Conflict within the office not only decreases employee morale, but it also reduces productivity and jeopardises client relations. A hostile work environment is a drain on corporate financial viability. Participating in team building activities encourages staff to develop cooperative decision making and problem solving skills, and learn about co-worker strengths and abilities. A strong team is essential to any successful organisation, but it can be a challenge to convince senior management to invest in team building. The trick is in crafting a persuasive and effective proposal.
Learn about the decision making style of the person to who you are presenting the proposal, and craft your presentation accordingly. For example, if the decision maker relies on hard statistics, spend the time on research that turns up statistical data. If the decision maker is often sceptical of new ideas, then be prepared to answer tough questions by anticipating perceived shortfalls.
Address the necessity of team building by identifying a problem or gap within your organisation. Clearly outline the current issue within your workplace that team building will address. If you are addressing employee retention issues, provide statistics that support your argument. If it is employee conflict that you are hoping to rectify, site specific examples, and address how conflict is affecting the financial bottom line.
Show the benefit of team building to decision makers and recognise that they want to see concrete results from financial investments. Make no mistake: team building requires an investment of time and money. Use case studies such as that explained in "Theater Tools for Team Building" to show team building success, and site examples of corporations that are reaping the benefits of team building.
Determine realistic activities that fit the corporate culture, and be prepared to suggest specific team building activities in which you want your organisation to engage. There are a wide range of possibilities all with varying commitment levels and benefits, and the choices you put forth need to address your specific needs, reflect your corporate culture, and be a physically viable option for the employees expected to participate.
Develop a plan to follow up the activity after completion. Continue to incorporate the lessons learnt into your corporate culture, and build from this experience by incorporating similar activities into the corporate routine.
Capturing feedback from all participants involved through anonymous reviews is imperative. This will inform future proposals and human resource decisions.
It is vitally important to maintain the utmost level of professionalism when presenting your proposal. Issues regarding conflict in the workplace are necessarily delicate in nature and should be treated as such.
Tips and warnings
- It is vitally important to maintain the utmost level of professionalism when presenting your proposal. Issues regarding conflict in the workplace are necessarily delicate in nature and should be treated as such.