As we continue to explore interesting ways and means to engage teams, to discover more about their team dynamics and their collaboration quotient, we hit upon an insight. Not that it is an original thought but a noble and powerful one for us to work on and interpret in our own way.
A community service exercise that engages a group of people together, represents a cause that is in many ways larger than us as individuals. The end goal of benefiting a larger audience has the power to make us think less about personal gains and motivations.
Several organizations support NGOs through financial aid and other strategic partnerships which involve and engage employees as a part of their CSR initiatives and are lauded for the same.
However, most of the initiatives that involve employees are not mandatory. They are voluntary and are strongly driven only by the organizations’ image in the public eye.
We felt a strong connection between community development initiatives, benefit based events and their ability to bring a team together. Here are some reasons why your next team engagement could be one that benefits the community as much as it does your team:
- The Cause, be it making furniture for a local school, or painting an old age home, afforestation drives etc. have a purpose that sits high on a pedestal. Aiming and achieving such a purpose has a sense of accomplishment and makes us feel good about ourselves.
- Our own personal goals that are not congruous as well as personal differences with fellow teammates, fade away in comparison to a task like this, making us realize that these might be petty and not worth pursuing in the interest of a common purpose. Well isn't that what a team is about? Isn't that what any team building initiative is about?
- By choosing an appropriate initiative you can challenge the team as well, making it engaging, competitive and a whole lot of fun. Teams bond and engage in a sincere and meaningful manner that goes way beyond a theme party or a dinner together. Not that that is not important!
- These can be integrated into any offsite, conference or team event as there are several kind of initiatives that are possible. These can also be an ongoing initiative where successive teams add elements to a long term project and as a team, business or group, you create lasting and permanent impact to the society that no one member could have done alone.
Here are some more ideas;
- Making furniture for a school, old age home, shelter etc.
- Treating animals in a pet shelter run by resource and people starved NGOs
- Painting & donating T-Shirts with a theme that could relate to your team, brand company etc.
- Creating education oriented literature, posters, paintings and putting them up in government schools, Anganwadis etc.
- Participating in green initiatives like urban forestry, afforestation drives, cleaning and creating waterways etc.
Try it once. You and your team will only be happier, stronger and closer than you have ever been!