Saturday, October 20, 2018

Building Office Comradery'

Creating a ** TIGHT TEAM **
Help Your Team 'GEL'. Use these simple social activities in the office to create team synergy and bonding.
In today's economy authenticity is as important as performance.  Office coordinators are working hard to develop a sense of life-work balance and a culture of Intrigue among colleagues.  Top talent will move companies to get more life-work balance if your company doesn't evolve with the expectations of today's workforce. The old adage says, "All work and no play" not only makes "Johnny a dull boy", but will lead to burn-out and leaving your team.... resulting in YOU training new hires.  Talent turnover is expensive. Here are a few ideas on how to bring Team Building into your workplace.
Get Involved and  Mentor a Start-Up

Invite a local dog shelter to bring a puppy to the office for an hour.  Your office gets to pet the dog & take a break from work.  Enjoying a simple pleasure like a puppy/ dog reduces cortisol levels (stress hormone) and helps people SMILE & RELAX. 
Organize holiday-theme activities centered around culture, food, dress, history, music & or hats to encourage everyone to enjoy lunch together.  As an option pass out bracelets to demonstrate who showed up and had fun- both men and women like these if they aren't obnoxious. Don't forget the vegan crowd.
For Holiday-theme activities it is a good idea to Plan a Conversation Starter 

  • Introduce an easy oral 'game' over lunch get everyone talking. The key is to mix up the usual chat groups.  Get cross talk going.
    • Have you heard of the grape vine game?  
    • Most people like to play simple card games (memory, go fish, hearts, rummy).  
    • You can even have an impromptu murder mystery where you hand out actor roles (Remember to always rope the owner/ president into this).  
      • You can find games that are already prepped- you just need to print and fold.
    • Use the presentation game. Contestants play the role of a scientist defending their dissertation on a (nonexistent) scientific topic and have to make it up as they go. A panel will quiz them and attempt to take them down. The presenter who lasts the longest without faltering becomes the winner..
    • Build a structure that can support a brick out of simple office supplies, like: index cards, rubber bands, tape, printer paper+
    • Mouse Trap: build a mouse trap with rubber bands, tape, printer paper+
    • B-I-N-G-O!
    • Comical skit put on by the leadership/ owners.  It can be company history focused. 
    • Treasure Hunt around the office.  Clues can be about the company, department or a customer.
    • Find Someone Who..... Game to get people talking about 
      • who has lived in another country?
      • who has more than 1 dog?
      • Who has vacationed in Tahiti?
Potluck is a great way to get people talking about recipes/ flavors.  

A Chili or Soup Challenge is a great way to see who makes the best dish and get people up and voting on their favorite.  Another benefit to friendly competition is that every item has to be tasted-  so the team is moving around sampling... and discussing.  Or a Bake Off. 

Community BBQ.  Everyone brings an item for the grill and is a part of the event.

Friendly Team Competitions (with points & prizes).  Well coordinated Brain Teasers, Quests & Challenges are good clean FUN.  
    • We have a 'Drag Strip Derby' track.  Participants use various challenges to earn the parts to build cars and race them down the track.  
    • Don't rule out Escape Room puzzles.  These are very popular right now & can be creative and synergistic with a little preparation. 
    • Team up to create an office FLAG
    • First use diversity cards to determine 1 amazing skill each person in the office has naturally.  Then proudly post the team's list of strengths in a central location-  Look at Our TEAM! (no names)
    • Cup stacking
    • Marble Toss
    • Orange Pass
    • Gyroscope
    • Nerf Basketball
    • Build a Structure to support a brick with simple office supplies.
    • Paper plane competition 
      • for the winner give them a see-through box to proudly display their 'wings'.

Take it to the Park!  It can be great fun to host a baseball game or cricket or tennis.  Give your team the afternoon off to enjoy watching/ participating. I even organize 
  • simple golf challenges
  • bozo buckets
  • volleyball challenge 
    • how many times can you hit the ball? can do this with tennis racket too
  • focus challenges 
    • like how many things can you remember that our president has on today?
  • 1 legged races 
    • need potato or rice bags & twine
  • fill the bucket with a measuring cup or ladel
  • pass the egg on a spoon while running
  • blind smell quiz- what is that!?  
  • Scavenger Hunts for natural items 

Organize Charity Outreaches:  widen your perspective.  
  • Options are charity events to homes or orphanages, 
  • Feed the Starving Children.  
  • Plant a Tree.  Plant a Garden. 
  • Adopt a Shelter.
  • Widen Your Perspective: Host a "Put Yourself in Their Shoes" Luncheon
    • Set a poverty type budget and challenge departments/ teams to take turns bringing in lunch at or under that budget.  
    • The Challenge is to Keep to the Budget

Invest in healthy, well-rounded office dynamics that get people out of their usual routine: 
  • Lunch walks are a good dynamic builder as they get people out of standard office interactions with one another.  
  • Invest in a ping-pong table.  Ping pong creates a fun dynamic.  Occasionally organize a tournament.  If your office is very serious- schedule people to play.  ...because self-care and relaxing are ESSENTIAL to excellent work and avoiding burn out.
  • Buy instruments: a couple cool drums, a tibetan singing bowl, a guitar & encourage those who desire to play to make some noise.  
  • Bring in a musician who can inspire people to jump in with simple rhythm/ cords. 
  • Host free meditation in the morning or evening
  • Host a movement class (any music works- but I like classical or jazz)
  • Host a 'who's on 1st?" day occasionally and highlight 1 person in the office.  This is not performance based-  highlight everyone.  Don't forget the janitor/ repair person.  Show that everyone on the team has value.
  • Find a colorful, interesting, unusual Chess board.  Encourage colleagues to play.  Coordinate a tournament occasionally.  Maybe department tournaments?

Remember to Give out Prizes & Encourage Participation.  The most serious office staff won't participate without a personal invitation.   
  • Take time to create snazzy paper Badges that can be proudly displayed back at their desk.  These act as good conversation starters for months to come. 
  • Starbucks/ Chipotle/ Fuel Gift Cards are great prizes
  • Most people like small travel mouse, portable speakers, earbuds(with microphone) for conference calls 
  • Lunch with the President/ Owner/ Mentor
  • I like to give the Gift of Generosity.  Many people enjoy to being generous so facilitate making that possible for them without the financial strain.  This can take many forms.
    • This could be a large gift card so the recipient can bring the office coffee one day.   
    • How much would 20 Shamrock shakes from McDonalds cost?  This keeps the social interaction going as they are personally delivered by the winner ;-)  
    • How much is the best tasting coffee grounds for the office community coffee maker?
    • The winner can invite someone they want to get to know more (or who wants to get to know THEM more) to lunch.  

Do you wish your HR team had someone to fast track these priceless skills?  Contract Tree to jump start the TEAM BUILDING COHESION in your office.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Highly Effective Dev Shops learn to Pay it Forward

This just in...  highly effective teams work together on projects outside the office.  When's the last time your team spent 2 hours on the river canoeing?  Or packing food for Starving Children?  Or delivering Trinkets for the Elderly in nursing homes?

Highly Effective teams know that after productivity peaks a Team Challenge is a good way to build long-term stamina.  Get out of the office & create healthy stress to push the team into another gear and sustain positive momentum.  Alert: Miss this cue and your team could fall down a notch, loose its edge & possibly experience burn-out.

Keep Your Team Invested in your Vision, Engaged in Knowledge Sharing & Working Together!   Here's an idea- How about some target practice with iTreeware?

Team Building for Geeks!

/about /
Here's a team building experience born out of my love for my fellow technical geeks.  My name is Tree.  I am a software developer & founder of iTreeware.  We are a tech company that builds mobile solutions for small business that upgrade branding, engagement, and impact- BAM!  It makes me feel awesome to provide a boost for American small business.

My fellow developers we are unique.  I understand.  That's why I formulated a 'Tech & Trek Quest Challenge' that will get you excited to compete.  This competition is about BrainTeasers & Caches, working together & innovating along the way.  Warning! Binary Conversions Ahead