Honestly, I do not know what HR expert ever came up with the idea of team-building, or culture-building, events for a workplace. As an introvert, I can assure you that announcements of upcoming team building events can be translated into one thing.
Ugh. Just, no.
There are likely to be a few folks on your team who hate these events with a white-hot passion, because they reward one type of employee, the extrovert. The party planner, the rah-rah spokesperson on your team absolutely loves these events. It’s their chance to shine, and get the attention of the whole group. Meanwhile, the introverts who like to quietly get their work done, who will interact and collaborate when the job calls for it without a problem, are just waiting for the event to be over so they can go back to quietly doing their job.
Let me ask you a question. How many team-building events have you attended that were quickly followed by someone on the team finding another position and resigning? I’ve been witness to too many of these, because in many cases, the forced interaction only reinforces how much certain members of the team dislike one another.
Don’t force your employees to be social. Expect them to work together, yes, but that’s enough. If they happen to like some of their teammates and socialize with them, great, but understand that forcing all of them to be social together is only going to make some relationships worse.
Or, find an activity where your introverted employees can feel comfortable, and not forced to be the center of attention. Not everyone wants to do office karaoke or obstacle courses. Please don’t make us.