Free Team Building – Where is the value?

Free is Cheap; Cheap is Cheap

Recently we wrote a blog about Free Team Building Ideas. In all honesty this article was written to stir emotions in great leaders and create conversation within teams.


Edit- Since releasing this past article we have had so many comments from around the globe. Some positive others negative. But it was the negative comments we were most excited for. Meant we hit a nerve within great leaders!


When reading this past blog full of great free team building ideas, so many people will be left wondering: But where is the value?!

There are two kinds of reactions we expected from this past article:

  1. There is no value in this... I would rather spend money to see real results from my team.
  2. These are great, I can do something with my team and not spend anything.

We wanted to trigger the first group of people with our previous blog. Have them make a conscious decision, to value their team, acknowledge that their team has real worth, that their development has great value to the company and that an afternoon off isn't going to show them they are truly valued. These are the leaders who know the importance of team building.

If you are one of these individuals, you are a great leader or will be a great leader. You should be proud that you respect and value your team in such a way.

We wanted to cause upset, to raise awareness in certain leaders around the globe to help them understand what kind of leader they are, to acknowledge how they actually value their own team.


But if you were more excited about free ideas, be warned that their is a BIG hidden price tag you aren't seeing.

If you never invest any actual money or value within your team, they will eventually associate that to how much the company values them as individuals.

Even giving your team a afternoon off, won't necessarily help them. Sure going home early is great, but if they feel like no one listens or cares; then you've just proved them right because you didn't listen to their concerns or placed any actual value in improving the team.

However, these great free team building ideas are great tools to be implemented between your real team events. They can be used to maintain morale, welcome new team members and keep that positive momentum of the team.

People will see through your event. If its Free, its Cheap. If its Cheap, its cheap.


How The Team Sees Value

When it comes to free anything, people value it a lot less, they don't find it to have as much value because it is free. If you can give something away for free means it's not worth as much, or has a limited value.

When you give someone a free tool or just anything for free, often it just sits on the sidelines. There is no real impact for not using it. "This didn't cost me anything, so there is no rush to use it" is a simple way most people think. Put it this way, you wouldn't not show up to a flight you paid for, you would lose money in the process. But not showing up to a free flight, what are you losing in the process.

You need to show your team the value. You need to value them

By organising a free event, your team will not invest as much in the event because they won't see the value in it.

If you or the company can not invest actual money or something of value in the event, your team won't invest themselves in it. Lack of care, gives lack of care.

In your teams eyes, if you can't be bothered to put real effort into something, why should they?


How to get Value?

To get real value from your team building events, you need to be honest with yourself and your team building supplier.

What goals and objectives do you have? Your team's strengths, weakness areas of improvement you wish to address.

Be open and honest with your team building supplier and yourself to ensure you get the results you need


Does Big Money Mean Big Value?

NO. Just because an event costs a lot, doesn't mean their is any real value to you and your team.

Before you sign on the dotted line, pay the bill, pick a company to facilitate your team building event you should ask two questions:

  1. What Results will this event give me?
  2. How does this event ACTUALLY impact our team?

There is nothing wrong with asking these question. You deserve to know what you are paying for and how it works.

In this day and age, we are flooded with options. We pick options which give us the right results, which explain their actions and how it will impact you.

When picking a new diet you research the potential results and how the diet will actually impact your body. Why not treat your team the same way?

A simple game with a tennis ball can give you more value & measurable results, rather than indoor bubble soccer.

If a supplier can't tell you how the team building program and the individual challenges will impact your team, then you need to wonder is the value actually there? Are they only trying to sell you on team bonding or offer an actual team building option for you?


Showing Off

When picking your event, look at the current condition of your team. If they are feeling pressure to: reduce costs, being turned down on raises, company not purchasing new tools or the company having a general lack of releasing of funds; picking an event which is blatantly showy and expensive can do a lot more damage to the team.

Real Value Vs. Perceived Value

When picking your event make sure you find companies which will give you real value for you and your team. Over spending with limited results will only cause you more harm over time.

Ask the supplier what the value is to you and your team, where you can expect results and how do their programs actually work.


A good leader will know their team's value

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