Stop Making These 5 Team Building Mistakes

Woman bored and actively experiencing one of these 5 team building mistakes.

No matter how many years of team-building experience you have, it’s never too late to learn new tricks. In fact, with all the new and exciting ideas that are available today for team building activities, there is no excuse not to be an expert! This post will cover five common team building mistakes managers make so they can avoid them in the future. Let’s get started!

Team Building Mistake No.1 – Choosing party game activities

If you want team building activities to result in a fun and productive day, make sure they are more than just party games. Egg drops and spaghetti towers may be entertaining for the participants involved but won’t have lasting effects on work relationships. Activities should offer challenges that allow people to talk face-to-face while working together towards achieving the larger project goals; not simply during planning sessions before the activity takes place!

Mistake No. 2 – Having unclear objectives

The point of team building is often to help employees work together better, but the majority of people don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing. This leads them to feel confused and uncertain about their objectives from a meeting that’s supposed to make them feel more empowered in their job. Worse yet? They may never figure out what it was all for – which means you’ll have wasted your time too! To avoid this trap be sure that you have a clear objective you’d like to reach.

For example, your objective may be:

  • Having quieter employees speak up more
  • Developing team-wide problem-solving skills
  • Determining strengths among members
  • Improving morale among the team
  • Creating closer relationships between groupmates

It’s important to keep the team-building session clear in what you want to achieve. Do this with achievable goals that correspond as much as possible with your company’s culture and values. And be sure everyone is aware of this goal ahead of time so they can prepare for a successful meeting!

Mistake No. 3 – Making it a one-time event

Team building should be fun, not forced. Hold teambuilding activities regularly (weekly, monthly, quarterly) to ensure that it remains enjoyable for everybody involved and doesn’t feel like too much of an obligation.

Employees are more likely to feel engaged and open to new ideas and experiences when they are reinforced over time rather than thrown at them in one 8-hour chunk.

Great teams aren’t built in one day. Your teambuilding events should reflect this. 

Mistake No. 4 – Not Reviewing the Participants

It’s sometimes a struggle finding out how participants felt about an activity and if they got closer to their objective.

If you are struggling with finding information on whether or not your participants were successful in completing an activity, it can be difficult to measure the success of that particular task.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to not only get feedback after the event, but to also make sure that you’re asking the right questions.

Some questions to ask:

  • How did you feel when we did ____ activity?
  • What made the task easier/harder for you?
  • What challenges did your team face?
  • Did anyone have a positive experience with this activity?
  • What is something you would change to improve next time?

Mistake No. 5 – Not establishing roles

Team-building activities are a great way to get people out of their comfort zones, but one mistake many leaders make is trying to please everyone. It can be tough for team members who feel excluded or underutilized. Instead, give the task leader an extra bit of responsibility in order for them to develop leadership skills. Then allow others on the team time to communicate with each other during these tasks so that they’re not feeling left out!

Moreover, make sure that each participant is treated as an equal and feels like they are part of the team. We all know how it feels when you have to finish a task but someone else swoops and does all the work, leaving you feeling like you weren’t able to contribute to the team’s success. Establishing roles and making sure that each team member is able to contribute something important is one of the (if not the) greatest things you can do for your team.

In our experience, the teams that do the best in our escape rooms are the ones who develop clear leadership roles and delegate tasks to each player in the game. A strong team knows how to use each and every member!

Finals Tips for Successful Team Building

As you can see, there are many ways to engage with teams and make team building events successful. But it’s also easy to make mistakes when you’re trying to plan and execute team building exercises, which is why so many companies are struggling with it. You might be making one of the five mistakes listed above without even realizing it! With over 6 years in the business, we’ve seen our fair share of teams make these blunders and are here to help you avoid them. 

Have you made any of these team building mistakes? If so, please let us know how you overcame your challenges because we want to hear your story too! We specialize in providing unique team building that will encourage collaboration while also giving each participant something new to take away from the experience.  Thinking about hosting an event for your company soon but not sure where or what kind? Consider a private event with Trapology Boston where we host indoor, outdoor, and even virtual team building events!

Give us a call or send us a message and let us make your next teambuilding event unforgettable!