Team Building in the Bakken
Signs that say “Will work for food” are rare in the Bakken, seemingly replaced by “Can I please sleep on your couch? I have a good job!” and “Will hire the housed.”
Jobs are plentiful, people are scarce, which means when you find the right people to do the job you have to treat them well. And if you find the people that aren’t quite ‘right’, but will have to do, your work is even more critical. Employee churn costs money, money you want to invest in business building, not employee maintenance. So, what can you do?
Well, it probably is no surprise that a person who is fully committed to team building will say this- invest in team building.
Invest quickly, invest often and invest well.
The investment does not have to be huge chunks of time or money, but it does have to be effective.
Here are a couple of tips for team building in the Bakken:
Invest quickly- the earlier you have an ‘event’ for your team to experience together the sooner they will work through ‘getting to know you’- ‘learning to work with you’- ‘wanting to work with you’ and get to the payoff you desire ‘effectively working with you’. Good team building can take your team through each step in a matter of hours, not a matter of months and your profit margin will go up because of it.
Invest often- working together can be one of the most stressful relationships, especially when the circumstance are challenging because of weather or rapid growth. Stopping often to get a new perspective, or to have a new experience together, takes the pressure off the stress and re-ties the bonds that hold a team together. You want those bonds tied well- long term employees save you money, reduce stress and just make sense.
Invest well- In case you had not figured it out yet, drinking and bonding is not a good idea. Neither is using a team building coach that does not fully understand your goals and guarantee results. Team building can be as simple as building towers together at the start of your next meeting. It can be spontaneous like watching the same sappy video and talking about its impact. It can be fast like a walk around the block- with everyone in blindfolds. Or, in the best case, it can be as elaborate as a full day event with challenge and reward built in. Team building simply has to be right for your team. Any reputable team coach will give you team building ideas (for free). All you have to do is ask.
It’s chaotic in the Bakken- but it’s also time to look at your team and know they are the team you have…and you don’t want them holding a sign “Looking for a better job.”