Building better connections through PLAY.

A smarty’s guide to picking teams

Posted by Samantha Roblin on Aug 23, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Do you have an upcoming company event planned which involves breaking the company into teams? Nervous about how that might shake out? Don’t worry. We got you covered.

The days of team captains standing at the front of a room and selecting people based on their athletic ability just won’t fly for company events. And for many, memories of this from the playground still give them nightmares! So, we have created a handy tool for helping you add meaning to your teams without losing any of the fun or good vibes.

But the right approach to team-making depends on your specific goals or challenges. So what do you really want to get from your off-site or fun event? We’ve put together this handy guide for the best tips on how to create the very best teams, no matter what.

Challenge 1: Your company’s executives are detached.

Lighten up, Jim. Your team needs you.

If your executive team is perceived as inaccessible or disconnected, use team creation as an opportunity to humanize them. If you need to convince them to participate fully, be sure to highlight how they’ll gain from the activities: hearing new ideas, finding up-and-coming leaders, and seeing how workplace relationships are performing, in practice.

Once they’re on the squad, make sure to place leaders on different teams and encourage them to participate. Don’t be bashful about reminding them to puts phones away and be fully present. After all, they’re paying for it one way or another!

Challenge 2: Your emerging leaders deserve a place to shine.

Who’s stepping up this time?

Creating teams for a company event is a great way for emerging leaders to showcase their talent and potential. If you have already identified a core set of high-performing, next-in-line leaders, you can pre-assign them to the team captain roles.

If you’d rather see who steps up (survival of the fittest!) you can observe from a far and may uncover leaders who you didn’t know about.

Challenge 3: Your departments are siloed and don’t collaborate.

Things feel a little closed off? Open the door FOR your team!

Picture this: Your sales team is selling products before they’re ready, and the product team is struggling to keep up. Or perhaps the finance team needs to input budgets, while the accounts team isn’t even close to ready to present them. We’ve all been there.

Inter-departmental tension is normal, but you can use your fun events to work through these challenges. Use this as an opportunity to cross-pollinate teams, building connections and trust.

Challenge 4: Explosive growth has changed your company’s vibe.

Hi. I’m Growth. What’s your name?

Has your company grown so quickly that people don’t even know each other’s names? Or perhaps you’re bringing multiple offices together and this is the first time your employees have spent in person time together. Research from IFL Scienceindicates that simply knowing someone’s name makes cooperation more likely.

Putting people on teams for a company event is a great way to get to know someone you may not work with on a day-to-day basis. And once that connection is made, let the collaboration begin!

Spoiler alert: One of Zog’s go to kick off games is focused on knowing everyone’s name!

At the end of the day, there’s a lot we can learn from Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, who built the largest social network for professionals. Hoffman is the veritable king of building communities. However his emphasis on teams as the key to success is one lesson we will never forget.

If you’re looking for more guidance on how to create effective teams, we’d love to help! Send us an email at and we’ve got you covered.

Like what you read? Don’t forget to give us a clap or follow us here at the Zog Blog!

Topics: Office Culture, Play, Team, Company Retreats

About the Zog Blog

Want to make your workplace more fun AND more productive? Follow along as we share great ideas, tips, and best practices to help build better employee relationships by infusing PLAY into your workplace.

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