Bringing a new team together is never easy, especially when it comes to attempting to help all of the members bond. However, there are some steps you can take from the very beginning to help this process along, which are outlined below.
Use some ice breakers
Using ice-breaking exercises can do just that – break the ‘ice’ between new teammates and help them to break down those walls they may have put up. These can range from anything like doing trust exercises to grouping up members of the team and assigning them each a task. Anything that involves physical movement works especially well, as it has been prove to adapt your team’s mental state for the better.
Invite them to share details of their life
First impressions shouldn’t matter, but sadly they do. Often, many of us will make a snap judgement based on the first few minutes spent with a new person, however by inviting your new team to share details of their own life and experiences, it can help all involved to see their team-mates in a new light. Don’t make those involved feel uncomfortable by pushing them for too much information, but for those that are happy to divulge, this can prove to be a very effective exercise.
For example, a person may seem stressed and perhaps not paying attention. However when they reveal that they’re just stepping back into the world of work, after having left their children at school or with a babysitter, their peers may see them in a different light and show greater sympathy.
Don’t be scared of off-site outings
No-one’s saying it should be a regular thing (if you don’t want it to be) or that you must pay for the entire outing, but taking the team out of the work environment and into a more casual one could do wonders for the bonding process. Take the team to the pub, for example and invite them to share some bowls of chips/a few drinks. You’d be amazed at how people change outside of work and this may show the team that each individual is that – a human being, someone who they might actually relate to if they give them a chance.