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The best way to get your employees to work as a team is to give them opportunities to become one, and that usually requires a little team building. Some employees may groan when they hear this term because they’ve taken part in so-called “team-building exercises” that didn’t quite work as they might have, but a well-executed bonding session truly can bring people together. Use the fall as an opportunity to turn a group of employees into a whole, a machine whose parts work together in sync.

Sports or Fitness Activities – If you want to build a team, why not give them opportunities to act as one and get moving at the same time? Physical fitness helps keep everyone healthy and relieves stress, and something done as a group can have those more athletic supporting and encouraging those who aren’t as inclined. Consider your area and what it has to offer: It can range from a light hike after work to a spirited volleyball game to yoga to an all-office walk/run. It also shows the employees that you care about their health as much as their work-time productivity (and the former will enhance the latter!).

Volunteering – What better way to bring people together than by putting them in a situation to help others? It also helps them give back to the community, infusing them with a sense of togetherness with each other and the area they live in. And studies show that volunteering instills positive feelings, that sense of purpose and goodwill that arises from helping others. Plus it helps employees find their passions and re-energize outside of work while coming together to help others. Look around your area to find what needs the community has and bring the employees together to help out.

Take a Field Trip Sometimes employees dread “team-building exercises” because they’re so rigidly structured that it feels like a forced sense of togetherness, so consider an outing where employees can have some freedom within it. Have a picnic in a local park, put together a field day with (optional) games and friendly competitions, visit a local or national landmark and just allow people to come together in a relaxed environment.

Professional Development In order for employees to improve at their jobs, sometimes it helps to have an opportunity for on-the-job learning…outside of the office. Take everyone to a conference or host an off-site training workshop. Just make sure that you offer something that truly does improve learning and team morale–research what will help your employees most and an effective way to make it happen. You may want to consider using current, enthusiastic team members to lead some sessions, allowing them to share their knowledge with their fellow employees.

As fall approaches, take advantage of the time before the holidays kick into full drive to bring your team together however you can. For suggestions on team-building exercises that work, reach out to the experienced staffing professionals at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks.

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