Masterclass: How to organise a team-building event

Steve Gaskin, managing director of Right Angle Corporate, explains what makes a great team day out

When it comes to planning a team-building event, it’s important to find something original. You need to be scanning the horizon: what is the press talking about? What programmes are currently on TV? What can your employees relate to?

What’s key is picking a really exciting event. Team-building activities have had more than their fair share of bad press in the past, so you’ll need to work around that. 

Try to choose something that will be of interest to the majority of your colleagues. People should come out of the event having enjoyed what you’ve put on. That’s why it’s worthwhile looking at the purpose and objectives of the activity. 

More broadly, improving communication is the most popular reason why people want to take part in a team-building exercise in the first place – they want to get to know their colleagues better. 

But more specifically, there are three types of employee who all want to get different things out of the event. First, you have someone who wants a specific outcome, whether that’s improving leadership skills or something else. They want there to be a test, and to be able to see a tangible improvement by the end of the day. 

Some people want what I call an ‘intelligent jolly’ event. They want to learn something but still be entertained. But there is also the third type that wants a team-building event that’s just for fun. You need to work with your event organiser to get the best outcome and event for all these people.

Finding the best organiser is important, and you should make sure you research them first. After all, if you were looking to buy a new car, you would make sure the company was reputable before you parted with your money. It’s much the same for events.

You also need to look at your budget, and I would advise spending as much as you realistically can. What you’re ultimately trying to achieve is to make the event memorable and help people feel more valued in the workplace, and they may realise if you’ve under-spent.

The last (and arguably most important) thing to remember is to make sure there is ample food and drink for everyone. You don’t want your staff to go hungry, no matter what format your event takes