Team Building Plan: 9 Simple Steps

Home » Resources » Team Building PlanUpdated: March 27, 2022

You found our guide on how to make a team building plan.

A team building plan is a roadmap that helps you plot your team’s development. A productive plan helps you view the undertaking through basic components such as budget, timeframe, and goals. By designing a proposal, you can organize your effort and oversee a smoother event or project. Following a plan helps you manage the process and ensures that you achieve your goals.

These plans follow a team building method and are ways to map the team building process.

The 9 steps include:

  • Gather a baseline reading
  • Nail down a timeframe
  • Decide on a goal
  • Establish a budget
  • Recruit a crew of helpers
  • Choose your activities
  • Pick a date, time, and place
  • Get the word out
  • Measure your results

So, check out the guide.

How to make a team building plan

Step #1: Gather a baseline reading

To map a route to a destination, you must first know your starting point. The first step in any team building plan should be to assess your crew’s current teamwork competencies. You should evaluate factors such as your group’s communication style, conflict resolution skills, and overall perceptions about the team and teammates.

Here are a few research methods you can employ:

  • Distribute an employee engagement survey
  • Initiate one-on-one evaluations with teammates
  • Observe group dynamics during projects and meetings
  • Solicit feedback from higher management, human resources, or adjacent departments
  • Run shorter team building activities to test your group’s cohesion and cooperation

Baseline readings provide the groundwork for your design process. Assessing your team and identifying strengths and weaknesses helps you determine an optimal approach.

Step #2: Nail down a timeframe

Experts agree that the team building process is most effective when ongoing, but the term “ongoing” has different meanings to different audiences. Some organizations might conceive of team development as a years-long campaign while others measure more short term results. While you should regularly schedule team building events, you may want to focus your plan around a specific time period. For instance, you may organize an intensive team building day or corporate retreat, or dictate that your organization host a minimum number of team building activities per year.

Step #3: Decide on a goal

The philosopher Seneca once said, “if one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” In other words, you must know the end result to determine the best course of action. Goals help you structure your operation, and give you an objective to aspire to.

Here are some goals you might consider for your team building plan:

  • Improve communication
  • Spark meaningful connections between colleagues
  • Sharpen problem-solving skills
  • Foster understanding between leaders and teammates
  • Boost employee morale
  • Encourage learning and personal development
  • Inspire innovation and creativity
  • Practice group decision-making

Once you know which goal or goals you hope to achieve, you can select an appropriate team building exercise aimed at your desired result.

Step #4: Establish a budget

Team building is an investment, and to measure a return on investment later, you must outline a beginning budget. You should include higher management in the discussion, as executives will likely want or need to sign off on a team building budget. It is a good idea to prepare a proposal that justifies the expenditure by explaining the benefits of team building.

To decide how much you should spend on team building, first consider the frequency and duration of your plan. If you opt for one intensive weekend as opposed to a series of monthly events, then you can spend more at one time, but may actually reap greater savings. Breaking down the cost per employee makes the price tag seem more reasonable. To gain a practical sense of how much you should expect to pay, you can research what similar companies spend on team outings and request a quote or consultation from a team building company.

Step # 5: Recruit a crew of helpers

Just like “it takes a village to raise a child,” it takes a team to make a team. Depending on the size and scope of your plan, coordinating your events may require a few extra sets of hands. Even if you opt for a low-maintenance approach like a series of icebreaker questions or online team building games, asking coworkers to weigh in can result in alternate viewpoints and great advice. Of course, your colleagues are not your only resources. You can also enlist the help of professional facilitators like the experts here at TeamBuilding to run a thoughtfully designed and engaging team building event.

Step #6: Choose your activities

After assembling a planning committee and establishing the basics like budget and timeframe, you can gather activity options that fit your plan. When narrowing down choices, you should keep the goal at the forefront of your mind. For instance, if your main objective is to improve communication, then reserving front row seats at a race car championship might not be the best idea.

You can also allow the staff to choose the activities, which gives employees autonomy and inspires a more positive reception among the staff. For best results, you should either provide teammates with a few choices to vote on, or give employees parameters such as price and type of venue.

Step #7: Pick a date, time, and place

Once you lay the groundwork for your plan, you can settle on particulars like date, time, and location. As with activities, you may want to give your teams the freedom to decide the details. Of course, the venue’s schedule and the nature of the event may limit your options. At the very least, you should determine whether you prefer to hold the event during the workday or after-hours, and set a range of dates that work best for your organization.

Step #8: Get the word out

For your team building program to be a success, your employees must show up and participate. Which means in addition to planning your activities, you have to actively promote the event. Part of your plan should include ways to get the word out about your events and activities.

Ways to advertise your event:

  • Team building emails and weekly memos
  • Flyers and banners around the building
  • Company website, internal forums, and social media pages or groups
  • Manager mentions during meetings
  • Calendar event invites
  • Team building folder cloud-based storage like Dropbox or Google Drive

Using a combination of methods ensures you reach the widest audience possible, yet at the same time you want to avoid spamming your staff with too many messages. In your initial email, include all the main points, and feel free to send a few short reminders as the event nears.

Step #9: Measure your results

Some leaders get so caught up in the planning process, and so relieved in the aftermath, that they forget the pivotal last step: to measure results. You cannot judge your plan’s effectiveness and improve your future planning process if you forget to evaluate your event. There are a few different metrics you could use to assess your outcome. Surveys are a simple yet powerful feedback tool. You could also track statistics such as attendance and participation across a series of events. Or, you could look for bumps in your team’s productivity and morale. The method of measuring results should align with your plan’s goal. Whatever your objectives, you can devise a means of tracking your progress.

Final Thoughts

Team building plans lay the foundation for an organized and effective operation. By creating a step-by-step guide and clear agenda, you clarify expectations and open yourself to help. These guides provide an actionable framework that simplifies the planning process. Whether you strut into your event carrying a color-coded binder or a few notes jotted on the back of a napkin, having a game plan helps you to organize and execute your vision, and reap the rewards of a happy, engaged team.

Next, check out the benefits of team building, this list of books on teamwork and these team building lesson plans.

We also have free team building worksheet templates.

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