Manufacturing is a lot like any other business in that you need strong buy-in from everyone to truly succeed. For that reason, many companies would be wise to invest a bit more of their time and energy into team-building exercises that do more to ensure all involved are on the same page.
The following tips could help you find a successful formula for long-term team-building efforts and, in turn, get a little more productivity and engagement from your entire workforce:
1) Get them to trust each other
Trust-building exercises are a staple of team training efforts - and for good reason, according to Small Business Trends. A key part of teamwork is knowing you can trust the person standing next to you to help you get the job done right, and believe your managers will have your back if any issues arise. Likewise, managers should have full confidence in their team, and trust-building games are a great way to do so.
2) Plan for a roundtable afterwards
A crucial part of any training session - including team-building - is a debrief afterwards where managers and employees can talk about what worked well for them and what might need to be tweaked in the future, Small Business Trends added. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to training of any type, and if you can get a better sense from your workers about where their preferences lie and what they've found most helpful, that will aid you in crafting more effective and fun team-building exercises in the future.
3) Make it fun
Training and team-building sessions that come across as dry or a lot like schoolwork aren't likely to be well-received by your employees, according to Inc., magazine. The focus here should be a fun and informal approach that allows you to engage your workers and get your point across without making them feel put upon. Something as simple as getting them a little more active could be just what you need to guarantee a better time.
4) Don't be overly complicated
Along similar lines to keeping these efforts fun, they should also be relatively simple and straightforward, Inc., advised. When you start introducing a lot of rules around trust-building games, they're not going to be as engaging for your employees. As such, if you can provide one or two levels of instruction and leave it at that, everyone involved is going to have a better time with it.
5) Add a little competition
Splitting your entire workforce up into smaller teams is practical in these exercises, and to spice things up a little bit and really encourage participation, making it something of a competition can be a good idea, according to Mike Cardus. These efforts shouldn't be highly competitive, of course, but if you add a little sweetener - "Everyone on the first team to complete the puzzle gets a $5 gift card," for example - you're likely to receive more engagement.
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