Adults who work with kids are always giving of themselves. Team building activities can provide a chance to relax and re-energize, as well as promote the development of healthy group skills.
Benefits of Staff Team Building Activities
Team building activities provide staff members the chance to work on their group problem-solving skills in a fun, low-stress way. It also gives them the chance to bond and get to know each other better in a more unstructured situation. Team building activities give teams the chance to let off steam, re-energize, and relieve stress through physical activity. An added benefit: staff members may need to step out of their comfort zones to complete some of the activities, which gives them a better understanding of how kids often feel when they are under stress.
Finding Staff Team Building Activities
Many of the activities that are regularly used for student team building are appropriate for staff team building as well. Be sure to ask staff members for suggestions, as many of them have probably participated in these types of exercises before and may have some good ideas. Don’t try to do too much at one time. A few well-planned activities, with plenty of time available for completion, is much better than racing through numerous activities.
Structuring Staff Team Building Activities
Activities can be implemented in several ways. If time is limited, one or two activities may be added into scheduled staff meetings on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Groups that have more time to devote to this initiative may decide to use an entire day for team-building. Staff members can be divided into teams, participate in a variety of competitive and cooperative games, and take time at various points to reflect on the process. If this format is used, be sure to provide a variety of activity types (i.e. physical, mental, etc.) and to generate a list of possible questions to drive the processing components of the day.
Processing Staff Team Building Activities
Using questionnaires or other means to assess staff reaction to activities can provide meaningful information regarding how successful activities are, and help provide direction for future team building exercises. You may want to ask about participants comfort level throughout the day, how it felt to be part of their group, and what they believed to be their groups’ strengths and weaknesses. Encourage participants to identify what sort of role they assumed (leader, follower, bystander, naysayer, etc.), whether or not that role defines them in work-related activities, and how that impacts their job performance.
With proper planning, staff team building exercises can be a fun and valuable tool to promote group cohesion and the development of problem-solving skills. Youth workers, as well as the children they serve, will benefit from the opportunity to participate.