Innovative Team-Building Tips for Short-Term Contracting Teams


Studies show that employees who consider at least one person at work a friend or confidant can be up to 50% more engaged with their colleagues. Teams that have months or years of experience working together can still have their struggles with communication, personality clashes, and more. Contractors who collaborate on short-term projects can face even more challenges as they're typically brought together to work with a team of unfamiliar faces. Fortunately, even short-term teams can succeed through team building tricks.

Testing Trust

One of the most important things contractors need in their team is trust. All day, contractors work with heavy materials and dangerous equipment. Co-workers must be on the same page when following safety protocol and communicating with each other to avoid dangerous mistakes. For short-term teams, trust among team members can be a significant issue.

Before each workday begins, carry out a simple team building activity to enhance bonding between individuals. This simple trust exercise can lay the foundation of trust for the team. You can group the team into pairs, with each team member facing their partner with their palms facing out and touching. Then, have each team member lean on their partner, continuing to keep moving their feet backward. Both partners should be holding each other up, building trust that the other won’t allow them to fall.

Designating Leadership

Short-term teams may find it difficult to establish leadership with people they’ve just met. The overseeing manager can outline all responsibilities of the team as soon as the initial meeting phase is over to set clear guidelines and expectations. But, the team can still benefit from guidance to help them transition into their roles for this team.

Before each work day, team members can have a brief huddle in which they outline their goals for the day. This meeting is when designated leaders can take charge and delegate tasks to other team members, encourage the team, and reiterate the steps to take if a problem arises among team members. Form team huddles as often as necessary through the day to keep communication at the forefront.

Opening the Lines of Communication

Short-term team members often don’t know each other well enough to know how each person communicates. But, for safety and productivity, excellent communication is a must for any team. Contractors can learn more about each other’s communication and listening skills with a simple exercise that they can do before they begin work on a project.

Place each team member with a partner, and blindfold one. The other team member should use words only to guide their partner to a particular destination. Then, partners can switch roles. Repeat the exercise as many times as needed so that each team member can work with everyone.   

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