What Is Team Building and Where To Start: A Beginner’s Guide For Start-Ups

You’ve just started your company and gotten it on track. Now you are wondering, How can I boost efficiency in the office? or How can I create a strong and positive company culture? These are important questions, vital to taking the success of your start-up to the next level. Frankly, there are many different answers; discussing them all will lead this article to no end. 

So let’s start with possibly the most obvious of them all — Team Building.

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What is Team Building?

A quick search on Google will give the following definition:

“the action or process of causing a group of people to work together effectively as a team, especially by means of activities and events designed to increase motivation and promote cooperation.”

But what does that mean for you?

For a start-up, team building is about letting your people get to know one another better, beyond the perfunctory daily interactions between co-workers (out of obligation from being in the same environment for at least eight hours a day). It is about facilitating interactions and bonding that go beyond the sole discussion of work (or casual hi-byes), so as to build trust among team members.

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Especially for start-ups, with a dynamic working environment, team building activities are also important to help employees relieve the stresses from work. Having fun together is undoubtedly a fast way to bond with someone, and allowing employees to have fun creates an inviting and positive company culture. 

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In summary, team building is the process that helps build a cohesive team that is motivated to work well together, with improving the productivity of the team as the end goal.

So, where to start?

Planning a team building event can require a great deal of work; from choosing the right activity to coordinating everybody’s schedules. To make the process simpler, here’s a 5-step guide on how to plan your company’s first team building session:

  1. Set a goal (or two)
  2. Establish a budget
  3. Involve the right people
  4. Find the right time
  5. Choose an activity


1. Set a goal (or two)

Define what you would like to achieve from the team building session. An understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of individuals in a team? A well-bonded and motivated team? Or simply a reward for the hard work put in for the year or a successful project? 

Setting goals will help in choosing the right team building activity that is targeted at achieving these intended outcomes.


2. Establish a budget

A budget serves as a guide for what you can afford and how extensive your team building event can be. Aside from the costs of the activity, considerations such as transport and parking, meals, and for offsite activities, booking a location, will add to the costs of the event. Establishing a clear budget will ensure that you choose a way to meet your goals that the company can support comfortably.


3. Involve the right people

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If one of your team building goals is to bond members of a team, make sure to invite the shy ones! Make it clear if the team building event is mandatory, and do so well in advance to avoid any last-minute backouts. Engage everyone during activities, especially those who should be encouraged to interact with others more. It is definitely not ideal to have only the sociable participating and the closed-off lurking in the background!


4. Find the right time

To ensure maximum participation, it is important to find a time for your team building session that can fit into everyone’s schedules. Some people might not be comfortable with attending team building events in their free time, so do make sure that the whole team is on board with the proposed date and time. Try to avoid holding team-building events when the team is rushing a deadline!


5. Choose an activity

Sure, team building can take place over a shared lunch hour, but what good will a few conversations of someone’s boyfriend/husband/child or their trifling opinion of a client do to increase motivation in the workplace? 

Team building can be much more effective when carried out through targeted activities, be it indoors or outdoors. Some activities involve the team working together to solve a problem, while others may encourage everyone to try out novel experiences together. The first is often used to develop teamwork and problem-solving skills; the latter works better at fostering a favourable company culture and in turn, improving employee loyalty.

There is a wide array of traditional and novel team building activities to choose from. Go with one that targets your set goals and aligns with the type of company culture you want to build. The bottom line is to encourage collaboration, not competition!


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Fancy a one-step guide instead? At Culturally, we customise various team building options suitable for your company. Let us do the planning. Find out more here.

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