With the two branches of our Engagement Multiplier team based in Chicago and the UK, the entire company had never actually been in the same room until recently. Sure, a few of us have met once or twice, but during the first week of December not only did we Holiday Party together, but we worked together in our Chicago office for an entire week.

And we kick-started our group effort with a full day of team building activities led by Shannon Waller, a Kolbe Certified™ Consultant, and Strategic Coach presenter, speaker, and coach. Her expertise is in getting teams to work seamlessly together.

First, we did our own office team-building exercise.

Employee engagement through communication

With half of our company in the UK and the other half in Chicago, we noticed that it can be difficult to really get a sense of the person on the other end of the email chain. And it’s all too easy to assume Person A is responsible for a specific task when it’s actually Person B.

Frustration, delays, and miscommunications can ensue.

Taking advantage of having everyone in one physical location, we created a worksheet to bring instant clarity – not just about what tasks belong to which people, but about what’s important to each person. We also looked at how they approach tasks and solve problems, what their preferred method for communication is, and how we can all best support each other.

Communication team building activity: Getting to know you

We split up into smaller groups of 4-6 people and separated for about 30 minutes. Each person in the group has to ‘interview’ his or her partner using the worksheet below. Once the time was up, we all got back together and presented the person we ‘interviewed’ to the rest of the team.

But when we attended Shannon Waller’s workshop, we realized we could improve on our worksheet and use it to create an employee profile that would act like a ‘cheat sheet’ to optimize communication between everyone in the company.

Below is the final result that combines our idea with the incredibly valuable communication ideas we learned from Shannon Waller.

If you have multiple offices, remote workers, or teams that aren’t constantly together, this exercise will improve communication and efficiency. You’ll see an immediate difference. You can also pair this alongside some other employee engagement ideas for dispersed teams that will help to keep your organization engaged!

You don’t need to know everyone’s Kolbe Score or have taken the StrengthsFinder test for this to work, but we’ve been impressed by how useful those two tools have been for us. The results have amazed us by just how much understanding our coworkers have smoothed communication and really greased the wheels of everyday tasks. We’ve also noticed that when a problem arises, we’re much more aware of who might be just the person to find the solution.

Try breaking out this free, downloadable team building and communication worksheet at your next meeting and tell us what happens by tweet, @EMultiplier, or email the Engagement Multiplier team. We’d love to hear about your experience!