Team building exercises are crucial to any business’s best practices. They motivate everyone involved to see themselves and their coworkers as valuable parts of a team. Team building exercises invigorate individuals and departments, ease onboarding, and provide valuable information to management. However, within IT, team building exercises must be executed with care for employees and management to fully reap the benefits.
Learn About Your Team
Team building exercises offer managers a look into how each member of their team interacts. Through observing interactions during an exercise, you quickly and easily discover who takes on leadership roles, who has great collaboration skills, and who might work best autonomously.
Break the Ice with New Team Members
Nobody likes to feel like “the new kid” during their first weeks of work. Team building exercises break the ice and quickly foster relationships between new employees and their team. This can reduce the initial onboarding process and allow for teams to jump into projects more quickly with new members.
Team building exercises are particularly good for IT professionals. There are times when IT professionals have little to no communication with other employees, which makes them feel out of touch and makes other employees see them as outside the core employee group. Team building exercises break down these walls and encourage cross-company cooperation. They also help your IT staff feel motivated towards the same goals as the rest of the company.
Target Your Exercises
Do not generalize when setting up team building exercises; instead, target them to specific teams you will work with. IT professionals benefit most from team building exercises that challenge them intellectually and depend on a cohesive team effort with a specific goal in mind. Avoid activities that spotlight individual employees when picking exercises for IT professionals. Here are some great exercises you can use:
- Scavenger Hunt: This technology-focused team exercise allows employees to work as a small team with a specific end goal. The manager gives each team a list of clues to decipher to locate the item(s) or information online. Friendly competition to see which team finds the most answers in the least time can add additional bonding within small teams, but avoid creating rivalries.
- The Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower: This exercise encourages creativity, strategizing, and communication between team members. Each team is tasked with creating a tall tower out of marshmallows, dry spaghetti, tape, and string. This exercise benefits from competition, and can work well for other departments in addition to IT. When time is up, measure the towers to determine a winner.
As we discussed previously, community service is a great opportunity to create more cohesion in your team while giving back to the community. Community service is particularly useful when you want to bridge individual teams for a more company-wide team building exercise. Employees enjoy working together for a good cause, and the shared goal of volunteer work can help them build relationships both with each other and the community.
If you want to add team building exercises to your best practices, make an appointment with one of our business development specialists today to strategize how to make your team to work best together.