Employee team building ideas

I’m the owner of a team building company in New York City – meaning I am a passionate enthusiast of creating fun and memorable experiences for others, as well as an advocate for employees – especially “worker bees” below the managerial level. I’ve turned my background in professional event planning and entertainment into a unique career, and truly believe in the value of positive shared experiences for fostering teamwork and boosting morale.

And yet, my chosen profession has this horrible, horrible name.

Say “team building” to anyone – ANYONE – and watch their reaction. Spines stiffen; shoulders slouch; eyes roll. Through personal experience, secondhand knowledge and pop culture exposure, we have been conditioned to hate that phrase, because the connotation is that it means something cheesy, lame, ineffective and a complete waste of time (trust falls, anybody?)

As a guy who has been producing professional NYC team building events for seven years, I know firsthand that when done correctly, they can absolutely be effective in achieving specific goals designed to improve teamwork and boost morale – and measurably so, too. That’s why it’s such a shame that teams go into these events on the wrong foot, already having dismissed them as a fool’s errand before accepting that Outlook calendar invite.

So, here’s a radical employee team building idea: why don’t we change the name to something else?

It doesn’t have to be a completely ridiculous re-branding of the same thing – but how about a name which accurately reflects what the activity is all about, something that doesn’t instantly evoke a negative response? Perhaps “Staff Reward Event,” or maybe “Thank-You Party?” Something that actually gets people excited and enthused about attending, rather than lowering expectations.

I’m open to suggestions – please feel free to leave your ideas below!

Further reading: 3 Ways to Make Employee Team Building Exercises More Palatable