stress

First of all, it is important to understand that there are two types of work related stress. The first is a physical stress on the body, which is common in office jobs where people are given too many tasks to complete in a short space of time. The second type of stress occurs when an employee feels like their hard work is going unnoticed; they feel unappreciated and isolated from the workplace and peers. This kind of situation often leads to feelings of apathy. Both forms of stress result in the release of two kinds of hormones, namely adrenaline and cortisol. A body with hormones out of balance experiences unnecessary strain on the cardiovascular system, leading to common illnesses such as cold and flu to more serious conditions like heart disease.

How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety at Work

As an employer or manager, it is vitally important to acknowledge that everyone feels pressure and stress at certain times. Do not treat employees like cogs in the machine; if you notice that an individual is stressed take them aside and address the issue. If you recognise the human needs of a worker you are starting a process of instilling a feeling of self-worth and appreciation, which is the first step to reducing stress at work. It is also important that you acknowledge workers for any extra work or for work that they have excelled in. This positive reception will motivate them and make their tasks feel worthwhile. The workplace must provide avenues for upskilling and career advancements. Employers who feel as if they are stuck in a dead end will feel uninspired or even apathetic. Thus a simple and effective way to reduce stress at work is to encourage workers to inquire about career advancement and further training.

It is important that no single person feels alienated from the team. Regular team meetings that discuss any stress related issues should be held, were individuals can discuss techniques to reduce stress in the workplace as a group. This will create feelings of trust and encourage team building. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress levels. Organise team building activities that involve light physical exercise, like walking or hiking. However, be careful not to isolate individuals who cannot fully participate in physical activities. Finally, a top tip to reduce stress is to introduce indoor plants to the office. Studies have shown that natural foliage can alleviate stress and anxiety.

Penny Munroe is an avid writer in business and office tips, from sourcing the best executive suites to starting up a business in the serviced offices UAE offer.

 

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6 Top Qualities to Help You to Become an Outstanding Team Player

The value of a team lies in the quality of its recruits. Team dynamics can be crucial to the development of an effective workforce; the success or failure of projects depends on the contribution of each team member. If your team contains more than one shrinking violet who won’t help to drive the agenda forward, your plans may not work out as successfully as you hoped.  On the other hand, our job is to make decisions but if this is being hindered by personality clashes with one of your team it can make life difficult. Team players demonstrate many qualities that help their colleagues achieve success. Here are six of the most crucial attributes of a team player.

Communication is Key

Team players are good communicators. They will voice their opinion willingly and not hold back from expressing themselves forcefully and respectfully. They are listeners who can absorb information and should not flinch when receiving criticism, but use it proactively to improve their own performance. They share information and don’t hoard it to their advantage. They will let everyone else know of any developments as soon as they happen. They will also willingly volunteer tips and expertise.

They should be Reliable

Team players should be reliable. The first to arrive and the last to leave, they complete their tasks on time and don’t expect other team members to cover for them when things don’t go as planned. They maintain their pace and don’t allow their concentration to drift. They also treat the other members with respect and courtesy.

Be Active Participants

Team players should be active participants; when meetings are scheduled they should have all of the relevant information at hand and present it with enthusiasm. They volunteer rather than waiting to be picked for assignments. They will volunteer a bit of extra time to develop a new idea (even if they don’t agree with it) and adapt their own opinions for the good of the team. If anything is unclear they will be the first to ask for clarification.

There to Help Solve Problems

Team players are problem-solvers. Instead of producing a series of excuses or finding scapegoats for the difficulties that the team face they will confront these head-on and ask for solutions to overcome these problems. They remain focused on the team’s goals and do not let their own ambitions override these. They will compromise and sacrifice rigidly-held opinions for the good of the team.

Are Committed

Team players demonstrate commitment. Staying after hours to help a colleague with a project, participate in social functions with the rest of the company, and do not ask for special favours. They are also flexible enough to react to changing circumstances without placing undue pressure on the rest of the team.

Finally You Can Have a Joke with Them

Team players have a sense of humour. Levity buoys morale during tough times and helps build camaraderie. It is significant that many of the top CEOs of major corporations are famous for their sense of humour. Humility and humour make the working environment a lot more creative.

The post provided was written on behalf of a professional payroll software solutions provider.

 

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Top Tips for a Great Team Building Away Day

Team building is a useful way for businesses to get their employees together and achieve a number of business goals, as well as having a bit of fun at the same time. There are numerous ways in which team building can work, from a simple brainstorming session in the pub to a full on day out in professionally run venue, this type of activity can be very beneficial for both morale and the business in general. In this article we outline some top tips that can make these days run as smoothly as possible.

Find the right venue

For some purposes a car park might suffice, however many of the most effective team building days happen when the right venue is chosen. To make it an “away day” feel like just that, it’s a good idea to pick a venue that is out of the office but not so far that attendees will feel like they’re going to spend all day travelling.  The best venues will have a reception area where bags can be left and people can relax in comfort, flexible meeting rooms, and other outdoor spaces for some of the more fun or abstract team building activities, as well as free flowing refreshments on offer throughout the venue. Very often venues with all the top notch facilities will be on the outskirts of big cities or housed in some of the most attractive buildings in the country – this means they really offer an ideal location for productive team building.

Get the right balance of activities

Team building days should be fun but they are also useful if a business is hoping to get a message across or after lots of new staff members have joined in order that everyone can get to know everyone else. Therefore it is important to get a good mix of activities for the away day. These can range from the gently competitive such as a school-style sports day or go-karting to more collaborative activities such as assembling a huge art installation that highlights your company‘s corporate values. Other worthwhile activities include simple ice breaking games for those who may take a little while to get into it and even days where it appears there’s very little to do with work but collaboration is very important such as cookery workshops.

Supercharge your brand

Several conference venues have in recent years taken the innovative step of creating branded space for a business that is using its facilities. This can be a real benefit for a team away day because it really gives the event a professional air and can make attendees feel like they are part of something significant. The best conference providers will be able to customise the required space with everything from brand logos adorning the walls to whether solid oak floors or carpets are required in the business “hub”. Many businesses have found that creating this type of bespoke space is ideal for embellishing an atmosphere of quality – especially in regards to training and team building as it shows employees that their workplace is prepared to go that extra yard.

Obviously there several other ways in which team building activities can be done, however it is certainly an aspect of business that should not be avoided – in the very least it can be a fun day out for everyone.

Jonathan has been away on many training days and in many meeting rooms with a variety of companies. He has found training away days very useful and a good morale booster.

 

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