• Westwood International

Team Building Activities to Boost Productivity

Updated: Sep 28

Here in Vermont we are leaving our renowned foliage season and entering ‘stick’ season. In our tourist-dominated state, we call this a shoulder season that carries us from the crowds at the pumpkin patch to the crowds on the ski slopes. With it comes colder days, darker nights, and… trees that now look like bundles of sticks. This is when we know it’s time to start increasing healthy activities so we don’t see a drop in energy and productivity. We need to be more mindful of ourselves, our mentality, and our friends and family.


You and your team should be doing the same thing. While you might not be heading into stick season, ongoing stress from COVID-19, upcoming holidays with the family, and Zoom fatigue are hampering productivity through the ranks.


We use a simple approach to positively impact and empower teams: The Three C’s. When you employ the same approach, you will help your team be their best and do their best.


Community. Work to create a strong community within your team by focusing on mindfulness, wellbeing, motivation, empowerment, and whatever else your team needs to succeed. Regardless of how long you’ve been with your team, there’s always time to set your intentions. Host a meeting and create a list of expectations and intentions together and define your vision for this community. Communicate, inspire, motivate, and hold each other accountable.


Connection. By building relationships, you can unlock your team’s greatest potential, boost productivity, spark creativity, and achieve a stronger work-life balance.


Common Goals. Come together as a team and set goals that you can all work towards. Determine your desired outcome and then trust your team to achieve it. Allow them to pull from their experiences and expertise to deliver outstanding results. To nurture your team’s autonomy, make it a new norm to ask, “how did you get there?” or “what inspired you to take that approach?” This will help you learn more about how your team members think and navigate challenges to offer innovative solutions.


To support the Three C’s, try these 4 activities.


1. Set Clear Expectations with 1-on-1’s


No one wants to be micromanaged. But they do want direction. This activity falls under Connection and Common Goals. Sit down with your direct reports for 1-on-1s where you can have a dialogue to set expectations. Listen to how they work and speak to what result you would like to see. Ask for feedback on how they plan to get there, but don’t feel the need to lay out the roadmap. Giving them autonomy builds trust and reinforces your connection.


2. Be Prepared for Meetings


Meetings take up too much time in people’s days, but they are necessary to share information and stay on track. Working towards the Common Goals, have you and your team prep for meetings. Share material ahead of time so attendees aren’t burning precious minutes reading in the meeting. Define the goal of the meeting, and if it can be done on Slack or through email, cancel the meeting and give that time back.

3. Celebrate Achievements


Everyone’s been working hard on a deadline. Celebrate the accomplishment of delivering a great project on time. This will help build community and remind your team that you’re all working toward the same goal. This could be as simple as an acknowledgement in a company-wide email or as big as an after-hours party with music and dancing.


4. Give Your Team a Chance to Let it Out


Offer opportunities for your team to share their struggles and their stress. By cultivating a welcoming culture, team members will understand they have a safe space to ask for help, help each other, and work through challenges. People, however, are less likely to release their stress unprompted. Open up communication and community with a Town Meeting where team members have the floor or share your own stories to empathize! Need some inspiration? Explore our Team Connection Sessions and see if we can help with our culture solutions!

Creating a healthy culture with high productivity is a balancing act. It requires constant nurturing, active listening, and open communication. Start with the tips and The Three C’s we outlined above and see if you start to see any improvements.


Let us know how it goes!


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