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Are you getting the most out of your team building?

If you're running out of ideas for team building and wondering how you could foster more altruistic values in your team members then think about teaming up with a community cause or charity.
Most people think of coin buckets and walking the streets asking for money when I mention a charity but those activities are for the creatively challenged. Although funding plays a significant role in supporting charities, it is important to recognise that there are many other needs beyond just monetary contributions.  That's where you and your team come in.

Happy volunteer looking at donation box on a sunny day

If you belong to the Finance, IT, Marketing, HR, Sales or any number of other important teams in your organisation then you already have sought-after skills and experience that charities and community causes desperately need.  

A vast majority of charities in New Zealand face significant resource shortages, and the limited funding they receive often goes towards directly supporting their cause, rather than investing in crucial areas such as strategy, marketing, technology, and volunteer support. However, it is important to recognise that these aspects are essential for the overall success and operation of these organisations.
Utilising your team's expertise and skills to give back may seem insignificant to you, but to a charity struggling with limited resources, it means the world. Whether it's crafting a comprehensive marketing plan, streamlining financial systems, or offering innovative recruitment ideas, the skills your team takes for granted are precisely what a charity may lack and deeply appreciate

But what does your team get out of working with a charity or community cause?

A lot!  But only if you're organised and have a plan in place.  In addition to the obvious benefit of working together towards a common cause and addressing a social need, there are numerous other valuable skills that your team can cultivate but only if you plan ahead.

Those team development opportunities can include:

  • Identifying personal communication styles and learning to communicate more effectively with each other
  • Exploring where each team members strengths lie (sometimes hidden) and where team members could be utilised more for maximum impact
  • Building stronger relationships through fun and meaningful shared experiences
  • Learning to get out of your comfort zone with the support of your team
  • Gaining experience and confidence in fast paced problem solving
  • Creating and conveying core values and goals in a compelling and authentic way

That kind of development is something that team leaders dream of for their teams, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Many team leaders fail to consider the potential of merging personal growth with engaging activities and making a positive social impact in team building. However, this is an opportunity that could and should be taken much more frequently.
The key ingredient for this approach to truly succeed is the shared commitment of both parties (charities and teams) to engage in this type of team building more than just once a year.

I'm not implying that your team should volunteer at a charity every week, but dedicating at least four times a year would provide both the charity and your team with valuable opportunities to bond, strategise, plan, take action, and witness tangible change for all involved.

If you're intrigued by the idea of team building through community involvement but don't have the time to do all the planning and organising, find out more about our new adventure Bridging The Gap.  We can help you connect, plan and start improving your team building approach.