Overcoming Common Challenges in Team-Building Activities
Teambuilding with your employees can be fun, rewarding and productive.
However, there are some challenges you may encounter during the teambuilding process. Here are some ways to tackle them:
Employees do not understand the instructions
Sometimes you may see employees asking one another what to do, nothing happens when the activity begins or them not doing what is expected. This could be due to poorly explained instructions, too lengthy or too fast. To prevent this from happening, try starting over, repeat all the directions, slow down and ask questions to ensure employees understand. Be patient with yourself and with them until you are successful. Often, demonstrating the activity helps in understanding too.
Employees do not wish to participate
Direct refusal to participate, negative comments about the activity or employees dragging their feet on getting started are some actions that you may see if they do not want to participate. What managers can do here is to ensure that the purpose of the activity is one that is needed or valued by the group. Reassure everyone that they will have their turns and no one will be singled out or be embarrassed. If you expect hesitation or unwillingness to participate from some individuals, approach them privately before the start of the activity to gain their commitment to join in.
Employees get overly competitive
Some employees may end up bending the rules, cheating or going to the extremes to win or outdo others. It could be due to the fact that there is too much focus on the activity than on learning. If there is a need to, halt the activity in the middle of it to remind everyone of the activity’s goals and purpose. It can also be useful to discuss the competitiveness that arose during the debrief to find out why it came out and whether it was useful or destructive. Connect the issues to the work environment to get everyone to ponder over it.
There are insufficient materials
Sometimes, you may find yourself in a situation where materials are broken, do not function properly or there is simply not enough materials to go around. Planning ahead is crucial and it is wise to err on the side of too many rather than too little materials. Improvising with other materials available, reschedule the activity for later and adjust the rules of the game if possible so that the rest of the activities can go on with minimal interruptions.
An individual hogging the debrief
During the debrief, there may be some employees talking excessively with the majority remaining silent. One way to overcome this is to check with the rest of the employees by asking “What do the rest of you think?” or “Who would like to share a different perspective?”. Be patient and allow for some silence as people may be gathering their thoughts over the question. If no one volunteers, call on a few employees to share their insights.