A new year brings a new set of NYLT courses and in most cases, new staff members or entirely new staffs. This new team needs to develop in order to be in the norming or performing stage by the time the first day of a course rolls around. Are you in need of some tips for forming and bonding your new staff? Look no further, we’ve got some ideas!
Create a Special Place
This may be the most important step in facilitating the bonding of a team. Remember that everybody acts differently when faced with a new group of people. Be sure each individual knows they won’t be judged on their personal opinions, hobbies, or interests. They’ll be more open to sharing their thoughts whether it’s a personal or business related conversation, which will make bonding much easier from the start.
Get to Know You Games
Get to know you games are more personal than team building games. They allow your staff to get to know each other not only as fellow staff members, but as friends. These don’t have to be hands on. Get to know you games can be as simple as a name game, time for short story telling, or question asking in a group. These games should help your staff bond as they get to know more about each other as well as learn how each individual communicates with others. As a senior staff member, this is a key time to observe your staff’s personalities for future TG pairings, role assignments, etc
Team Building Games
We’ve all played team building games. You’ve probably played quite a few in your day, maybe some too many times to count. There are always new games out there. Ask around your council or check the internet – or if you’re feeling creative, make up your own! Even playing a game you thought you’d mastered with a different group of people may bring different viewpoints or strategies. Games not only allow you to see each staff member’s true personality, but also how well they work and interact with others…with a few laughs along the way! Be sure to debrief after each game. Team building games may be a great tool to get people talking to each other and working together, but throwing in a reflection will reinforce the skills we teach at NYLT and with different minds working together you all might learn something new! Another key time to observe staff. *The Line Between Silly and Serious NYLT is fun, but at certain points, staff has to lead by example. This means that by training your staff to analyze the situation and act accordingly during staff development, you’ll be less likely to have problems and distractions during the few serious times throughout the course. With a closely bonded staff, members will feel more comfortable reminding each other to set the example if needed.
Keep the Lines Open
Staff development doesn’t end when the weekend or meeting is over. Though everyone is busy, fun get-togethers like bonfires or a tool such as a Facebook group can keep your staff in touch on the off hours. This will allow your staff to get to know each other more than once a month. If you think your staff needs to bond more, but has little time to meet up, post in the group a little more often to keep them chatting. Be sure to follow the youth protection guidelines in creating this social media group, which you can find here: