Volunteering As A Team Building Experience


Team building exercises and events should be an important part of your company, as they encourage informal relationships between employers and employees.

Without these relationships, the employer will be seen solely as a figurehead, and employees may not be as motivated to reach company goals.

Volunteering as team is a fantastic way to encourage open dialogue and interaction with your staff, as well as between team members from different organizational departments.

Why do it?

  • Volunteering as a team would be a wonderful way for you to work toward a common goal and thus gain a sense of achievement together at the end of the program.
  • This would also provide an excellent opportunity for your company to work towards the Corporate Social Responsibility policy that is likely in place.
  • You will be providing a memorable experience for all in the company; an experience that would never be achieved behind a desk.

How to get started

How will you volunteer as a business?

This first point depends entirely upon the size of your company and the number of employees that you have.

If you are a large company, then each different department could perhaps volunteer as a team, with at least one top level manager included in the group.

On the other hand, a medium to small sized company might be able to volunteer as a large group, without any separation.

Where will you volunteer?

Should you volunteer abroad or locally? It is unrealistic for the entire company to travel abroad at once, especially for a large to medium sized business. However, this could work well for a smaller company that has only a few employees.

If you are a big company and still wish to volunteer outside of your home country, you could perhaps do it in small groups throughout the course of the year. However, this could be pricey for your business. It may be best to volunteer locally, instead.

Find the right program

The first thing you should look for is an organization whose mission and goals align with that of your company’s values. Always be aware of your company’s culture and find a program that would not disrupt this in any way.

The best type of program for team building, would be one that does not require any sort of specialized skills.

A program in which everyone’s role is equal or, at the very least, similar, is ideal. This means that everyone, from the highest level of management to the lowest level employee, would be on equal footing, with barely any distinction between their skills.

Ideal programs could be serving in a soup kitchen, planting trees, tidying local communal areas or creating gift baskets for the homeless, for example – anything that would get everyone involved and working towards the same goal.

How to turn it into a team building experience

  • Top level management should participate. This is without a doubt the most important aspect. It will give employees the opportunity to see their employers in a more relaxed setting and allow them to form an informal relationship.
  • Choose a program in which everyone will have the same or similar jobs.
  • Don’t force the issue. It should be viewed as a fun-filled bonding experience, not a punishment. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and those who don’t attend will likely be persuaded to attend the next one, by all those who did attend.
  • Try to make the event a work-free environment, where discussions of work are banned. Instead, cultivate a carefree environment with open dialogue. For example, make small talk or discuss world events. Management should also try to show an interest in the lives of their employees.
  • Try to make this is regular event. Perhaps once a week or bi-monthly. It would also be advantageous if it could be held during the week, as employees will be more likely to attend if it does not interfere with their personal time.

Be sure to organize a meal at the end of each program. A relaxed social setting will provide the perfect opportunity for everyone to bond over their shared experience.

Remember to set aside your leadership persona for a few hours, and just have fun!

About the Author Kayla London

Kayla studied Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in Management Marketing at Boston Business College in Cape Town. She is currently on a very exciting journey of becoming a writer through enhancing her skills by writing about climate change, adventure and travel.

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