“Time to get organized and learn about time management. Everybody sit down, presentation up, follow the slides, and learn…” Learn? Really? I rather feel like turning off the video call or leaving the meeting room! There must be an alternative for workshops around communication, problem-solving skills or collaboration on PowerPoint basis.
Employee development is important to keep a company competitive. But I’m sure you all agree that humans learn better when not knowing they are. I have seen employees already closing up internally when they hear the word workshop or trainer because they feel put on the spot. They feel judged as if their boss explicitly told them they are not good at a certain skill by booking the course.
It’s not what you say, but how you say it
What sounds better to you?
“Let me show you how to do this better.” vs. “I’ll show you a method that makes me work faster, in case it might help you too.”
When humans hear the first version, our natural reaction is often defensive. Who wants to be told they are not good enough? Knowing how to phrase it right though creates a totally different attitude of the person upfront.
Approaching the topic in a more comfortable and informal way reduces stress levels before the workshop even starts. Playing for three hours is so much more fun and time flies by without noticing than knowing you will sit and watch a presentation for the next three hours. And another benefit is that by learning a skill in a playful way all attendees are immediately using and improving these skills without knowing it.
Team building events are facilitating exactly that. From time management over critical thinking to stress-management, you choose the skill and the event will teach it to the team by applying it in a playful, fun way. Getting out of the event with the aha effect that shows them how they will benefit from applying these skills in their work is a lot more valuable and motivating for them to actually give it a try – instead of feeling forced to use a method that was ordered from the top.
Make fun your ally
When teams are not close or don’t know each other well because maybe they were formed throughout a pandemic that never let them meet in real life before, they may have difficulties to grow together. A team building activity helps them to open up in a playful way rather than being stuck in awkward, forced video calls. What do you talk about when not experiencing each other in the office? Easy, there is no time to come up with stiff small talk at our remote team building events. With no ‘business’ pressure but under time pressure the small teams will quickly create powerful bonds over laughing together and getting to know each other in a non-business environment. Instead of being exposed and put on the spot, we change the focus of conversation to a comfortable, personal level.
Fun helps humans to open up and become comfortable with (estranged) colleagues. Create an inspiring atmosphere that releases stress and allows for mistakes. By rapping over their knuckles you won’t make them embrace development. But if you take technical issues with a wink in the eye they feel comfortable to experiment and grow in a safe environment. Or add that little dose of fun to loosen up long meeting days in between or at the end, which will significantly contribute to the flow of the evening.
Inspiring events last longer
Our range of team building activities lets employees change their perspective on each other by switching their common roles and experiencing new facets of their colleagues. Charly is always so on time with his tasks. How does he do it? Watch, try yourself, and you will learn.
On a side note, I’d like to highlight how much we can learn from simply watching TV ‘attentively’ to make our virtual events more inspiring for the audience. Try to observe the various and different camera angles and the effect that has. Reflect and learn how you can adapt and implement that in your next online event to capture everyone’s attention. Is TV (or Netflix) all serious? Pay attention to all those (hidden) twinkles and soon you spark joy in your conferences as well.
I dare to say that all information is communicated easier when delivering it playfully. Whether you feel uncomfortable sharing the news with your team that they have to improve to stay successful, or your employees are too shy to speak up or participate actively – having fun and experiencing uplifting moments together results in excited, valuable conversations. This is something forced networking will never achieve.
Always remember: Business is allowed to be fun!