In the good old days, the best team building plans were based on rulership. Managers and supervisors were free to lord over their subordinates with the iron fists of sovereignty. Team building was about cracking a scepter-like whip to make sure the workers toed the line.
In today’s workplace, the best team building strategies are based on relational leadership. The most successful and progressive corporations are transitioning from the kind of autocratic rulership in which the only thing that matters is the company coffers; to a more enlightened leadership style in which executives recognize that the company’s wealth is also the people they employ and the talents they bring.
During the golden age of corporate America, executives had ultimate control over their employees who were expected to stay with the company or factory until they retired. Not so today. The American workforce has never before been as transient or dynamic. As Baby Boomers retire and are replaced by Millennials, corporate leadership is being stretched beyond its comfort zone. Managers and supervisors are being challenged to find and implement the best team building opportunities to engage and keep their young employees.
Charitable team building workshops can provide non-threatening opportunities for leaders to practice relationship building with their employees. They give both superiors and their subordinates the chance to descend the corporate ladder and see each other eye-to-eye, as fellow human beings.
During our WheelCharity Wheelchair Team Building Workshop, a supervisor and a new recruit might work together assembling a wheelchair for someone who is handicapped and homebound. Or at one of our Mission: Military Care Team Building events, a CEO may actually get to know his secretary as they work together on a care package full of snacks, magazines, toiletries, and love for overseas military personnel.
During the upcoming holiday season, corporate colleagues can pay it forward by donating dinners, and other items to the needy in their communities. For example, in our Wagon Builders Team Building Workshop, coworkers may feel like kids again as they put together a bright red wagon and stuff it with toys for a needy child.
Charitable workshops are among the best team building events because they help leaders learn how to relate more than they rule and to guide more than they dictate. They can learn how to influence through positive constructive interaction, instead of intimidation and alienation. They can get comfortable with the idea that being a leader doesn’t always mean being out in front. It can also mean being a part of the group–working shoulder to shoulder, and heart to heart.