Companies worldwide are spending more and more on team-building every single year, and with studies finding that companies who employ highly engaged team members tend to achieve around double the net income of those who don’t, this shouldn’t be surprising – it’s a sound investment.
But something that a lot of companies do struggle with, is how to measure the return on investment from team-building days and events.
MIT has found that great communication is a major factor in the best performing teams, and plenty of other studies support the effectiveness of team-building but this is something that’s pretty difficult to actually put into numbers.
Team-building days are sure to improve communication and company alignment within your team, but do they directly help to grow your company or revenue?
The answer can be a resounding yes, but it heavily depends on the team-building activities you employ and the goals you set for them.
After all, team-building can only ever be as effective as the objectives the activities are designed to teach.
If you try to apply a pre-defined, generic team-building activity to your entire company with little thought for individuals, teams, their differing goals and varying weaknesses, you are going to achieve a minimal return on your investment, if any at all.
To get real, effective team-building strategies that help deliver strong ROI team building, you need to take the time to think about what you want to achieve and set realistic, measurable goals.
Here are some tips on achieving more effective ROI driven team building:
Identify Your Company Goals & Priorities
What do you want your team-building activities to achieve? By when?
Deciding on these priorities before organising your team-building event doesn’t just help with hiring the right team or organising the right activities, it also means:
- If hiring an external team-building specialist, you can tell them exactly what you are hoping to achieve and let them devise a custom, personalised event for you
- You can also discuss these goals with your employees in order to align everyone’s objectives for the team day and increase the chances that they learn the right lessons
- Having you, your team and the event organisers on the same page beforehand makes measuring your achievement afterwards a lot more manageable
Once you’ve settled on what you’d like to achieve, the next question is which teams or staff members are crucial to achieving your goals?
Align Targets to Specific People or Teams
Of course, most of your goals won’t be applicable to every single employee.
If your sales team are making 5 sales per day but you’d like to increase this to 8, then there is no point drilling this into your accounts department.
Aligning goals with the appropriate teams and staff means that the benefits of your team-building activities are focused in the right places and that you can make them responsible for their own development.
This results in the best possible return on investment as it avoids waste while giving each department a specific experienced tailored to where you think they should be.
Learn How Your Teams Interact
Understanding how your teams interact with each other, whether they work together efficiently or not, and who the natural leaders are in each team will help you to build an internal picture of how your company works, the working relationships within it, what the key communication points are and of course, which areas need improvement.
Not only will this inform your team-building strategy, but it will make it immediately obvious to you afterwards which areas have experienced the improvements you were looking for, and which need further work.
Connect to People and Not Just Departments
Knowing your teams, their skills, competencies, strengths and weaknesses is one thing and will certainly help.
But people aren’t statistics, and knowing their individual work styles, communication skills, methods of thinking, and personalities will help your management of them and their team-building events to grow to the next level.
Sometimes a strategy might seem like the obvious way forward, but actually, be counterproductive for certain team members.
For example, singing workshops are an excellent way to make most teams bond, but for a team where one member suffers from extreme shyness or has vocal issues, a rhythm workshop might well be a better way for them to get involved without losing confidence.
This is the sort of knowledge that can only come from getting to know your employees on a personal level and truly treating them as people – one thing is for sure, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works when it comes to human beings, which is why we don’t believe in it.
Of course, this has other benefits too, as people that respect you and like you as a person are much more likely to take your objectives seriously and throw themselves into a team-building activity with good intentions, than somebody who barely knows you and instead sees you as a corporate entity.
When done correctly, team-building events are guaranteed to boost employee engagement, company performance, and therefore profits.
When rushed or done thoughtlessly, these benefits can rapidly diminish, or even disappear.
Put the time in to truly understand what you want to achieve, and develop a personalised team-building event to match those goals, and the results will be absolutely spectacular!