What is the Best Way to Get a Team Motivated and Engaged?

With changing times and fast-paced, competitive lives, it is increasingly becoming tough and challenging to keep employees suitably motivated and engaged. Managers, especially have their task cut out for them as they have a greater responsibility towards their employees to keep them motivated and engaged. They have to find novel ways to lead their teams effectively and ensure they are able to perform as per or beyond expectations. They have to be a role model for them, conduct themselves in such a way that they feel motivated and affect their productivity significantly.

While conducting your duties as a leader or a manager, you will come across a lot of challenges that you may have to deal with the utmost care and handle them delicately. One of the issues that are fast becoming a major concern for the 21st century managers is having a hard time keeping teams engaged at work.

As a manager, you may hold high hopes for your team and want teammates to work in close tandem with each other and work collaboratively towards the productivity of the organization. This seems to be an uphill task is the employees are not engaged enough to fulfill their workplace goals. So, the question arises. What is it that a manager must do to change this situation to his favor? Here, we bring you some of the most amazing and positive ways that can help employees engaged in the workplace.

Setting Realistic Goals

Many times, when setting goals, managers go overboard with their expectations and set goals that are borderline impossible. Employees see such goals with apathy and do not feel able to meet them. Instead, setting realistic but slightly challenging goals might do the trick. The goal is achievable while at the same time challenge the abilities and skills of the employees which motivates them to work hard and achieve the goals. Such goals also give them a sense of direction which helps them effective and efficient task accomplishment. They will surely put in their best efforts and pour their heart and soul into work. Thus, setting realistic, attainable, and challenging goals can help keep teammates engaged and motivated at work.

Recognition of Excellence

The role of a manager is slightly challenging. He has to ensure that all his employees are contributing to the common goal with their individual efforts. He also has to keep track of the performance, employee engagement and achievements of team members. This, in turn, helps in bringing a remarkable improvement in their performance from time to time. Recognition of good work and a few words of encouragement can help do the trick and employees feel a lot motivated to work harder and achieve many more goals. It is important to reward the employees who go above and beyond to achieve their goals.

Placing a lot of trust in them

Another very important way to keep your employees’ motivation high is by placing trust in their abilities. Many times, the major concern that keeps people unhappy at a workplace is the lack of trust managers have in their employees. This creates a vitiating environment where it is impossible to get positive results. In the managers fail to trust their employees, it can result in dissociation from work and the willingness to do it. Even in tough times, a few words of trust to the employee can do wonders and change the whole scenario. Just signaling your trust to your subordinates honestly can keep them happy, content and motivated. Try to have an honest conversation and open communication with them which will prove the trust you place in your abilities.

Handle Mistakes With a Positive Approach

If your employees have made a wrong judgment or committed a mistake, view them as an opportunity which will help them learn. Reprimanding them may result in a lot more negativity which is not good for their morale. This gentle prodding will help them to trust you and take a learning lesson from the mistake. Building trust is an on-going process and is certainly not possible overnight. So, be patient and give it time to develop and flourish.

Keep a Tab on Productivity

After setting attainable, achievable, and challenging goals, the next step is to keep a tab on their performance and the progress they are making towards the achievement of goals. This is a key determiner as far as overall organizational productivity is concerned and secondly, it will also help you understand if the goals set by you are enough engaging and motivating for them. This keeping a tab on their progress will also allow you to make changes in these pre-determined goals if they aren’t productive or challenging enough.

Plan and Implement Team Building Activities

Another sure-shot way of keeping team members suitably engaged and motivated is by planning and implementing a variety of team building activities. These activities work as an icebreaker and break down the unseen barriers erected by employees. When meaningful communication starts flowing among them, it encourages them, motivates them, and fosters creativity and innovation. Rope in professional service providers who can organise high-end team building activities as per results you are seeking from them. These activities scheduled from time to time help teammates learn to work in close collaboration, know more about each other, start trusting and respecting each other and start working collectively towards common organizational goals. It has a lot of impact on overall organizational productivity.

Open and Clear Communication

Open and clear communication with employees is another way managers’ can keep them motivated. They will find themselves more engaged at work when the flow of communication from top to bottom is smooth. It will instill a sense of trust among employees. Managers can start by taking frequent feedback from them and ensure their confidentiality.

It is these positive and impactful ways through which managers can help team members to be on board and in perfect tandem with the entire team, reaching out to meet organizational goals. Following these ways can help managers to ensure high work productivity and employee performance.

Why Is Employee Engagement Now A Growth Area?

Employee engagement is all about ensuring the contentment of your employees. While one can argue that monetary benefits are one of the greatest motivators in creating happy employees, the truth is that factors like better job responsibilities, making employees answerable and take onus for tasks, promoting a good work-life balance, encouraging greater participation in decision making, creating an atmosphere where ideas and creativity is appreciated and encouraged, the communication channels are open both ways and many more such positive steps are better ways to ensure a greater deal of employee engagement.

With many startups and big companies providing and encouraging such a working environment today, no doubt employee engagement has started to be accepted by most companies who are trying various ways and methods to make this aspect an essential part of their corporate culture. It is no longer a corporate secret that happy employees create happy customers and that in turn result in better business for the company.

Happy and satisfied employees also are far more productive than unhappy and disengaged ones. With enhanced performance and involvement levels, it is but obvious that the organization builds a strong competitive edge in the market. Employee engagement happens when corporates are concerned about the well-being of their employees and this, in turn, has a cascading effect. Existing employees are happy and perform their best, retention issues are automatically reduced, and it attracts the crème of the industry to come and join the task force of the said company.

The trend towards growing importance of employee engagement has also caught up because technology has helped employees to understand the significance of their role in organizations today and how comparable corporates who have been able to create success stories have incorporated such aspects in their professional working space.

Here are some unique activities that help in making employees engage more and better with their organization.

1.     Cook it up Cooking is said to be an art. While many individuals love to cook in their free times, there are many others who pursue it seriously as a hobby. There are also the people at the other extreme who do not quite like the idea of cooking. Creating small teams of such a composite group of people and handing them the task to cook a recipe from the menu for the day is no mean task. But what makes this task interesting and captivating is the challenge embedded behind a normal looking team activity. The activity is not only about cooking a dish, but it is also about making it professionally – just the way a chef from a five-star hotel would make it. And why does it need to be finely made? Because at the end of the session, each member of the group is going to be served the dishes made by each team. That’s the food for the day. Made on the lines of the MasterChef series and supervised by a real-time experienced chef, this activity demands equal participation from all members. There need to be ideas, exchange of information, strategizing, allocating the resources at hand, allocating jobs and taking on leadership roles. 

2.     Key Punch This one is all about the presence of mind and working smartly. The outdoor venue helps permeate a positive flow of energy. The entire group is divided into smaller teams. The job is to collect keys or touch numbers laid down on the ground. But it must be done as per a mentioned order and there are only five attempts to do the job correctly. The time is also limited. At a given time, only one member from each team is present in the game parameter. The rules are quite strict – members cannot repeat numbers, and neither can they go out of order. Work must be done fast so members need to be quick in time management. They also need to be using their intelligence a lot for proper problem-solving. Even though the activity is performed on an individual basis, the goal of the team is of the utmost importance in the activity.

3.     The Interlocker Like block building exercise that kids indulge in the interlocker is about arranging and assembling pieces together in the right order. The only difference is that in this case, the activity happens outdoors, and the team needs to work with planks of wood. A blueprint is handed over to the team and they need to follow it to the hilt. The objective is to create the desired structure in the shortest possible time. Even though the activity sounds simple, it is challenging and requires every team member to contribute and give their ideas and suggestions effectively to come up with the best results. 

4.     Trust Walk- As the name suggests, this activity focuses on spiking up the trust amongst partners. At the start of the activity, members are all paired up. One member of the pair needs to tie a blindfold while the other acts as the guide. At the beginning of the activity, the blindfolded team members have spun around so that they are clueless about the directions. Now the other partner needs to guide his blindfolded partner so that he can cross obstacles effectively based on verbal communication. Touching or physical contact is not allowed in this game. Other than being a great builder of trust and communication skills, the activity is also about working in sync, taking risks and effective problem-solving.

5.     Double Dragon – The job in hand in this activity is for one team member to get inside a hula hoop. The conditions are that – he is blindfolded, and he needs to listen to the suggestions of his team members and act accordingly to accomplish the task. The task is made more competitive by making the blindfolded person balance a ball between his legs. The team that finishes first by following all the rules is the winner. The activity is best for developing good communication skills, plan and strategize and work as a team to emerge winners.

What Are Some Fun Filled Team Games To Play During Corporate Day Outing?

Corporate work life is a mix of long hours, deadlines, meetings, negotiations, project submissions and lots and lots of exhausting and demanding tasks in hand.   As per a WHO report, an adult spends about one-third of his adulthood at work. Working conditions have a significant impact on an employee’s psychological and physical health and on his productivity at work. Corporate day outings have become quite a common feature amongst corporate these days. The end purpose is to provide for an environment where employees get the opportunity to strengthen their bonds with each other, enhance their communication and collaborative skills. While all these aspects can be addressed inside the four walls of the office too, outings help to provide an informal atmosphere outside the confines of the office space.

Team building activities are one of the healthiest and positive ways to build a strong team. It is also important that these activities have a fun element to them – else they can turn out to be as monotonous as routine office work. Here are some great fun-filled team games that provide key learnings in an excitement filled environment.

1. The Tic Tac Toe Game

Tic Tac Toe, as we all are familiar, is a very popular game amongst kids. Also called the Noughts and Crosses game, it is required to play by two people where the X’s and O’s need to be placed in a synchronised manner and the one who can finish first, is the winner. This simple game is amplified to a much larger scale, to be played by two groups of players – the objective remains the same – to achieve a perfect line of either X’s or O’s first.

The only difference being that here, each step is played by a different member of the group. Hence a lot of responsibility lies on the shoulders of the team members because one wrong step at their end can cost the entire team losing the game.

Key Learnings: The game is usually organised outdoors and hence good fun. But it is also a serious one where players need to be careful and anticipative. They also need to use their mental aptitude to be able to act smartly and swiftly. This employee engagement activity helps team members to be responsible and pushes them to give their best for the better of the team.

2. The Interlocker

The smaller a version of this activity may have been played by many of us as youngsters. Here in this activity that typically takes place in an outdoor venue – a big garden or lawn or an open ground – is again played as a team challenge where different teams are formed to compete with one another. At the beginning of the activity, each team is handed over a blueprint and 15 pieces of planks, where each piece can be interlocked only with another precise piece.

The task for the group is to sit down and strategize well beforehand and go about getting all the planks interlocked properly to form the structure as mentioned on the blueprint.

Key Learnings: Involving physical and mental faculties, this corporate team outing activity is entertaining and interesting proving to be lots of fun for each team. Members learn to come together to plan and work as a team to execute the plan to come out winners. Collaboration, strategy making, decision taking are some important life skills stressed through this exercise.

3. Pipeline

An activity that needs thorough focus and true team spirit, this activity involves different members of the team to stand in a queue holding pieces of a pipe that have been halved from the top horizontally. The objective is to hold the pieces in such a way that a small ball is transported from one end to the other until it is made to drop into a bucket at the end. It is fun because team members need to coordinate well with one other so that one end of the pipe held by one member, is perfectly aligned with the end of the pipe held by his colleague next to him. In case there is a problem with synchronisation, the ball will fall midway, and the activity would be required to be started again.

Key Learnings: Coordination and collaboration are fundamental aspects of a team. This corporate team experience, besides being exciting and enjoyable enables members to understand this basic concept well and perform in complete sync with one another.

4. Cook it up

There can be nothing better for a corporate team offsite activity than to come together, brainstorm, plan, organise, allocate and then execute to deliver best results. Cooking and music are two such activities that not only help your colleagues and other participants to understand and acknowledge your hidden talents but also provide great learning opportunities to everyone involved.

The cook it up team activity has been designed and conceptualized with this purpose in mind. Not everyone loves to cook and hence when teams are formed in this task, you can expect some members to look forward to the activity with great enthusiasm and some to be taking the back benches. But the purpose is to involve everyone to contribute meaningfully for the success of the team. The activity involves each team cooking a dish from a five-course menu. It doesn’t end here.

The dish that has been cooked by each team is what the entire group gets to eat at the end of the task. Hence you need to perform well so that everyone can have a satisfactory meal at the end of such high-voltage drama and performance.

Key Learnings: one great feature of this activity is the leadership role that one of the members takes up. Other great aspects of this activity are the planning and strategizing on what to cook, how to best use the raw materials are given, which member performs what role etc. In the end, it is all about a sense of achievement that can come only with honest participation from each associate of the team.

What Are Some Of The Best Team Building Activities To Improve Employee Engagement In Your Team?

Any the company, business or organization needs a dedicated, determined, and passionate team working towards a common goal. To ensure a cohesively working team, it is important to organise team activities that increase employee engagement to a significant extent. The aim is to get co-workers outside their normal activities, allow them to mingle and mix up with each other and have fun while nurturing teamwork. It helps the workplace get a nice boost with more motivated and energetic employees.

Things to avoid when choosing team-building activities

These days, a great variety of team building activities is available that bring employees with diverse skills, knowledge and experience come together and work cohesively. The companies are very enthusiastic when organising these activities. While doing so, they must ensure that the activities do not leave an opposite impact on them.

The employees must not feel coerced, unorganized and forced as it will leave them disheartened, dejected and demotivated. They will keep looking at the clock and wonder why they were asked to be a part of this event in the first place. Look for activities that are fun-filled and bring employees together without being imposing on them.

The company or the organisers must be thoughtful about the goal they are trying to accomplish through these activities. They also need to research a little and choose activities carefully. It is significant to note here that more the activities are personalised as per participating employees, more they will appreciate the effort and enjoy.

What factors to look into when deciding appropriate team-building activities?

Before choosing team building activities for your employees, do consider the team member’s personalities, find out their likes and dislikes, check if they would like to indulge in mental exercises or physical exercises. Armed with this knowledge, set the goals that you are hoping to accomplish. These goals may be relationship building, alignment, member appreciation, employee engagement, or problem-solving. Here, we bring you some of the best team building activities that serve the purpose of enhancing employee engagement.

The Triggertronics

It is a very interesting and exciting project-based activity. It brings team members together for performing a few simple activities through myriad transactions. They are assigned required supplies to build the project from scratch. They have to design and build an energy conversion machine. It is possible only when every team member pitch in and bring his unique skill, experience, and knowledge on board.

The team members learn a lot from this activity. They learn the art of open communication, close collaboration, unleashing creativity and working as a cohesive unit. The level of employee engagement seems to be at an all-time high when the team is engaged in this activity. They also learn the proper use of limited resources and enjoy increased team morale.

F1 Challenge

It is another of the best team building activities where the team is assigned with the required resources to design and build a customised concept car. Once the cars are ready, the teams engage in racing them. This is a fun way to celebrate the event finale amidst a lot of excitement. There are certain rules that need to be adhered to by the team when building the car.

The entire activity entails the team members to come up with design ideation, modifications if any and finally testing the car to see it works. The team learns to make the best use of their creativity, management and use of resources, communication and close collaboration.

Jumbo Cricket

In India, cricket is considered as one of the most popular sports played and followed by a majority of the population. The concept of gully cricket is quite famous here. As part of this team bonding activity, the teams are given a giant-sized cricket bat which is 50 kg in weight and 10 feet in width. Each team can have players around 8-20. The players are challenged to wield the heavy bat and manoeuvre it in such a way that maximum runs are made. It is tough to hold such a heavy bat and hit the ball to make runs, but a team that is working with complete collaboration can ace the activity.

The team members learn how to make strategies, implement them flawlessly and work with complete collaboration and coordination. There is a degree of interdependence among team members, but they learn how to win the game despite being dependent on others.

Kontiki Boat Building

It is another fun-filled team bonding activity where a team has the supplies required to design and build a ‘Kontiki Boat.’ The entire team pitch in to build the boat and finally tests its working efficiency in an exciting and exhilarating boat race. The team has to take care of several safety parameters and make the best use of blueprints handed over to them for designing the boat.

The activity is judged depending on design, décor, cohesiveness and functionality. It is the best activity to build a dedicated team. The team members identify leadership skills lying dormant in them.

Roller Coaster

It is a team building activity that aims to bring cohesiveness in teams. Employees working in an organization in different departments with different skills and capabilities come together to create a roller coaster. The team is assigned with necessary raw materials which they have to use optimally. The roller coaster is designed and built by the entire team in a way that the ball, when rolled over it, passes by uninterrupted with gravitational force.

The entire activity has to be completed within a stipulated time. This activity help co-workers learn the essence of project planning, time management, resource management, amazing teamwork, and open communication. It brings them closer to each other and they are more receptive to each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

The Corporate team building activities mentioned above help an organization bring its employees closer to each other. Inhibitions are done away with and the team is more open to each other. They learn the significance of communication and collaboration and how it helps them achieve their organizational goals.

Why Are Corporate Team Building Activities Much Needed For An Organization?

In the competitive world today, more and more businesses are focussing on delighting their customers. Strategies are brainstormed, day in and day out, on how to retain niche clients, how to reach out to potential target customers and how to enhance market positions. Behind all this, many corporates forget to look back and focus on their most valued asset – their employees. Those entities that do are success stories in the corporate world today. However robust and innovative your products and services are, if there are no committed and enthusiastic people running the systems and processes behind this, the business is doomed to fail shortly.

Team building is slowly getting its due recognition in the business world. Its role in boosting employee morale leading to the success of the business has now been accepted globally. While corporate team building programs are essential and crucial for the growth of a business, it needs to be result-oriented. Most big multinational companies, therefore, willingly invest their money and time today allocating resources to plan out team building activities in detail, during the start or through the course of the year.

What should be the objective of the perfect corporate team building event?

  • To promote internal communication
  • To build an environment of trust and collaboration
  • To help people from different backgrounds connect genuinely and work in solidarity towards setting and achieving the business goals
  • To allay inter-department and intra-department conflicts and issues
  • To help employees understand and respect each other’s role in the organisation
  • To assist employees so that they work as a united force to effectively handle problems and resolve them

Team events are must for companies of all sizes

The truth is that the size of the company does not matter when it comes to boosting the spirits of the employees and providing for a congenial working atmosphere. Irrespective of whether a company has onboard thousands of employees or just a handful few, the crux of the matter is that your business can be more productive only when your employees are happy and putting their best foot forward. Small, medium or big, to ensure that your brand stands out in the marketplace, business entities need to understand the significance and value off sites and team engagements.

What are corporate team building exercises?

  • Usually, these activities are planned well in advance, and employees are informed accordingly
  • Many companies take their employees out of town or city for the corporate team off sites where employees are made to stay at a hotel or resort. While certain specific activities are officially planned for the day and the evening, employees get a lot of free time to interact with each other on a personal level and organically, making them bond even stronger
  • Certain events take place within the office premises or even at a conference/outdoor venue in the city itself. The purpose of such events is usually to conduct ice-breaker activities followed by day-long discussions, brainstorming or training on a topic, issue, problem, etc.

Why does my organisation need employee engagement activity?

Organisations benefit in lots of ways when they conduct team building events in a planned and organized manner.  Even if the benefits are not translated into numbers on an immediate basis, over some time the advantages become visible, and the performance figures start to show on the papers.

Some of the key benefits are:

  1. Helps create a motivated work environment and builds the morale of the team. One of the objectives of a sound corporate team experience should be to let the team have fun. If it is like any other day in the office, the purpose is lost. Amid the laughter and enjoyment, employees are encouraged to connect better, make friends, socialize and engage with each other. The overall effect is a motivated team, ready to get back to their work fully charged up and with flared up passions.
  2. Opens up the channel for fostering creativity. Team activities when done properly help the members open and share their thoughts and ideas about a common problem, issue, topic, etc. More the brains more are the ideas. The better rapport between the team members enables more contributions and innovative ideas to come up.
  3. Helps build trust amongst the internal stakeholders of the organisation. Most companies have disgruntled employees who are disconnected from their teammates, their managers, and even the top management. The discontent is more to do with the presence of ambiguities in the workplace and scepticism about the management etc. All these doubts and qualms are appropriately handled and cleared off during corporate team outings that act as a weapon to break the barrier that exists between different team members. These outings provide an informal atmosphere that helps change preconceived notions and perceptions of the team. Team leaders and top management cease to be bosses for the day and become colleagues that have a positive effect on all present.
  4. It is one of the best tools to foster and develop problem-solving skills in your employees. Effective team exercises involve activities where different members are required to work together to resolve a problem and come with suitable solutions. It encourages members to put their rationale minds to work and think strategically. Next time there is a practical problem that needs resolving, the team is ready to get into action and come up with meticulous solutions and strategies.
  5. Help identify leaders of tomorrow. Team events that are structured usually result in one or more members taking up leadership roles, guiding the discussion and taking effective decisions. It gives the corporate and the individuals the opportunity to identify people with and without leadership skills and designing programs for further development of the talent in the future.

Team building should not be a one-time activity. It needs to be done continuously, or else it will fall flat. The positive vibes and the excitement level need to be kept going. Organisations also should not overtly emphasize on learnings and takeaways from such events – when done organically these activities can become more effective.