Anxiety, anger, guilt, pressure, resentment, and other forms of stress are toxic for nurses and nursing staffs.
While it doesn’t seem like there’s even enough time for day-to-day patient care, life-and-death decisions, and other responsibilities, taking the time to strengthen your team can be harmless at worst and transformative at best.
Yes, teambuilding can start off awkward and uncomfortable (and even counterproductive, if done badly) but recent research confirms that carefully-thought-out “outside-the-hospital” exercises can improve relationships between co-workers, departments, and specialties in healthcare workplaces.
The key is finding an activity that will be enjoyable, unique, and adaptable to your team’s needs and areas that need attention. Here are a few examples, in three levels of increasing unconventionalness:
Volunteering or charity work can be far more effective for team building than extreme-team-building-experiences such as bungee jumping or other pursuits that don’t involve strategy. In fact, a UK study recently deemed performing acts of service outside the hospital as one of the most effective means of team building.
Mystery diagnosis: In this partial-day activity, a team selects one participant to leave the room while the rest come up with an ailment that the odd person out has 90 seconds to diagnose.
Medical Charades: Take an hour to play this classic party game, with medical-themed words or phrases, such as “IV”, “code blue”, “needle”, “skin cancer”, “blood pressure”, or “MRI”.
“Amazing Race”-style urban obstacle courses. A lot of team building companies are starting to offer such extreme adventures. While there are many U.S. companies doing this, one of the best we’ve seen is a Toronto-based company worth a look, if only for a guide to what to ask for before you cut a cheque.
An oldie-but goodie, paint ball has long been used for office team building. It can be awesome, as long as leaders lay-out clear expectations and work with staff to identify how team goals will correlate with a day of make-believe firearm combat.
“Top chef” cook-offs or cocktail creations – Less likely to leave bruises than paintball (unless you have too many cocktails and get too tipsy) and more chance of leaving staff satisfied, this can be an innovative way to turn team dynamics on their heads.
If you must look into extreme sports (bungee jumping, bungee swing, slingshot, rope swing, zip line, etc…) as team building exercises, we suggest you watch the following, then work your way back to a local, reputable company, if you have the stomach for it (and think your staff will too.)
Animal encounters – Whether special corporate experiences at major zoos or experiences where companies bring animals to your staff, these team building adventures can be a hoot (though they can also be controversial, depending on the team and company bringing in the scaled, winged or furry friends.)
The next step up from rock climbing, check out this “high ropes” course for trust and team building…Again, make sure if you choose to do this, you carefully plan and frame how you and your team will connect such an experience with challenges you hope to triumph over in the workplace.