Team Job

Although our noble country was knocked out pretty much as early on as they could have been, many stayed tuned in to the action in Brazil to see some unexpected results unfold or to see what Shakira would be wearing for the closing performance – come on now, I know that wasn’t just me.

In truth, I really couldn’t give a badger’s about football. It’s never really interested me and unless someone were to dedicate enough time and effort to sit me in front of the sport and explain it with enough passion, beer and peanuts to make me care, I don’t think I ever will.

So, why my interest this week? Well, there was the little matter of the office sweepstake…

And guess who just so happened to pull old Deutschland out of the hat? Me of course! Which means, for a brief moment in time, the results of a football match may have been of slight interest to me. And so does my money boys *cough cough*.

It certainly pays off as a manager of a business to ensure that this type of team activity takes place in a working environment in order to get everyone involved in something a little off topic or to just steer clear of the norm. Even if, like me, you don’t have any interest in a subject matter like football, a sweepstake, a team event, a night on the town or simply putting up festive office décor: it’s always healthy for everyone to club together over something that isn’t necessarily work related.

And, despite my general disinterest, I’ve actually discovered that there are a lot of managerial and team-building skills to be learnt from football:

As a football coach it’s your job to know the talents, skills and mindsets of your team. You have to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your rivals and make sure yours is the best team to take them on.

In a team situation, everyone must be made aware of their own rules and responsibilities – their position if you will. It’s also extremely important to be aware of your team mates: knowing the positions of your colleagues and where their main responsibilities lie will help everyone to understand the overall game plan.

So, is your team ready? Do they have the right skills? Are they aware of the tasks ahead of them and what they have to do as an individual and, perhaps more importantly, as a collective?

Top 5 Contemporary Team-Building Exercises

Yes, I know: the phrase “team building exercise” makes me shudder too. But with the development of mobile and social technology, there are many new ways in which a team can learn to work towards mutual goals without having build raw spaghetti towers or plunge their lives into the dinner-lady arms of Carol in accounts.

#1 Sweepstake:

The first is our office sweepstake. Of course, it doesn’t have to be football: it can be any sport or topical event: by taking bets, fundraising or even seeing who can come to work in the most eccentric Christmas jumper, you create a sense of team spirit that also reflects very well in the form of web or social content.

#2 Team Videos:

This can work no matter what your business – with the majority of staff having smartphones it’s easier than ever to make promotional videos or ‘behind the scenes’ snippets of your company. Whether an “Introduction to the Team” or a “How to Make Our Famous Chocolate Brownies” – by getting everyone involved in the production process, you not only give your team a new challenge and focus, but you will have an end product that will instill a sense of achievement and provide excellent marketing content.

#3 Twitter Q&A Sessions:

Getting the team involved in your social efforts is a great way to throw around some creative ideas. Why not have a Twitter Q&A week where a member or members of each department will have a ‘Twitter Takeover” giving them the chance to answer follower’s questions in their field of expertise? Again, this not only gives each department a chance to throw together some creative ideas and solutions but is great for your online interaction.

#4 Team Newsletters:

Team newsletters will give each department a chance to collaborate on key topics or bits of news that have affected their department or industry in the past month or fortnight. What’s more, if you work in a big company, the finished article will give everyone a chance to read the latest from across the company.

#5 Team Profiles:

Nearly every website you come across now will give you the option to “Meet the Team”. And as online platforms become more focused on the individual, companies are adding that extra pinch of personality to the traditional “About Us” page by adding profiles. Team photos and detailed biographies including hobbies, pets, ‘claims to fame’ etc are a great way to get to know a little bit more about your team mates and work well to break the ice with new recruits. You could even put aside an afternoon for staff to put their heads together and come up with photographs and interests to include in their profiles.

So if you’re sick of corporate exercises, or you don’t have the time to set up regular team-building days or activities or even if you just want to run a slightly better team than Roy Hodgson…

Hopefully these ideas will give you an insight into some quick, contemporary and even on-going team-building tasks to ensure your team remain real winners.