One more time, it’s important to set a realistic timeframe for team building. What do all of these scenarios have in common?
An Asian seminar company insisted on marketing a 3 day simulation as a 2 day event as they felt they would have difficulty convincing companies to release potential delegates from work.
The delegates were really stressed and felt frustrated that too much was being asked of them in too little time.
A health care products firm organized a retreat that required a full 3 days to complete. In spite of this, the organizer ignored the advice of the facilitator and event planner and insisted on cramming the programme into 2 1/2 days and by ending extra early on the last day.
Unfortunately, there was a severe snow storm resulting in a major accident that blocked the highway for hours. The group arrived at their destination 4 hours late. In spite of this, the CEO took 2 hours for the opening presentation when 1 hour had been allocated.
Massive frustration, huge pressure on the participants and the facilitator and less than optimal results. The organizer, who didn’t help the situation by requesting constant changes throughout the retreat, complained that the facilitator was stressed. Participants complained that enough “wiggle room” had not been built into the retreat.
A manufacturing company wanted to do a team building session to help two groups that had to work closely together get to know each other better. Despite the fact that the company was advised that a minimum of 4 1/2 hours was required plus time for scoring the results, the company insisted on doing it in 3 hours.
The participants were frustrated as the time pressure was incredible and some individuals reacted with hostility towards the facilitator for rushing and pushing them.
Team Building Tip: Set a Realistic Timeframe
There is no point in investing time and money for a team building session or retreat if from the outset you don’t allow an appropriate amount of time to achieve your objectives. Sufficient time has to be allocated and a buffer also should be built in for unexpected delays, accidents, etc.
It would be better to pass on team building altogether than to handcuff the facilitator and place the participants under undue stress as the result of an unrealistic timeframe.
It would be interesting to hear comments from organizations about why professional advice is so often ignored regarding the appropriate amount of time required for team building.