Kristen Hadeed, speaker at Jobber Professional Development Day

How do you get employees to stick around when it’s hard work day after day? And for the employees who do stay, how do you get them personally invested in your business?

The answer is culture. Culture is how employees feel when they work together, no matter what kind of day they’re having. Culture is how a group of people become a tight-knit team.

Culture is how employees feel when they work together, no matter what kind of day they’re having.

On Jobber Professional Development Day 2021, Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid and author of Permission to Screw Up, was one of 15 experts who shared their thoughts about running a business and being a strong leader.

Kristen shared how to build trust and resilience in the workplace through a series of 5-minute team-building activities you can do in-person or remotely. Try them out below.

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5-Minute Team-Building Activities

These simple team-building activities are designed to be quick but effective. Don’t overthink them — start by choosing 1-2 to try out today.

After all, team building isn’t an event. It’s a habit. The goal is simply to be better today than we were yesterday.

1. Build Trust with Personal Check-Ins

Who it’s for: Leaders who want to develop stronger relationships with their staff.

This is one of those simple team-building activities that can take just a few minutes. The goal is for your employees to share what’s going on in their lives, so that they know you care about them as more than just workers.

“Only four in 10 people believe that their leader actually cares about them as a person. People would show up for work more if they knew that they were cared for.”

– Kristen Hadeed

Whether it’s an official company-wide meeting or just two workers heading off to a job site, any time two or more people are together, it’s an opportunity for a personal check-in.

Here are just a few examples of questions you could ask:

  • What’s going well for you?
  • What are you struggling with?
  • What are your personal goals for the future?
  • How can the team help you reach those goals?

Not everyone will want to share. That’s okay. The point of this exercise is to create a space where these talks can happen. That way, when an employee reaches a point where they need this kind of conversation, it’s something they’re already familiar with.

Show employees that you care about their success outside of work, and they may connect that personal success back to your business.

Download: Get Kristen Hadeed’s guide to practicing vulnerability

2. Give Better Feedback using F.B.I.

Who it’s for: Leaders who struggle with giving (or receiving) effective feedback.

Feedback means communicating honestly to help your people grow. If your team doesn’t know they’re making a mistake, they can’t fix it. 

“Feedback is one of the best ways that we can engage our people.”

-Kristen Hadeed

But even though it’s useful, feedback is also hard to give. Many of us weren’t taught how to give feedback effectively. We give feedback that is too harsh, too vague, or worse, we dance around it. (Even serial entrepreneur Gary Vee is guilty of this.)

If you want someone to change, you need to give clear but kind feedback, says Kristen.

To do it, practice the F.B.I. method (Feeling, Behavior, Impact) with your team. To do it, frame your feedback using these questions:

  • How do you feel?
  • What behavior made you feel this way?
  • What’s the impact of that behavior?

For example, if someone is late to work, you could say, “I felt disappointed when you were 30 minutes late for work. The impact is that I don’t know if I can rely on you. Can you help me understand how this happened?”

This quick team-building activity may feel hard at first. Gamify it by asking each team member to give positive or constructive FBI feedback at least once per day, and reward them with gift cards, coffee, or other perks.

Eventually, giving feedback will become a habit, and can be one of the most effective team bonding exercises you’ll ever use.

Download: Get Kristen Hadeed’s guide to giving and accepting feedback

3. Write a Resilience Resume

Who it’s for: Leaders who want to build more resilient teams.

According to Kristen Hadeed, “The more we fail, the more resilient we become.”

Resilience helps us go through failure and come out the other side stronger than before. It’s one of the top characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

A resilience resume is similar to your career resume. The difference is, instead of talking about your successes in the workplace, you’re talking about your relationship with failure.

As a powerful team-building activity, Kristen recommends booking an hour or so of time with your workers to write your own resilience resumes. This resume can describe what they’ve been through as individuals or as a team, and what they learned because of it.

Questions you can ask include:

  • What difficult events have you gone through?
  • What challenges have you faced?
  • What important things have you screwed up?
  • What did you learn from them?

If a team member is having a hard time, they can pull out their resilience resume to see everything they’ve made it through before. This can show them how they were resilient in the past and encourage them during present and future challenges.

Instead of seeing failure as a disaster, think of it as an opportunity to grow. Show your team how you respond to failure. When they feel safe enough to risk failing, they’ll feel supported enough to pursue big ideas.

Download: Get Kristen Hadeed’s guide to building personal resilience

4. Problem-Solve with the 1:3:1

Who it’s for: Leaders who want an empowered team that can solve problems independently.

When an employee comes to you with a problem, you could recommend a way to solve it.

But solving the problem for them won’t help the person learn anything. They need the opportunity to think independently, to build resilience and confidence, and to grow as a person.

Empower the employee to solve problems themselves by asking these questions, known as the 1:3:1 method:

  • What is the one challenge you’re facing?
  • What are three possible ways to solve it?
  • Out of those solutions, which one do you recommend?

If they don’t know the answers, ask them to take a few minutes to think about it. When they feel better prepared, they can connect with you again and talk about what they’ve come up with.

The more you practice this 5-minute team-building activity, the more of a habit it will become.

The result is a more empowered team that can confidently take action.

Keep Reading: Use these five strategies to engage employees

5. Activities to Help You Be a Better Leader

Who it’s for: Managers and bosses who want to lead successful teams.

As a leader, you should be taking part in all of the 5-minute team-building activities. But these last tips will help ensure the other five are even more successful, says Kristen.

  • Talk to your team to find your ‘culture compass’. Your team may not be able to describe the kind of culture they want. But they can tell you how they want to feel at work, such as “inspired” or “supported.” Once you know those words, says Kristen, use them as your compass to make decisions as a leader. For example: ‘will this decision make my people feel supported, or will it lead to the opposite?’
  • Be present. Your team knows when you aren’t paying attention. That tells them they aren’t important. If you’re genuinely distracted by a personal or business problem, be transparent with your team so that they won’t assume you just don’t care.
  • Be patient. The culture you’re looking to build won’t happen overnight. It happens a little bit every day. You likely won’t see the results you want right away, so stay positive.
  • Go easy on yourself. Kristen says it best:

“Leadership is hard. The next time you have a hard day, remember that you’re not alone. Give yourself grace. You’re human. And while it’s hard, it is so, so worth it.”

-Kristen Hadeed

Want more words of wisdom? Follow Kristen on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn

Missed Jobber PD Day?

Our live event is over, but the recorded sessions from more than 15 expert speakers are available to watch anytime.

Watch Now