Are you looking for some activities for the adjourning stage? Adjourning is the fifth and final stage of the Team Development model proposed by Bruce Tuckman. During this stage, the team simply disbands because either the project has been successfully completed or some of the members have moved on. In this article, let’s discuss some of the team building activities you can try during this stage.
What is Adjourning Stage?
Adjourning is the stage during which a team disbands because it has completed its mission. So, this stage is concerned with wrapping up activities. As you know, group members usually think about the time they have spent together. So, they would want to celebrate their achievements before they move on. With that being said, some members would be unhappy about leaving their team and need to mentally prepare themselves to be part of another group.
For this reason, as a leader, you should guide your employees during this stage. At times, teams reach this stage when things go wrong like project failure, unexpected withdrawal of some members, etc. In that case, they will have to go back to the forming stage again.
What are the Activities During the Adjourning Stage?
Like the forming, storming, norming, and performing stages, employees should complete some tasks during this stage as well. Before a team disbands, there are commonly five key tasks or activities that happen during the adjourning stage. So, let’s discuss them first.
Task 1: Review team achievements
All the members should review their achievements as a team. This includes comparing the results they produced to the set goals. They also need to analyze how each member contributed to their success.
Task 2: Evaluate the lessons learned
As a leader, you should conduct a debrief session to understand the lessons learned by the group members. Here the members can evaluate the whole process they have gone through and reveal the new lessons they have learned. It’s important to hear the feedback of all the employees.
Task 3: Acknowledge the members for their cooperation
It’s the responsibility of every group member to acknowledge their colleagues for all the cooperation and support. By doing this, everyone will feel valued and they will get a sense of fulfillment.
Task 4: Celebrate the success
Your teams have worked together and produced the results you want. So, it goes without saying that they deserve to be recognized. As a business leader, you should show gratitude for your employees’ efforts and let them celebrate their success. This will help them have a feeling of belongingness.
Task 5: Cope with change
Remember, adjourning stage is not all about success and achievements. There might be a lot of anxiety and confusion among your employees if their team is about to disband. So, as a leader, you need to help them cope with the change. For this, you can try some change management exercises that focus on improving adaptability skills.
Team Building Activities for the Adjourning Stage
Your responsibility as a leader isn’t over by simply saying a “thank you” after the project completion. That’s why you need the right team building activities during this stage. Here are 10 activities that are intended to show gratitude, celebrate success, and more importantly deal with change.
#1. Surprise Dinner
The best way to make someone happy is by pleasing his stomach. Yes! Serving tasty food can make your teams excited and what if you do it as a surprise? So, schedule a dinner for your teams at a nearby restaurant. Make sure that they realize it only when they reached the location. That means you should not tell them this beforehand.
#2. DJ Night
One of the best ways to celebrate success is by arranging a DJ event in the evening. So, host a DJ party in your office and let your teams enjoy it! Alternatively, you can also bring them to a nearby DJ club. Who doesn’t want a superb DJ night full of music and dance?
#3. Flash Mob
Ask your teams to choose a date and time and make arrangements for a flash mob. They can do it as a surprise. A flash mob is a group of individuals who assemble suddenly in a public place, then perform something for a while, and simply disperse. Usually, the performance can be anything like dancing, singing, etc. If there are any legal restrictions in your area to conduct flash mobs in a public place, you can try it in your office.
#4. Social Volunteering
You can celebrate your success by contributing to society. So, plan a community service with your teams. It can be cleaning up the beach, feeding the poor, serving the disabled, etc. Conducting community service is a good sign of strong company culture. Not only will this help your employees learn something, but this will also help boost your company morale.
#5. Go Karting
If you want to celebrate your teams’ success and at the same time want to prepare them for the upcoming tasks, go-kart racing would be a good option. So, schedule a day for karting with your teams. Believe it or not, this is going to be an amazing experience not only for your employees but for you as well. Of course, your employees would be happy with the event if they get a chance to compete with their CEO or manager.
#6. Karaoke Night
There might be singers among your staff. Why don’t you plan a karaoke night? Music is something most people enjoy. So, instruct your teams to prepare and practice. Then, play the soundtracks and let them sing the songs.
#7. Adventure Activities
Not everyone is made for adventure activities. However, if your employees are comfortable with them, you can give it a try. Some of the interesting adventurous activities are caving, parachuting, skydiving, etc. Of course, you can find a lot of activities similar to these.
#8. Bounce Back
This is one of the popular change management exercises. So, use this when you want your employees to cope with change. Here what you need is a rubber ball. Ask each participant to bounce the rubber ball back and forth for some time. Then, let them explain what was in their minds when the ball has hit the ground. So, simply ask: did you worry that the ball wouldn’t bounce up after hitting the ground?
#9. Change Seats
This is one of the popular change management activities. Ask the participants to sit in a circle. Now, place any random object at the center so that everyone can see that. Instruct them to observe the object for some time. Then, ask them to change their seats and observe it again. Finally, they need to explain if they notice any differences.
#10. Taste the Tea
This is another team building activity to reduce resistance to change. Here you need to give a cup of tea to each participant. Now, ask them to taste their tea. Then, invite them to come outdoors and taste it again. Finally, have them explain whether they notice any change in taste or feel.
Want Some Unique Team Building Activities for the Adjourning Stage?
If you want some unique team building activities for the adjourning stage (and also for all other stages), you can get my new e-book:
Most people often overlook the adjourning stage. As a leader, you must give importance to this stage too just like the other team development stages. Conducting proper activities during this stage will help your teams to prepare themselves for the upcoming projects.
Hopefully, the above activities will provide your employees with a great learning experience while having fun. Just in case you want more insight into building and managing strong teams, you can read my newly published article: “25 Best Team Building Books for Managers and Leaders”.