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7 Team Building Ideas To Create An Engaged Team

Below is a list of ideas of team building events that are sure to keep your employees engaged.

Harald Merckel

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team-building-activities

New employees in a company are most likely hesitant to work hand in hand with one another. A lack of interaction can cause conflicts, miscommunication and inefficient work flows. This is the reason why team building is an integral part of any work environment.

Team building refers to unique activities done together by staff members to develop trust and improve their bonding. It allows them to realise how important it is to set aside personal interests and instead look out for one another to achieve a much bigger goal – that of the company.

Below is a list of ideas of team building events that are sure to keep your employees engaged:

1Back-to-Back Drawing

The goal: Communication skills

Materials needed:

  • Papers
  • Markers
  • Pictures of simple shapes

Proper communication in the workplace prevents confusion. This also strengthens the bond between employers and employees. Back-to-Back drawing stresses out the importance of communication at work.

In this activity, employees pair up with one another and sit back to back. Person A holds an image of a simple shape in his/her hand while person B holds a marker and paper. Person A instructs person B on how to draw the image without letting him/her know what the image is. At the end of the game, all pairs are to check which pair produced the closest replica.

Related: Team Building Without Time Wasting

25K Charity Run 

The goal: Bonding and stress reduction

charity-run

One of the best team building event ideas that brings employees together is exercise. Why not organise a 5k charity run? This is a creative way to strengthen workplace relationships outside the typical office setting. Having a 5k charity run also allows your company to raise awareness for cancer or poverty – whatever the cause you’re supporting may be.

Moreover, 5k charity run events promote better health for staff members. As a form of physical activity, such events reduce their stress and help them make better decisions at work.

3Christmas Tree Decorating Contest

The goal: Co-operation and sportsmanship

Materials needed:

  • Recycled plastic bottles
  • Yarns/ribbons
  • Paint
  • Old, unused CDs
  • Etc

During the holidays, allow your staff to experience an enjoyable, competitive activity such as a Christmas tree decorating contest. A holiday contest like this encourages employees to participate and exhibit his/her own creativity to produce a winning outcome.

In this contest, your employees will be subdivided into smaller groups. Each group will be decorating their Christmas tree out of any recycled materials. The winning team would receive a cash prize or get treated for free pizza.

In addition to fostering cooperation, this holiday contest emphasises good sportsmanship. Not everyone literally wins but the good part is that a wonderful accomplishment has been made. 

Related: 7 Steps To Building An Inspired Team That Achieves Amazing Results

4Karaoke Night

The goal: Celebrate differences

karaoke-night

Organising an exciting karaoke night for your team allows each member to let loose and celebrate everyone’s individuality.

Some employees are simply hesitant to let their guard down for fear of unacceptance. However, being vulnerable isn’t as scary as one makes it out to be.

After all, singing with team members from work is a great way to hang out. There are no rules and no pressure. And who knows, amazing talents get discovered. There’s definitely something awesome to reminisce the next day at the office.

5Scavenger Hunt 

The goal: Collaboration, creativity, and efficiency

Materials needed:

  • Different objects
  • Clues or riddles

The Scavenger Hunt is another team building game that compels team members to work well together under time pressure. In this game, you’ll be dividing your staff into subgroups. All subgroups are challenged to find a list of items within a limited time frame. Set your timer to a desired number of minutes.

You can leave clues and riddles to encourage your employees to use their creativity. The team that brings the most items on the list wins.

Related: Blend These 7 Personality Types When Building Your Executive Team

6A Truth And A Lie

The goal: Get to know each other better

telling-a-lie

Materials needed:

  • Pens
  • Sheets of paper

A Truth And A Lie is a highly popular team building activity that enables members to get to know each other better so they’ll feel more at ease with interacting at work. This fun game is usually organised for new team members to break the ice.

New employees are to gather together in one circle. Each one will write two sentences on a sheet of paper. These two sentences are anything employees want to say about themselves. Sentence one is a lie and sentence two is the truth.

Each employee will be saying out out what he/she has written on paper. The rest will decide which sentence is a lie and which one is not. Those who guessed correctly get one point. The person who gets the most number of points wins.

7Human Shapes

The goal: Planning and creativity

Find an open space where your staff members can gather. Divide them into smaller groups. Their challenge is to form words (with three to four letters) using their bodies within a specified time.

A fast-paced and challenging activity, Human Shapes compels teams to produce great outcomes based on their planning. As we all can agree, planning in the workplace is essential to deliver good, timely results.

There are still more office team building ideas you can try out. These are just a few of the best ones. Indeed, team building is something that organisations, regardless of their size, shouldn’t miss.

From enhancing communication to proper planning, team building activities bring out the best in every employee, break barriers, and bring success.

Harald Merckel is a freelance writer whose primary focuses are business, e-gaming and marketing. Although he loves tech gadgetry as much as the next guy, Merkel prefers to write with pen on paper. Merkel has a B.A. in Business and Communication from HWR-Berlin, where he was active in the Studentenwerk Berlin organisation. He has been a proud Berlin resident since the late 1990s.

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Nedbank’s Full Service Offering for Franchise Owners

Nedbank Franchising

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Prithivan Pillay, National New Business Development Manager on Nedbank’s offering for Franchise owners.

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How The Sanlam Enterprise And Supplier Development Programme Is Helping Start-up Businesses

The balance between funding, business development and mentorship can make or break an enterprise development programme

Francois Adriaan

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Sanlam Enterprise and Supplier Development

165 new employment opportunities, 172 SMEs developed and 1046 jobs sustained. These are some of the numbers recorded by Sanlam as the company prepares to wrap up the fourth year of its Sanlam Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme.

The flagship incubation scheme has turned around loss-making enterprises, helped some participants get critical accreditation and funding, but most importantly, R12.6 million was spent procuring goods and services from the participating businesses by the end of 2016.

Related: Enterprise Development Programmes For Black Entrepreneurs

Receiving funding isn’t the secret to start-up success

Francois Adriaan, head of Sanlam Foundation says the secret to a successful enterprise development programme is not the amount of funding big corporates can give SMEs: “It’s having the right mix of mentorship; business intervention and procurement spend flowing from your corporate to small businesses.

You have to show the entrepreneur you are mentoring that you trust them enough to do business and walk the journey with them instead of giving them a once-off grant and leaving them to their own devices,” says Adriaan.

Financial support that’s timed to business need

Like in many other ESD programmes, participants in the Sanlam ESD programme also have access to funding. But what sets the programme apart from others, says Adriaan is that the amount of funds disbursed to each participating businesses is directly linked to its need, its commitment and progress record.

“Financial support is timed according to the specific needs of each SME. Those who qualify for funding are then provided with a further seven years of SME growth support through the ASISA Enterprise Development Fund.”

The Sanlam ESD programme

The Sanlam ESD programme was launched in July 2013 in collaboration with the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA) to empower SMEs, create jobs and contribute to economic growth in South Africa. An independent evaluation shows that participating enterprises have grown their annual revenue by 19% on average.

D&P Auto participants

One of the programme participants is D&P Auto, a panel beating business based in Retreat. For two decades, the owners of the business (husband and wife) poured their life savings, bank loans and even pension policy pay-outs into the business to keep it afloat because it was not making profit. Three years of focused business incubation and mentoring under the Sanlam ESD programme resolved D&P Auto’s 20-year loss-making battle.

“Our business has grown from a non-profitable business to the extent that we now have to pay provisional taxes to SARS for the first time in 24 years,” said Pam Douglas on their business maiden profit.

Successes of the incubation programme

The incubation from the programme has helped other participants brush up their bookkeeping skills, file successfully for tenders and get accreditation that took their businesses to the next level.

G&T Auto, the only fully accredited Major Structural Repairer in the programme, bagged Mazda accreditation last year, a rare accolade that will see the enterprise repair Mazdas that are still under warranty. The owner, Thembi Sithole says the programme has given her confidence to approach bigger clients as she now understands the requirements to get big contracts. She has also become more knowledgeable about financial statements and their impact on obtaining funding.

Related: Why Employee Engagement Programmes Backfire And What You Can Do About It

Adriaan says enterprise development initiatives of this nature give big corporates an opportunity not only achieve their business objectives, but also impact broader South African society.

“This commitment is around impacting issues of inter-generational poverty, unemployment and inequality. It is also about aligning around public-private-civil society partnerships in sustainable ways,” concludes Adriaans.

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The Rise Of Digital In Shaping Business Terrains

There is pressure for businesses to become agile with many being pushed to innovate rapidly, and those that fail to adapt being blind-sided and left scrambling to survive.

ACCA

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The rise of digital is influencing the direction and conduct of business, large and small. It is challenging how entrepreneurs and their advisors, including finance professionals, produce and consume data.

The shift towards digital is transforming channels to market, customer preferences are shifting, product and service lifecycle is shortening and competition is merging from unexpected sources.

There is pressure for businesses to become agile with many being pushed to innovate rapidly, and those that fail to adapt being blind-sided and left scrambling to survive.

This changing business landscape is exerting pressure on CFOs and finance professionals to capture, measure, report and predict future performance in real time to support better decision making and business growth.

Related: Africa Rising: Contemporary Culture Revolution Presents Huge Digital Opportunities

It means capturing data at a granular level, processing massive amounts at the same time and visualising them to decision makers in real time through dashboards. This demands a massive shift in the CFO role to be a strategist, technologist and influencer.

ACCA has been championing research to understand the impact of digital on businesses, how emerging technologies are reshaping the economy and the impact on the finance profession. Research has identified the need to ensure that the shift towards digital is implemented as part of a broader transformation journey with clarity on how customer value is created, and how that is likely to change in the future.

Analytics, cloud, collaboration and robotics process automation (RPA) have been identified as the four pillars driving the rise of digital and bringing significant changes to how business is conducted, and will be conducted in the future.

Analytics is being spurred by the huge volumes of data generated inside and outside the organisation which is making it possible to inform evidence-based decision making.

Both businesses and consumers are generating tremendous amount of data that is easily accessible, whether free or paid, and capable of being analysed to extract insight. The rise of new technologies has made it possible to analyse huge volumes of data of all shapes and sizes including text, numbers, pictures etc in real time.

It’s making it possible for businesses to track sophisticated but useful key performance indicators. It is challenging the CFOs to understand the drivers of value, track performance and influence decisions.

A huge enabler of the shift towards digital has been the emergence of the cloud and the plethora of online applications accessible from anywhere in the world. The cloud has made it possible for small business to play in the big league without having to make the huge upfront capital investment normally associated with legacy systems. Cloud has made it possible for any business to have access to the very latest technology whether it is developed in Silicon Valley or Cape Town.

It has also transformed costs that were traditionally considered fixed into variable costs because of the revenue models of cloud based solutions. It has removed technology as a barrier to entry, creating competition and new possibilities. Business is driven by technological wave to think differently about business models, pricing and how to deal with competition.

The emerge of powerful online collaboration tools and applications, supported by improved access to broadband, has revolutionised how teams work together and made the gig economy a viable option.

Teams do not need to be housed in the same physical location to work together thereby lowering costs such as office rental and making access to skilled professionals more accessible and affordable.

Businesses can collaborate with advisors, such as accountants, online reducing consulting costs without comprising access to professional advice. On the other hand, professionals can service a lot more clients from the comfort of their office eliminating the need to frequently travel to client premises.

An emerging trend across the globe is the emergence of robotic process automation (RPA) to reduce process costs, increase control and standardisation.

While there may be moral questions around robots taking away jobs from humans in an economy with rising unemployment, the adoption of RPA can allow businesses to upscale rapidly and service more clients with the same number of resources.

While the financial services industry have taken the lead in the South African market, there is space for many industries and businesses of all sizes to adopt RPA.

Related: How To Thrive In The Face Of Digital Darwinism And Technology

The expected decline in technology costs will most likely make the cost benefit analysis tip in favour of RPA. It will challenge the world of business to streamline and standardise business processes and up skill staff.

Recent research indicates that even employees of SMEs and entrepreneurs see some good opportunities for innovation through technology. Whilst decision makers in the companies agree that technology will enable accounting and finance professionals to focus on higher value added activity.

The move towards digital raises the obvious questions around cyber-security and data protection especially customers and employees’ private information. Performing appropriate due diligence on potential partners, either for cloud or on-site options, is key as the consequences of a security breach could be fatal.  A recent example South African example is the breach of 30 million records containing sensitive information such as ID numbers‚ names physical addresses and property ownership details.

Businesses need a resilient cyber strategy to thwart and contain possible threats.

The rise of digital is here and the impact on businesses and the finance professionals will continue. What is certain that those who want to survive and remain relevant will have to adapt, fast.

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