team building in the office

Showing Respect In The Workplace

To grow a successful, innovative business, it’s important to build a work culture that highly values respect. Showing respect in the workplace is a fundamental human virtue that positively impacts productivity, engagement, and creativity – all qualities that help employees thrive and work towards a common goal. All business owners should provide new and current employees with respect in the workplace training that covers how to behave and interact in a way that fosters a desirable work culture.

Below are three ways we have identified as the most important areas where employees should practice respect within an organization: communication, conflict resolution, and team building activities. Each one of these areas helps employees and leadership learn how to demonstrate respect to coworkers through daily interaction, creative collaboration, and even when conflict is involved.

Respectful Communication

It’s critical to cultivate a work culture that fosters respectful communication in order to support a comfortable environment. We know what you may be thinking: Duh, of course! This might seem like an obvious way to show respect in the workplace, but sometimes it can be difficult to identify offensive communication, as it is uniquely defined by every individual.

Communication is a slippery slope. We use communication to build relationships and, in work environments, that helps to build retention and productivity. As people, we gravitate towards some easier than others, because of similar interests, curiosity or people just naturally connecting. Just as in marriages or friendships, work relationships can be going great and then one day everything changes. You ask “Why” and there could be a multitude of reasons. Communication is sometimes (most times) a factor.

Express Yourself

To respect oneself and others, communication is key. If you like or don’t like something, share it once, twice, maybe even three times. If you don’t like something and you have expressed it on an equal level conversation, then escalate it if you have a structure in place. However, never expressing your feelings or thoughts or going along for a period of time with a behavior having said nothing, you are disrespecting yourself and your coworker. If conflict is escalated before a respectful conversation was ever tried, more conflict and distrust will arise.

Keep The Content Light

Oftentimes, jokes can provoke offensive language when they involve race, gender, sex or ethnicity. Each employee has a different threshold for jokes until it reaches a point of personal distaste or even insult. It’s important for jokes to maintain clean, fun content during working hours, and to be sure that they don’t intimidate the shy, offend the conservative, or demean a group of people.

Similarly, conversations about religion or politics often assume significant generalizations about people that may offend those involved in the conversation. Also, these topics can be interpreted differently based on personal belief systems and can spark unintended emotions. It is best practice to avoid discussing religious or political opinions in a professional setting, as they can create divides between people – spoken or unspoken.

One final thought to follow in respectful conversations with fellow coworkers is to not curse. Bottom line is cursing is inappropriate and deters others’ respect. So let’s elevate our work conversations and try to keep the curse words in the car during traffic and out of the office – please.

Conflict Resolution Processes

Conflict is a part of working relationships where respect is probably tested the most. As any working adult knows, conflict in the workplace is inevitable and actually healthy to an extent, when there is a system to resolve it appropriately and respectfully. Defining a clear process that anticipates conflict is an initial step to solve problems in a manner that nurtures respect between workers. There are two types of conflict: healthy conflicts that contribute to organizational success and unhealthy conflicts that disrupt personal emotions. Though the healthy conflict is preferred and easier to manage, it’s absolutely important to have a process in place to resolve both types of conflict.

For smaller companies that do not have a Human Resources department to manage employee conflict, it’s important to assign each employee a point of escalation for conflict resolution assistance. This point of escalation should assess the interpersonal conflict the employee has with another, and provide advice on how to proceed. It’s important for employees to have a point of contact for conflict resolution assistance so they don’t feel compelled to confront another employee disrespectfully or put their job at risk. By giving a specialist those responsibilities, employees can trust that conflict will be handled in the best way that aligns with company policy. This, in turn, will lend to a less stressful work environment and controlled conflict resolution that is healthy and respectful to all.

Team Building Exercises

Another way to promote respect in the workplace is through team building activities that can strengthen relationships, build trust, and inspire creative collaboration between coworkers. Team building exercises are a great way for employees to learn each other’s unique communication styles in a casual and fun environment and later apply those skills in a company setting. By giving employees the opportunities to engage with each other in new ways, they can build connections that will ease working together across all environments.

Companies should choose a team building exercise that fits the work culture and interests of employees. For instance, a company with a millennial majority might enjoy a volunteer service team building activity. Or a company with a mixed age range might enjoy photography lessons or sand sculpting. Other great team building activities include interactive workshops, photo tours, metal making, group dance lessons, or other ideas that can be customized to the interests or needs of your team.

Rock Paper Team provides many different types of positively focused team building activities for corporations that will promote respect in the workplace, reduce stress, and broaden collegial working relationships. For more information, call us at 212-925-5604.

NYC Summer Activities For Office Team Building

Ah, sweet summer, you’re back again! No doubt, the people of New York gain a boundless energy when the warm summer months come around. Although the thrill of summer may not have the same effect on the corporate office world the way it does grade school kids, New York City is in no short supply of activities that can excite and engage adults outside of the office this Summer 2016. There are plenty of summer activities that can spice up the office from baseball games to picnics to scavenger hunts. Here are some of our favorite summer NY activities for office team building that will build communication, break barriers, build trust between employees, and increase overall morale and productivity in the workplace.

 

Baseball Games

Try bringing the office out to a baseball game this summer. Whether baseball fans or non-fans, everyone can find fun in attending a classic ball game. Between the New York Mets, New York Yankees, and the Coney Island Cyclones, there is a baseball game going on almost every day of the week. For a comprehensive schedule of games this summer, view the official calendars for the Yankees, the Mets, and the Cyclones.

Attending a baseball game with the office this summer is a great way to enable communication between employees. Involving colleagues in fun, engaging activities outside of the office will facilitate discussion and create space for open communication among employees. Interacting at a baseball game can help participants learn more about themselves including strengths that could later be utilized in the workplace. When colleagues learn how to effectively communicate with one another, it will, in turn, build better relationships and trust in the workplace while boosting overall morale and productivity.

 

Picnic In The Park

What better way to take advantage of the beautiful weather than with a picnic in one of New York’s beautiful parks? Astoria Park, East River State Park, Fort Tryon Park or Madison Square Park are just a few of several great NY parks to lay down some blankets and lawn chairs, eat some food, and play a lawn game. Management could consider catering a low-maintenance, easy cleanup lunch for everyone to enjoy while employees bring their favorite game to play in the park. Types of game could range from anything from badminton to Frisbee to corn hole to kickball – whichever best fits the activity level and personality of your group.

Not only is a picnic in the park a great way to enjoy the summer sun, it’s also helpful to break barriers between employees and managers. Often in corporate settings, there is a large gap between employees and upper-level management naturally because of the different roles each one plays. Picnics and lawn games in the parks give employees a chance to view people in leadership positions as colleagues instead of bosses. This casual, fun setting will make managers seem more approachable and personable which can do wonders for office energy.

 

Scavenger Hunts

A company scavenger hunt may sound a little bit intimidating at first, but this activity always becomes a crowd favorite. Scavenger hunts can be done in any neighborhood in New York. Participating scavenger hunt teams will have a series of items they will have to find and capture with a smartphone photo. The teams that find the most items at the end of the event wins!

During scavenger hunts, employees work together to understand riddles, advance in the hunt and beat the other teams. Friendly competitiveness among employees is shown to ignite motivation and encourage individuals to self-seek challenges in their job role. Not only are scavenger hunts so much fun and a great excuse to escape the office, they also teach employees how to problem-solve, collaborate as a group, as well as creates a platform for them to exercise strategic and rational thinking. You could get creative and organize your own scavenger hunt, or you could leave it to an expert coordinator. To organize a personalized scavenger hunt for your office group, contact Dan Colgan at dan@rockpaperteam.com.

 

The Rock Paper Team Experience

If one of these social team-building activities does not seem ideal for your particular office style, fret not. Rock Paper Team’s CEO and owner Dan Cogan specializes in organized team building activities of all types to engage, excite, and promote creativity within groups of colleagues through fun activities outside the office. From photography classes to cooking classes to winery and brewery tours, Rock Paper Team is sure to have an activity for your group.

At Rock Paper Team, we believe in the notion that a staff that feels a strong sense of belonging, achievement, and influential within a working environment is overall more content and productive at their job. Invest in team building activities to inspire workers to communicate, connect, and grow through planned events that are fun & motivational.

 

View some of the other team building activities we offer or call us for more information at 212-925-5604.

sales enablement - tug of war image

Increase the Success of Your Sales Team with Team Building Activities

Every team in the office can get into a slump from time to time, but you never want these lapses in productivity to have a lasting, negative impact on your business. When it comes to your sales team, however, a period of decreased performance can be devastating. You count on these people to bring in new business, and when the team isn’t performing as well as they could be, your company is losing out on valuable opportunities. One way to fight the slump and give employees the boost they need is through team building activities for sales teams.

Think about it: your sales team constantly has to be “on point” in order to track down new leads and close the best deals, and the success of your company depends on it. That’s a lot of pressure to be under all the time. And when things aren’t going well, it’s easy for those employees to develop negative attitudes toward themselves or their jobs — and that certainly doesn’t help anyone. With a fun sales team building event, your sales team can come back to work refreshed and excited to tackle a new set of challenges and prospects.

Team building activities are more than just games — at least the way Rock Paper Team does them. With RPT, you’ll get a unique, customized event that is perfectly tailored to your sales team (full of exciting activities and fun lessons they can take back to the office). A RPT event is a great way for stressed employees to blow off some steam and explore new problem solving skills. Depending on your goals and what you want to accomplish with a corporate team building activity, we will plan the perfect package for your company’s sales team.

Team Building Activities for Sales Teams

As we mentioned above, the pressures facing sales teams are unique. If you’re concerned about team morale, events that let teams relax and enjoy some bonding time away from the office are a great fit. Food and wine activities like wine tastings, brewery tours and cooking classes are a great option — sharing a meal and a few drinks is an inherently social and celebratory activity, and it provides an easy opportunity for team members to bond outside of office hours. Plus, you get to experience something different than a traditional corporate happy hour.

Events like photo scavenger hunts and interactive workshops are great sales team building activities. They get co-workers out of the office and into a new environment, where they can tap into their creative side to solve problems in a no-pressure environment. When team members aren’t under specific pressures to succeed, they feel more comfortable sharing new ideas and thinking more creatively, because there’s no fear of failure.

The bonds and creative thinking skills developed during team building activities for sales teams can easily be taken back to the office and used to transform the attitudes of your sales team. And a more successful sales team means more leads for your business, and greater success for your company as a whole. And who wouldn’t want that?

If you’d like more information on team building events in NYC and what Rock Paper Team can do for your company, contact us today!

Ways to Improve Performance at Work

7 Ways to Improve Performance at Work

We’ve all been there: the dreaded work slump. Whether you call it spring fever or the 3 p.m. crash, this dip in productivity can derail your employees and lead to stress as a result of having to work even harder to catch up later on. All companies can suffer from this decline in performance, particularly around the holiday season or when temperatures warm up in the spring. Even though this decline in performance can be quite common, it can also be detrimental to your business.

A prolonged lapse in productivity can cost your company money and lead to employees feeling less satisfied with their jobs. For your business to be as successful as possible, all your workers should be consistently performing at high levels, but how do you achieve that when your workers are burned out and counting down for the clock to strike five?

Rock Paper Team has seven ways to improve performance at work from making employees feel valued to participating in team building activities for work.

1. Give employees a reason to believe

Company culture is becoming more and more important to the workforce, especially in regards to younger employees. No one wants to go to work every day for a faceless company – they want to know who they are working for, what the company’s values are and how they play a part in the company culture. Remind employees that they’re an important part of the company and give them a reason to believe in your business’ values. When people know what and who they are working for then they will be happier and more productive during business hours.

2. Never underestimate the power of a reward

Even when employees feel bogged down, one of the easiest ways to improve performance at work is by rewarding employees for a job well done. Whether it’s a small victory, a big accomplishment or even just the end of the week, employees will appreciate a little extra encouragement. Sporting events and office lunches can be great ways to reward the people who work for you or, if you’re looking for something a little more interactive and tailored to your company, Rock Paper Team’s food and wine team building events are a great way to reward employees in a fun and relaxing atmosphere.

3. Foster a team environment

It’s easy for employees to get wrapped up in their work and focus solely on the part they play at the office, but this will not help your company live up to its full potential. Working together in a collaborative environment brings out new opinions and ways of thinking, which can result in some great ideas for your company! Also, when people see themselves as part of a team with everyone working toward a common goal, performance often increases. Rock Paper Team offers corporate team building activities like our interactive workshops, which bring companies together and foster both individual and group development. Participants are encouraged to improve their teamwork skills and foster a new awareness of their team’s potential. Plus, they get to have fun while they’re doing it!

4. Show employees you care

No employee wants to be just another name in a set of paperwork – they want to feel valued by the company they work for. Celebrate personal occasions in your workers’ lives like birthdays, anniversaries, marriages and new children. It doesn’t have to be a huge event (we know how hard that can be for larger companies), but even just a simple card or a small gift can go a long way in making employees feel cared for. When people feel appreciated by their company, they are more likely to perform better at work.

5. Encourage open communication

Sometimes, employee performance levels sink because of a communication issue. If co-workers don’t feel comfortable discussing new ideas or voicing their opinions, it can hinder workflow. Communication really is the key to a happy and productive work environment. Our photo scavenger hunt team building activities are the perfect way to encourage open communication between employees while letting them have some fun too! Our scavenger hunts get teams working together to solve problems and come up with creative ways to complete all the requirements on their list. The best part about participating in these kinds of team building events is that the communication skills gained will carry over into business hours as well!

6. Encourage innovation

Technology is constantly shifting. With all the new gadgets, processes and software coming out each day, it can be difficult to keep up. Constantly having to learn a new system can be challenging for employees, but fixing broken processes and finding new ways to save time and money can really benefit the entire company. Encourage your employees to get creative and search for better ways of doing things by encouraging innovation at work. When they do discover a new strategy, it will help everyone in the office become more productive!

7. Bring on the fun

When all else fails, having fun together is the cure for everything. If your employees are feeling burned-out, it is probably time to get out of the office and blow off some steam! There are endless ways to have fun with your employees, but we think our corporate team building activities are the best of both worlds (even if we are a little biased). Our dance team building events will have co-workers moving and shaking together, and that always leads to a lot of laughs! Having fun together encourages bonding, and these bonds lead to better working relationships in the office as well. No matter which type of activity you choose to participate in, having fun together will certainly improve employee performance at work.

Don’t Let a Lapse in Performance Get You Down

It may feel like it at times, but a lapse in employee performance won’t last forever. Whether it’s finding a creative way to thank your employees for all of their hard work or using a corporate team building activity to develop new skills and help co-workers bond, you are only a few steps away from turning employees back into the killer teammate they are. If you need more inspiration for improving work performance or want to chat about the team building events we offer, contact us today. Building strong teams is our passion and we are always here to help!

Spring Team Building Activities

Refresh Your Team with Spring Team Building Activities

Spring is in full swing, and you know what that means — eating on patios, soaking up the extra hours of sunshine and going through the process of spring cleaning. It’s the perfect time to declutter and refresh your house, car or workspace to start the season with a “fresh start” when the time changes. But your closet isn’t the only place that can benefit from a reset. Taking some time to refresh and recharge with corporate team building activities can do wonders for your employees as well.

The cold, dark winter months are deadly to company morale. It’s common for people to feel sad or down during winter, and this feeling can impact all areas of their lives. When people aren’t feeling the best, they aren’t doing their best work — feeling run down, tired and moody causes stress levels to increase and attitudes to be more negative. Not to mention, many companies see a decrease in new business and productivity in the winter months due to multiple holidays, the very real effects of “vacation hangovers” and a general decline in sales.

All of this is bad for your business. But when springtime rolls around, you can expect to see a slight positive shift in attitudes. When temperatures begin to inch higher and the daylight hours start to stretch on a little longer each day, it’s the perfect time to bolster employees’ spirits with a fun bonding event. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to get out of the office and enjoy the beautiful spring weather while you’re working toward building a better, more cohesive team.

Corporate team building activities help employees shake the winter blues by bringing them closer together. It’s easy to feel less excited about your job when you, and your co-workers, are suffering from higher-than-average stress levels. Participating in a fun group event will recharge your team members and help them remember what it is they love about their jobs. Best of all, these events can be tailored to suit your company and your employees’ needs. That means no matter what size your business is or what goals you’re trying to accomplish through team building, there’s a corporate event that’s perfect for you.

Some of the best team building events in New York let you get out of the office and have fun in a purposeful way. You can also find plenty of outdoor activities to help you soak up some vitamin D while you’re at it! Sand sculpting events help build better relationships between employees by utilizing each person’s unique strengths and capabilities. These activities require creativity and input from all team members, which promotes better communication and a stronger flow of ideas. These are all excellent skills your team members can take back to the office with them, along with the bonds they form with each other along the way!

Participating in community service events is also ideal for your company during the spring. Not only are co-workers giving back to the community they live or work in by supporting neighborhood growth and local initiatives, but these events are also perfect for building robust relationships with your business and the community. Helping with environmental projects like roach or beach clean-ups, community gardens, and charity race events feels good — it brings your employees closer together and increases your company’s visibility in the community. Who wouldn’t want that?

Another good corporate team building event for spring is a photography lesson. When your team learns the basics of capturing a good photo, they also learn skills that help them focus their energies at work (pun intended). You’ll also learn some practical tips that can help you take better photos at any time in your life, from black-tie corporate events to your son’s first little league game. Plus, it’s an excellent excuse in the spring to snag a few shots of the beautiful green trees and blooming flowers that surround you.

Corporate team building events, like the ones here at Rock Paper Team, truly do help to refocus and reenergize your employees by creating closer bonds between co-workers. They help each team member feel more valued and respected, which in turn leads to more open communication during business hours. This trickle-down effect also results in better ideas and increased productivity. And on top of all that, your employees will really enjoy coming to work, because they’ll see their co-workers as their friends and teammates, rather than just a few people with whom they work.

At Rock Paper Team, we’re passionate about setting your business up for lasting success by bringing your employees closer together. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you might have about spring team building events, and we can even talk you through creating the perfect event for your company. Contact us today to learn about all the events we have to offer and how we can tailor them to suit your needs and exceed your expectations.