When the shiny baubles are gone, it’s just needles

Last updated Jun 27, 2022 | Team Building

When the shiny baubles are gone, it’s just needles

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It’s OK, you didn’t miss it, it’s not Christmas yet! Have you ever attended a team awayday, strategy day, energiser, or something similar? What makes a team awayday worthwhile and what’s a virtual team awayday?

The Christmas tree.

As I write this article it’s a glorious summer’s evening with an amazing sunset. However, the inspiration came from some bare pine trees I saw earlier.

As we’ve now passed the summer solstice and evening are getting shorter, is it OK to get excited about Christmas? The beautiful trees proudly bedecked in baubles, with beautifully wrapped parcels underneath and proclaiming to the world that you are looking forward to a wonderful Christmas.

The problem is when, a few weeks later, the parcels have gone, the wrapping paper is no longer spread across the floor, the chocolates gone and the shock at standing on the scales is done.

Bare pine treees remind me of team awaydays

What are you left with when the shiny baubles are taken down? Just needles and most of them have fallen off too.

Read more articles on team building - virtual or face to face. Click here.

Creating a great team event

Getting your team together for an awayday or other event can be a great idea. Generate extra enthusiasm, fun, improve the team culture and get everybody working together more – these sound like good ideas.

But, do you want your efforts in creating great team event to be totally wasted, over as quickly as the baubles and to become as awkward as those needles that fell from the tree. You need to think a bit deeper or your awaydays lasting impact is like bare pine trees.

A team is not just for Christmas.

One of the classic problems is when creating team events is that the leader promises a lot. “Yes I will listen”, “yes I really value my staff and your input” and many other vacuous phrases.  Stop and consider phrases you’ve heard and perhaps used yourself.

If you create some goodwill in the team, you need to keep it going, so it isn’t a waste of time. It’s a lot harder to light a log fire than it is to keep it gently glowing, ready to burst into flames again. Plan how you’ll do that, before you plan your team event.

A virtual team awayday

We have survived the most unusual few months in business terms and things won’t be rushing back to normal just yet.  You may well need to have a virtual team awayday, not a face to face one. Do they work – YES. Are there some extra things to worry about – YES. Are the biggest issues the same whether virtual or face to face – YES.

Once you’ve read the four biggest team event mistakes below, click here to get tips on running a virtual team session.

Read more articles on team building - virtual or face to face. Click here.

The four biggest team event mistakes

  1. Not considering the introverts in your team. Successful events need to consider the different personalities of the team. The introvert / extrovert spectrum is one of the easiest ways to do this. My survey shows a third of people at work are not fully productive. In most cases they are introverts and cite management communication and team culture as the issues. Where I’ve seen team events go badly wrong (creating a negative team spirit), it’s been because personality types and communication styles have not been considered.
  2. Making promises and not keeping them. Of course, you don’t do that? Well, probably not, but that is often the perception, and that’s where dangerous cynicism sets in. How about making sure your team know that the changes that follow the team event are linked to it and that you are delivering on their requests. Plan an ongoing communication programme for three months after the event.
  3. Not making decisions. So they ask you about something, or recommend a change and you can’t decide. How do you look now? If you really need time to decide, tell them that, and then tell them after you have decided (and why).
  4. Repeating the same old tired format. Creating a team event is not like your family Christmas traditions, vary it. Change the format, the content and what you expect from the team. Stop the cynicism from building up.

What team event will you be creating, how will you make it linked to your business success and how will you engage the 33% of your team that are introverts?

If you are struggling to get more from your team, and want them to think more for themselves, click here to book a 15 minute slot in my diary and let’s discuss some ideas.

You may also like to read:

Or listen to: 

An interview with Helene Jewell of the International Association of Facilitators on how to improve your meetings.


Related content you may find useful:
communication | leadership | lockdown | Managing staff | seasonal | Team | team building
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