Posted by Robert Half on 28 July 2016
Periodic team-building exercises can go a long way toward cultivating team morale and developing employees’ interpersonal skills and other leadership abilities. Both efforts are essential to retaining top performers in today’s challenging hiring environment.
Beyond tried-and-true extracurricular activities — such as a group outing to a local sporting event — aim for team-building exercises that promote staff discussion about work-related topics in a fun and memorable way. Here are three creative ideas.
1. Accounting game show
Split the department into teams, and try to stick to content employees can use in their everyday work. For a more informal type of team-building exercise, include interesting facts about employees (with their permission of course), especially positive stories related to their finance careers or accomplishments.
2. Idea-sharing lunches
A casual lunch — featuring good food — can serve as a general catch-up session as well as a platform for creative conversation. If your budget allows, have a caterer handle the food and beverage presentation and cleanup. If not, throw a fun potluck lunch — perhaps featuring a particular theme or cuisine.
These informal gatherings can be particularly valuable during intense work periods, such as tax season or before the year-end. In addition to informal idea sharing, have knowledgeable staff briefly share insights on relevant topics such as finance regulation and reporting updates. Just be sure to include time for lighthearted discussion, as well.
3. A company off-site
An off-site event mixed with brainstorming or idea forums, as well as personal free time and group activities, can help inspire your team and arm them with fresh ideas to take back to the office. This is also provide a great setting for strategic planning and professional development opportunities outside of the office. If budgets allow, considering renting a cabin in a nature park to encourage time outdoors for hiking and relaxation. If this isn't possible, there are many collaboration venues for hire which can also fit the bill in urban areas.
Most important of all — Have a vision
No matter what type of team-building exercises you choose for your employees, be sure to outline clear goals that you want to achieve through these activities. Consider involving your team in the planning process, as well; allowing them to provide input and add their personal touch can help them feel more invested.
Over time, you’ll discover which strategies resonate best with your employees. You can then schedule team-building activities on a regular basis to maintain a more engaged and productive accounting and finance team. These activities will become a part of your office culture, and can help to promote retention.
What team-building activities have you used with your staff that you thought were particularly effective? Share your ideas in the comments.
*This article originally appeared on the Robert Half Management Resources blog