• Benefits of Team-Building

    Benefits of team-building

    How do you feel about team-building? Does it make you groan just to consider that question? You’re not alone. Team-building is something that’s got a reputation for being cheesy and lame, but in fact, it’s one of the most important things you can do for your organization. How can you create experiences that actually allow you to reap the benefits of team-building?

    What are the benefits, anyway? Effective team-building creates engaged employees and a cohesive company culture. It can be fun, adventurous, and enjoyable if it’s done right, and when employees have a good time as a team, they also work better as a team. That’s not just good for morale, it’s good for business.

    The first step in successful team-building is creating events that don’t feel like work. If your focus is on activities that teach your team members something, your team-building won’t be as powerful. Your employees need time to share an experience or work toward a goal together so that they can connect and bond. Do something fun, unique, interesting, and maybe just a little bit outside of the team’s comfort level, whether it’s zip-lining, line dancing, or heading off to a sporting event.

    Don’t be afraid to spend some money. You don’t need to take your team off on a tropical vacation or some other wildly expensive adventure, but don’t skimp, either. The money you spend on team-building isn’t a splurge, it’s an investment. Ultimately, a team that works well together will benefit your bottom line, and you’ll more than recoup your team-building money.

    Finally, take the team-building energy back to work with you. Create opportunities that allow people to interact and connect, in ways that have nothing to do with your regular meetings, tasks, and presentations. Encourage team members to create and share goals for themselves, and carve time into the schedule for people to share and celebrate achievements that happen outside of work. If your team is laughing together, is excited about your team-building before it happens, feels a sense of accomplishment once it’s over, and maintains their bond when they’re back at work, you’re doing it right.

    If you need facilities for team-building or training, look to Texas Training and Conference Centers, for high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just some of the ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you, too. To learn more, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

  • Team Building Activities Your Team Will Actually Enjoy

    Team Enjoying Team Building Activities

    What do you think of when you hear the phrase “team building?” Trust falls and sharing? Time with your coworkers that makes you want to run for the hills? As important as team building is for fostering camaraderie between coworkers and reminding them that working together is the key to success, it can be a real drag in practice. Fortunately, team building doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. In fact, we’ve got a few suggestions that will make your team want to come back for more team building.

    • Give them something to figure out. Present your team with a word problem or a jigsaw puzzle- the task itself is not as important as doing it. Give them a certain amount of time to solve the problem or assemble the puzzle together, making it clear that everyone must participate, and then take some time to talk about strategy, roles played by different team members, and why people made the decisions they did. This kind of exercise can be enlightening, revealing interesting information about how your team members think and how they can work together.
    • Complete an escape room together. These are becoming ever more popular, and it’s no wonder. They’re a fun way to work together as a team and accomplish something. If there are escape rooms in your city, checking one out can be a fun excursion. If not, you can create your own escape room, either on your own or by picking Escape Room in a Box.
    • Brainstorm together. Sometimes, the best team-building exercise involves solving a problem you’re actually facing as a business. Take some time to hash out new ideas together, cluing your team in on the problem ahead of time, and asking everyone to come up with a few suggestions. Throw everyone’s ideas up on a board, and discuss amongst yourselves to come up with some great solutions.
    • Learn about your personalities. Take a personality test together, and discuss the results. This is a fun way to get to know your coworkers, discovering commonalities as well as learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You may also learn something new about yourself in the process.
    • Host an old-fashioned “Show and Tell”. Get together over snacks and talk about what’s going on in your lives, both professionally and personally. Give people the opportunity to brag about accomplishments, talk about hobbies, and discuss projects they’re working on, welcoming feedback.
    • Do something that inspires healthy competition. There are many different ways to have fun competing with your coworkers. Maybe you’ll hold a desk decorating contest on a holiday, a cook-off or bake-off, or some other in-office contest. You might also take your team out for trivia night to let them show off their knowledge and work together. For that matter, you can invite a trivia host to your office and divide into teams to compete against each other. Board games are another way to loosen up and learn to work together as a team.
    • Do something worthwhile. Look for ways that your team can have an impact on the larger community. Hold a can drive, volunteer, participate in a charity walk or fun run, do some community service work, or collect money for a worthy cause. Make participation voluntary, so that your team feels they’re doing something meaningful.
    • Do something outside. Maybe it’s a ropes course, maybe a scavenger hunt, or perhaps participation in an intramural league. There’s something about being together in the fresh air that makes it easy to work as a team. It doesn’t have to be a physical event, either. If your team is more artistic than sporty, consider splitting into teams and making movies on a common theme, to be screened and judged on a particular date.
    • Tell each other some stories. Talk about work experiences, using trigger words to get everyone started. Alternately, you can talk about things that have nothing to do with work, perhaps sharing your bucket lists and explaining why each thing on your list has meaning. The purpose of this kind of exercise is to get people to open up and share stories, in order to better understand each other.

    One way to strengthen the unity of your group is to hold training sessions off-site, where team members can learn together and form bonds. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on providing companies with training facilities that feature high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

  • Success Secrets for Small Talk at Work

    Secrets For Small Talk At Work

    How good are you at chit-chat? With all the skills you need to be successful in business, this is one that often gets overlooked. Being a good conversationalist, however, is vital if you want to get ahead. Fortunately, small talk is a skill that can be learned; with a little bit of practice, you can become proficient at making conversation.

    • Be mindful of the moment. Often, we’re so involved in our own thoughts or focused on our devices that we miss the opportunity to connect with those around us. Put away your phone when you’re around other people, and make a point to interact.
    • Know before you go. If there’s a company event, find out what you can about people who will be in attendance. Think about the people you’d really like to meet, and what questions you might ask to engage them in conversation.
    • Be prepared. Make a plan before you enter a social situation, thinking of questions you can ask to start conversations, current events that are interesting without being controversial, and interesting personal facts that you can share without oversharing. It’s also smart to plan for the close of a conversation, making sure you know how to gracefully exit when it’s reached its logical conclusion.
    • Make the first move. Don’t wait for people to initiate conversations with you. Instead, take the initiative and branch out from people you already know. Be inclusive, introducing people to each other, and be friendly, conveying warmth and sincerity.
    • Listen more than you talk. A big part of conversation has nothing to do with coming up with things to say. Focus on the person with whom you’re conversing, asking questions and paying attention to the answers. It’s likely that the answers will act as springboards for further conversation, so look for opportunities to ask follow-up questions.
    • Be sure to share. If you only ask questions without volunteering information about yourself, the person with whom you’re talking may feel like you’re conducting an interrogation. Share details about your life, taking care to keep the conversation light and upbeat.
    • Be mindful of your purpose. Small talk is more than mindless chatter. Rather, it’s a way to get to know people, forming connections in order to build more substantial relationships with colleagues and associates.

    If you’re a leader in your company, you can help foster relationships by providing opportunities for team members to interact and get to know each other. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering training facilities that facilitate team-building, with high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Soundproof rooms, state of the art technology, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the ways we create an environment that makes a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

  • How to Create an Inclusive Workplace Environment

    Inclusive Workplace Environment

    There’s plenty of buzz these days about creating an inclusive workplace environment, but what does it mean? If you think about the word inclusion, considering what it means, you’ll probably think about belonging, connecting with others, and being part of a community. At work, inclusion means all the ways, great and small, that employers can help people feel comfortable and connected, a part of a well-functioning whole. Why is inclusion important, and what are the steps you need to take to create an inclusive workplace environment?

    First, let’s address the importance of this issue. According to recent research, workplaces with an inclusive culture are twice as likely to meet their financial goals or even surpass them, and six times more likely to be innovative. They’re 42 percent less likely to lose employees because when employees feel that they can bring their whole selves to work, they’re unlikely to look for a new position. Engaging your employees and helping them feel connected and included is good for your people, and good for your business.

    To create an inclusive workplace, strive to make develop a corporate culture that’s cooperative, collaborative, fair, open, curious, and accountable, by incorporating seven components of inclusion.

    • The right resources give employees they support they need to be inclusive. Give your employees access to appropriate technology, help them support each other through employee resource groups, and encourage them to make meetings more inclusive by sending agendas and other materials in advance. When everyone at the meeting is prepared, and technology is set up properly, it becomes easier for all the members of the group to be actively involved.
    • One of the most important ways to include someone is to allow them to have a voice. When employees have a say about decisions with an impact on their work, they take more ownership in that work and tend to work harder. They gain a higher level of job satisfaction, which in turn improves their performance. When employees are allowed to talk openly, it helps them trust their leaders, and an environment of trust inspires creativity and productivity. What’s more, companies that listen to their people gain useful knowledge that improves their business.
    • When employees feel that their company values them for who they are, they feel connected to that company. It’s important for individuals to be recognized for their uniqueness and to feel that their leadership values their skills and unique perspectives. To give employees this sense of belonging, speak to your employees with intention. Acknowledge their efforts, and highlight their specific achievements so that they know you value them and take pride in their successes.
    • Encouraging collaboration helps teams feel connected to each other. This sense of connection gives them the ability to work together using the strengths and skills of each individual. In meetings, take the time to ask for feedback and acknowledge the source of good ideas, even if that person is not in the room.
    • Inclusivity relies on intentionality. Look for ways to weave inclusive practices into the culture, values, and mission of your company. Make it clear that you value diverse ideas and perspectives, and show this through inclusive practices.
    • Find exciting ways to make people feel like they belong. Create social events and utilize social media to engage employees and help them to connect.
    • Employees who have the opportunity to learn and grow will be more likely to want to advance their careers within their organization. Look for ways to empower your employees with learning and development opportunities that help them expand both their personal and professional goals. Find out what interests them and encourage them to pursue their passions and hobbies, learn new skills, and further their education.

    One way to strengthen the unity of your group is to hold training sessions off-site, where team members can learn together and form bonds. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on providing companies with training facilities that feature high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

  • Top 5 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

    Boost Employee Engagement

    We often think of it as an HR issue, but if you’re in a leadership position, employee engagement is something you need to be taking seriously. Why? Because employees who aren’t engaged are employees who aren’t likely to stick around. If you want to avoid replacing your workforce, instead creating a team that’s so inspired its members want to bring others on board, it’s smart to look at the top five ways to boost employee engagement.

    1. Purposefully craft your corporate culture. Cultivate a culture with a clear purpose and identity, in which employees can feel that their work has meaning and they’re contributing to something that matters. Offer opportunities for feedback and the presentation of new ideas, and show employees that you value what they have to offer.
    2. Connect from the top down. If you want a workforce that shows up for more than just a paycheck, it’s up to those in leadership to model the kind of connection that makes work meaningful. Establish a rapport, getting to know your employees, and consider crafting an employee engagement program with one-on-one mentoring and active communication. Encourage employee interaction, too, using social events and social media to help your team members connect with one another.
    3. Play to your employee’s strengths. One of the simplest ways to engage employees is to give them the freedom and opportunity to show off the strengths they feel are being underutilized. Talk to them about their goals and skills in a meaningful way, and celebrate their successes. When you capitalize on your employees’ natural abilities, you make engagement an organic process, and the work environment becomes more conducive to creativity and innovation.
    4. Learn what makes your team tick. Design listening strategies that help you get to know your employees, whether that means focus groups, one-on-one meetings, or group brainstorming sessions. Be transparent, and let employees know that you really want to know their interests, passions, and goals, both personal and professional.
    5. Provide opportunities for growth and development. Once you know your team’s driving motivations, you can help them pursue their goals and hone their skills. Find ways to develop not just business skills, but also soft skills like emotional intelligence, and use every resource at your disposal, from coaching and mentoring to corporate training sessions, to help your employees learn and grow.

    One way to help employees learn, grow, and connect is with off-site team training exercises and a big part of making that a success is finding the right site. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering training facilities that feature the technology and tools to facilitate learning, with high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

  • Five Successful Secrets to Keeping Employees Engaged

    Engaged Employees

    What makes a job a good job? Is it the salary? The benefits? Of course, compensation plays a large role in keeping employees happy, but more and more, experts are learning that the paycheck isn’t what keeps them engaged. Employees need to feel a connection to the company and to its mission. They need to feel heard and encouraged. What’s more, they need to understand what’s expected of them and receive feedback on their contribution to the company. With all of these factors necessary for job satisfaction, what can employers do to keep their employees engaged?

    1. Set clearly defined, attainable goals. In the short-term, make sure that employees know what’s expected of them, and find ways to successfully measure their effectiveness. Giving employees tasks that can be accomplished quickly gives them the confidence to reach for more achievement, and an atmosphere of support in confidence promotes engagement. Over the long-term, employees need to understand the company’s mission, in order to understand the purpose behind their work. Employees who are fully engaged in the company’s strategic vision are driven to pursue excellence because they understand that their successes are important to the overall mission.
    2. Provide the tools your employees need to succeed. Don’t assume each employee has the training, skills, and support necessary for success, but check in to find out what they’re lacking. Create a culture of learning in your business, encouraging employees to learn new skills and gain certifications, in an atmosphere of fun and productivity.
    3. Prioritize connection. Blend work and play in your workplace, using humor to keep employees happy and engaged. Employees who are happy, growing, and learning, they feel energized and encouraged. Create team building opportunities, and don’t be afraid to relate to your employees as a human being.
    4. Give feedback and incentives. Checking in with employees on a regular basis allows you to assess their progress and provide feedback on their performance. Training sessions, regular memos and email communications, and meetings can help you positively engage with your employees and let them know where they stand, how they’re succeeding, and what needs improvement. Along with clear and concise feedback, offer incentives to keep your team competitive and show appreciation for a job well done. Reward good work immediately, rather than waiting for a set time to recognize good work ethic, skilled performance or excellent results.
    5. Communicate effectively. Just as important as communicating well is communicating often. An environment of transparency encourages dedication, respect, and loyalty, and managers who are transparent and forthright, with good follow-through and an openness to the ideas of others will earn their employees’ trust. This trust leads to respect, and when employees respect their managers they can more successfully contribute to the shared mission.

    Sometimes, it helps to take your employees out of a familiar setting, in order to introduce new concepts or reinforce existing goals. Occasional off-site training gives you a chance to connect with your employees, get them engaged in planning and decision-making, and teach new skills to help them do their jobs better. Finding a place that’s comfortable and well-equipped, with advanced technology and superior support, can make a world of difference in the success of these offsite training sessions.

    At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on the high-quality equipment and exceptional service you’ll find at our training facilities. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. To learn more about the computer specifications and other information about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

  • How to Keep Employees Engaged in Training

    corporate training center in houston tx Offering regular employee training at a corporate training center in Houston will keep your employees more informed and productive, ultimately making them more valuable to the company. Training also makes employees feel worthwhile, as they know that the company is investing time and resources in them. This encourages employees to remain with the company longer, and advance further. However, it is important to ensure that your employees remain engaged and active in their company training. Here are some tips on keeping employees engaged during corporate training.

    Have a Flexible Agenda

    Having an agenda for any business meeting or company training seminar is crucial. It will help everyone stay on task, and will allow you to make sure that the training seminar doesn’t last any longer than it should. It is also helpful to keep the agenda somewhat flexible to account for the different learning styles of your employees. Not everyone learns new things in the same way or at the same rate, and rushing through an agenda without accounting for whether everyone is keeping up can frustrate and bore your employees, making the entire training seminar a waste of time.

    Keep Things Light

    A training seminar doesn’t have to be a dry, dull affair. As long as you treat your employees with respect while interacting with them, you have some room to relax and open up, making the training more engaging on a personal level for your employees. This will encourage them to relax and engage with you and their fellow employees. Ultimately, this will make the training seminar more productive and will help your employees learn more.

    Hold the Training at a Training Facility

    Giving your employees a change of scenery will make them more alert and engaged in the learning process. Away from the distractions and associations of the office, they may have a more open mind that will help you maintain their interest. Most training centers can offer more amenities than your office building, such as high-tech equipment, catering options, and computer labs.