by Kirsty Senior
Updated: Jun 23, 2015 Published: Jun 24, 2015
Team-building for small businesses is often understood as one of two things: growing your team, or ensuring you keep them.
The fact is, team-building is a little bit of both. Once you’ve gathered the members of your team through an effective recruitment campaign, you’ll need to mould them into the successful workforce you need to grow your business.
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However, as you are probably aware, small businesses don’t often have the money spare to go wild on either recruitment or initiatives to increase team cohesion. So team-building can become a bit of a side project – but it doesn’t need to be.
Team-building can be made into an integral part of your business’ success with these tips for team-building on a budget…
Recruiting the right team
First of all, you want to make sure you get the right talent when building your team. But sometimes posting a job ad, whether on your website or on a jobs board elsewhere, can feel like an exercise in futility.
However there are other options to start your team-building which are available to you for very little cost:
- Word of mouth – Make sure that those in your local business network know that you’re on the hunt for a new employee. There’s no need to give them a full job description, just let them get the word out for you with a rough idea of who you might be looking for.
- Leverage social media – This is another aspect of word of mouth, but can be much more powerful; especially if you spend a little bit of money to target specific people in your area. LinkedIn is great for this and, if you tailor your advert well enough to exactly what you want, you can really reduce costs. There are also ways you can get the ad out there for free.
- Use networking events – These aren’t just great for making new business connections but you could meet someone looking for an employer just like you. Keep an open mind and you may just meet that one critical member of your team.
Keeping your team together
Once you’ve managed to get the key components of your dream team, how do you keep them together?
Team-building often comes down to employee engagement but getting creative about how staff can spend time with each other is essential to building a cohesive workforce.
Here are some ideas for team-building that really work and don’t cost a bomb:
- Regular social events – A monthly or even weekly trip down to the pub, a team meal, or organised social events are all great ways to get your team interacting with each other outside the office.
- Charity events or volunteering – Volunteering is a great way to make your staff feel engaged and valued, and ensuring that teams work on volunteering days together can help team spirit too!
- Breakfast – Having a breakfast bap or something similar once a week will help staff to feel that they belong and are valued.
- Themed days – Whatever the occasion, having staff dress up and come to work can make them feel like they’re making an effort as a group. Just be careful not to isolate those that aren’t too keen.
- Quizzes – This could just be at the pub on a Friday, or as part of a more organised event. However you do it, splitting your staff into teams is a great way to get them thinking together about how to solve problems.
- LAN gaming parties/competitions – Perhaps a rarer event for many businesses and maybe only possible if you have a network in place already but those keen on video games might just love to show off their skills up against their work mates.
So there you have it, a practical guide for your small business to get on with team-building whatever the budget!
Kirsty Senior is a director and co-founder of citrusHR, the simple HR support service for small businesses.