Building strong relationships and communication skills between your employees is essential in the running of a good business. One of the most popular ways to facilitate this is to organise team-building activities. Whether you plan a team-building event as a one-off activity or work it into your yearly or quarterly calendar, they can be a great resource for bringing a team together.
However, it is important to plan the activities so that everyone can take part. Making your team building activities accessible is so important for making sure every member of your team feels involved. There are several things to consider regarding accessibility when planning a team-building event.
Talk to your team
The first thing to note when you’re planning a team-building activity is that you can talk to your team. Ask them what they would like to do and take their suggestions on board. Be considerate of your team’s needs and ask them what you can do to make the event actually accessible for the whole team. If you’re unsure, ask your team what additional support they will need in place before you begin to plan, so you can start off with all the relevant information.
A good way to organise this would be to send around a list of options activities to improve team tactics and ask your team to pick which they would prefer. Ask for feedback so you can improve and tailor your plans to best suit everyone.
Make sure your venue is accessible
As with your team, talking to venues about accessibility options is always a good idea. Only book fully accessible venues with access for everyone, including an accessible toilet. If you can, find venues installed with a hearing loop for any deaf or heard of hearing staff members. Even if a venue doesn’t look accessible at a first glance, get in touch and talk to them about how they could make improvements or adjustments on the day to cater for the needs of your team.
Feel free to ask for things like ramps, alternative access or additional staff onsite to help, as many venues will be happy to provide. To ensure that all areas of your chosen venue are accessible, include enough space for wheelchair users to move around and make sure that any equipment that needs to be used for the activity is the right height and is able to be used by everyone.
If you’re planning an outdoor team building activity, do think about the location and terrain you’re choosing to determine the accessibility before booking. Although fresh air and sunshine can be really morale-boosting, it is important to think about the individual needs of your team members when you are planning an event. Consider whether there is wheelchair access or someone with low or no sight may be able to move around the venue. Work with your team as well as your venue to create an event that is accessible and fun for the whole team.
Make time and space for disabled employees
Ensure you leave time during your team building activities for extra support to be given to any disabled employees. This could be anything from describing a process to someone with a visual impairment or writing it down/translating it into sign language for anyone deaf or hard of hearing. Communicate clearly where you can and leave time for questions. Prepare to provide extra people to support employees who need it, for example guiding a blind or visually impaired person, however, always be sure to ask consent before touching anyone or trying to lead them anywhere.