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5 Team Building Ideas for Millennial Offices

5 Team Building Ideas for Millennial Offices

Why are more and more corporate offices full of millennial employees resorting to team building tactics? Maybe because a carefully chosen team building activity can help foster healthy competition, increase employee satisfaction and help, well, build a team atmosphere. Want to bring this fun trend into your workplace? Here are five team building ideas that work great for millennial employees:

Volunteer

Nothing brings millennials together more than working to create a better society, which is why volunteering in the community is the ideal team building activity for this generation. Many members of this generation are passionate about social or environmental issues, meaning there are endless opportunities to schedule a day of volunteering that would get everyone on the team excited. To drum up more excitement, get the team together and ask for their thoughts on what kind of volunteering activity everyone should do. Have them share what causes are close to their heart, and see if they have any contacts with local organizations.

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Scavenger Hunts

Want to spark a little friendly competition in the office? Plan a scavenger hunt for your team to take up a slow afternoon. Divide your millennials into teams, and have them work together to solve riddles and clues, leading them on a hunt for certain items. This fun and active game will help millennials develop the communication skills needed to effectively work together as a team. Plus, it allows millennials to flex their creative muscles as they try to quickly solve the riddles and complete the task.

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Egg Drop

Another way to get millennials to put on their creative hats while working together towards a common goal? The egg drop team building activity, where teams are tasked with the challenge of figuring out how to build a device that will protect an egg when dropped from great heights. As the teams work together, as a manager, stand back and see who naturally takes on which role in the group as a way to get an accurate peek at employee’s true work habits.

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Two Truths and A Lie

Have you brought on a number of new employees to the team, whether they came from other departments or outside the organization? Setting up a team building activity such as the Two Truths and A Lie game is a perfect way for everyone to get to know each other. Have each employee stand in front of the rest of the team and say three statements about themselves, two of which are true and one which is a lie. The other team members must try to guess which of the statements is a lie, creating a fun and lively atmosphere as everyone learns fun facts about each other.

Karaoke Night

Take a break from the stresses of client calls and distributor meetings and shake things up with some fun! Getting millennials to stand up in front of their peers and let loose is a great way for everyone to let their guard down, so hosting a karaoke night might be just what your office needs. All you have to do to make this team-building activity a reality is to rent a karaoke machine and schedule a few hours in the afternoon or after work for the team to get together! Although this doesn’t require the brainstorming and problem solving skills of some of the other team building activities, it helps to create long-lasting memories and a deep bond among your team.

What do you think about using team building activities in an office with millennial employees? Are they effective or ineffective in building better relationships with co-workers? Tell us your experiences in the comments below!

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Joel Goldstein

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Last Updated on September 30, 2020

Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

When it comes to being effective vs efficient, there are a lot of similarities, and because of this, they’re often misused and misinterpreted, both in daily use and application.

Every business should look for new ways to improve employee effectiveness and efficiency to save time and energy in the long term. Just because a company or employee has one, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the other is equally present.

Utilizing both an effective and efficient methodology in nearly any capacity of work and life will yield high levels of productivity, while a lack of it will lead to a lack of positive results.

Before we discuss the various nuances between the word effective and efficient and how they factor into productivity, let’s break things down with a definition of their terms.

Effective vs Efficient

Effective is defined as “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” Meanwhile, the word “efficient ” is defined as “capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials).”[1]

A rather simple way of explaining the differences between the two would be to consider a light bulb. Say that your porch light burned out and you decided that you wanted to replace the incandescent light bulb outside with an LED one. Either light bulb would be effective in accomplishing the goal of providing you with light at night, but the LED one would use less energy and therefore be the more efficient choice.

Now, if you incorrectly set a timer for the light, and it was turned on throughout the entire day, then you would be wasting energy. While the bulb is still performing the task of creating light in an efficient manner, it’s on during the wrong time of day and therefore not effective.

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The effective way is focused on accomplishing the goal, while the efficient method is focused on the best way of accomplishing the goal.

Whether we’re talking about a method, employee, or business, the subject in question can be either effective or efficient, or, in rare instances, they can be both.

When it comes to effective vs efficient, the goal of achieving maximum productivity is going to be a combination where the subject is effective and as efficient as possible in doing so.

Effectiveness in Success and Productivity

Being effective vs efficient is all about doing something that brings about the desired intent or effect[2]. If a pest control company is hired to rid a building’s infestation, and they employ “method A” and successfully completed the job, they’ve been effective at achieving the task.

The task was performed correctly, to the extent that the pest control company did what they were hired to do. As for how efficient “method A” was in completing the task, that’s another story.

If the pest control company took longer than expected to complete the job and used more resources than needed, then their efficiency in completing the task wasn’t particularly good. The client may feel that even though the job was completed, the value in the service wasn’t up to par.

When assessing the effectiveness of any business strategy, it’s wise to ask certain questions before moving forward:

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  • Has a target solution to the problem been identified?
  • What is the ideal response time for achieving the goal?
  • Does the cost balance out with the benefit?

Looking at these questions, a leader should ask to what extent a method, tool, or resource meets the above criteria and achieve the desired effect. If the subject in question doesn’t hit any of these marks, then productivity will likely suffer.

Efficiency in Success and Productivity

Efficiency is going to account for the resources and materials used in relation to the value of achieving the desired effect. Money, people, inventory, and (perhaps most importantly) time, all factor into the equation.

When it comes to being effective vs efficient, efficiency can be measured in numerous ways[3]. In general, the business that uses fewer materials or that is able to save time is going to be more efficient and have an advantage over the competition. This is assuming that they’re also effective, of course.

Consider a sales team for example. Let’s say that a company’s sales team is tasked with making 100 calls a week and that the members of that team are hitting their goal each week without any struggle.

The members on the sales team are effective in hitting their goal. However, the question of efficiency comes into play when management looks at how many of those calls turn into solid connections and closed deals.

If less than 10 percent of those calls generate a connection, the productivity is relatively low because the efficiency is not adequately balancing out with the effect. Management can either keep the same strategy or take a new approach.

Perhaps they break up their sales team with certain members handling different parts of the sales process, or they explore a better way of connecting with their customers through a communications company.

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The goal is ultimately going to be finding the right balance, where they’re being efficient with the resources they have to maximize their sales goals without stretching themselves too thin. Finding this balance is often easier said than done, but it’s incredibly important for any business that is going to thrive.

Combining Efficiency and Effectiveness to Maximize Productivity

Being effective vs efficient works best if both are pulled together for the best results.

If a business is ineffective in accomplishing its overall goal, and the customer doesn’t feel that the service is equated with the cost, then efficiency becomes largely irrelevant. The business may be speedy and use minimal resources, but they struggle to be effective. This may put them at risk of going under.

It’s for this reason that it’s best to shoot for being effective first, and then work on bringing efficiency into practice.

Improving productivity starts with taking the initiative to look at how effective a company, employee, or method is through performance reviews. Leaders should make a point to regularly examine performance at all levels on a whole, and take into account the results that are being generated.

Businesses and employees often succumb to inefficiency because they don’t look for a better way, or they lack the proper tools to be effective in the most efficient manner possible.

Similar to improving a manager or employee’s level of effectiveness, regularly measuring the resources needed to obtain the desired effect will ensure that efficiency is being accounted for. This involves everything from keeping track of inventory and expenses, to how communication is handled within an organization.

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By putting in place a baseline value for key metrics and checking them once changes have been made, a company will have a much better idea of the results they’re generating.

It’s no doubt a step-by-step process. By making concentrated efforts, weakness can be identified and rectified sooner rather than later when the damage is already done.

Bottom Line

Understanding the differences between being effective vs efficient is key when it comes to maximizing productivity. It’s simply working smart so that the intended results are achieved in the best way possible. Finding the optimal balance should be the ultimate goal for employees and businesses:

  • Take the steps that result in meeting the solution.
  • Review the process and figure out how to do it better.
  • Repeat the process with what has been learned in a more efficient manner.

And just like that, effective and efficient productivity is maximized.

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Featured photo credit: Tim van der Kuip via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: effective and efficient
[2] Mind Tools: Being Effective at Work
[3] Inc.: 8 Things Really Efficient People Do

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