As a global company we have virtual teams working in different locations all around the world (this week we are the UK, Iraq (Erbil), Dubai, Europe and India). Technology enables us to work remotely, anywhere, anytime and all of our business information is in the “cloud” and can be accessed from laptops, tablets and mobiles whenever required. However, in this fast paced, agile environment, we are missing one key ingredient – the ability to work together in a single location, to develop trust, mutual respect, friendship and team spirit.
The value of team building to share the company vision, develop team spirit and have a chance to relax and get to know each other outside of the office environment cannot be underestimated. The key ingredients to a successful event are:
• Aim. You must know what you want to achieve
• Facilitation. There are many companies offering team building events but the most important ingredient is the facilitation and feedback
• Venue. Find the right venue to suit your aim
• Planning. The event must be planned in detail so that you make the full use of the time available
• Flexibility. You must be flexible.
We have just returned from a weekend in Nandi Hills, Bangalore with Discovery Village. They spend time working with their clients to understand their business, culture and challenges in order to develop the aim and plan the event. I had no previous experience of working with Asher and his team but they certainly surpassed our expectations. Every activity was designed to bring out specific lessons testing both teams and individuals in different ways. The variety of challenges and the stunning scenery made this a truly memorable experience.
Taking employees out of their normal working environment helps to break down political and personal barriers, eliminate distractions, and most importantly, have fun. It allows people to meet (often for the first time), share experiences and get to know each other as friends, not just work colleagues. It also helps to develop that person in their chosen career.
Communication is the most important skill in business; without effective communications you will not succeed. In the British Army everyone is trained the same way; there is a standard format for orders, messages, documents and radio communications so that everyone understands what needs to be achieved (the aim) and their role in the mission. Continuous training fine tunes these skills and helps to build high performing teams. In the corporate world everyone has a different set of skills, experiences, language and training. The challenge is to create that “common language” that everyone understands. Once you have established that “common language” then you can:
• Develop morale and leadership skills
• Build trust and integrity
• Set clear goals and objectives
• Solve problems as a team
• Discover the barriers that thwart creativity
• Improve processes and procedures
• Identify strengths and weaknesses across individuals and teams
Team building is more than a just a training activity for XCD HR, it is a strategic initiative.
If you would like to become part of the XCD HR team, please visit our careers page and to have a look at the fantastic work at discovery village, please click here.