How to Get Others Engaged in Group Activities at Work or in Class
Certain classes and jobs put an emphasis on group activities, but unfortunately, not all people work well in groups. Some people may be better individual workers and some people may be too shy. Even in this less than ideal situations, there are many ways to get others engaged in group activities:
- Build Team Morale: When working in groups some members can feel too scared to ask questions or are afraid they will make mistakes, which may deter them from wanting to engage in group activities. It is important in group activities to put an emphasis on the fact that your group members are there to support you and help you succeed with them. To also help build team morale, team members can do bonding activities to help create a positive group mentality. Team members should encourage involvement and divide work evenly.
- Set goals for the activity: Depending on the time length of the activity groups can set long term and short terms goals. These long term and short term goals can be academic goals or social goals. Long term goals may include what the group members want to achieve at the end of the activity. For example, a long term goal could be strong knowledge of the topic or getting the activity published in the workplace. Short term goals may include conversations at the beginning of each meeting to discuss what members want to achieve that day, or conversations at the end of the current meeting to discuss goals for the next meeting for the activity. These goals can also include becoming a better presenter, or gaining better listening skills.
- Take one task at a time: Breaking up the project into sections may make the activity easier to understand. Conquering the entire activity at once may make group members confused. This could lead individuals to avoid the activity. By taking one task at a time, the activity will run more smoothly allowing for group members to become more involved and comfortable with the task at hand.
- Give incentives: Some people love to get involved when an activity becomes a competition. Teachers and bosses should consider including incentives into the activity to give group members more motivation to produce the best outcome possible. These incentives may include extra points on another assignment or tests, bonuses, prizes.
- Have fun: Most importantly, a group activity should not be dreadful. Groups should take a step back and have fun with what they are working on. By having a positive mindset, the group activity will seem more valuable and exciting to each group member.
Through these actions students and co-workers will become more engaged in the activity. Bad experiences in past groups may make people hesitant when working in groups in the future, but that should not be the case. Not all groups are the same, therefore individuals should use their past experiences to bring knowledge into the group. Each individual brings a certain asset to the team that can be helpful for the activity. By building team morale, setting goals, taking one task at a time, giving incentives, and having fun, group members will succeed and become more engaged in the activity.