10 Restaurants in SF You Could Host Your Next Team Meeting

Hosting a team meeting can sometimes be a bit more complex than you imagine. Sure, you could ask your team to meet up at the office, but you then you would be missing out on an amazing opportunity: turning your business meeting into something really special for your and your team. Your next team meeting should not only be an opportunity to discuss the development of new projects, ideas or even fix issues, but it should also be considered as a very important way to consolidate your team and keep building it up! If you are in the San Francisco area and want to organize an amazing team meeting, considering of the many amazing local restaurants is a great idea. 

This article offers a list of cool venues with the capacity, space, and infrastructure to host a successful team meeting.

Benu: This classy and understated restaurant is perfect for smaller meetings with a very prestigious setting. The quiet, minimalist environment stimulates great conversation, and the progressive contemporary dishes are absolutely delicious.

Boulevard: This great spot on Mission Street is youthful, fun and energetic, perfect to host a larger team meeting.

EPIC Steak: This restaurant is a great place to meet, with large dining booths and a cool atmosphere that feels somewhere between a pub and a fine dining restaurant, with a European feel. This is a great place for a meeting for its classy, yet casual setting.

Gary Danko: Is sophistication is a requirement? Look no further than Gary Danko, and its classy environment.

Kokkari: Great food and homey environments might be great to make everyone in your team feel comfortable. This Greek cuisine joint might be what you are after.

Atlas Tap Room: If you are keen on allowing your team to relax with a few beers during the meeting, this is a great spot.

Barbarossa: This amazing cocktail bar has a nice and sophisticated space for venues and events, perfect for larger team meetings.

Prospect: Amazing place for business meetings, with an elegant and sophisticated feel.

Foreign Cinema: This place can get busy, but the cordial and prompt staff could help you with some great business meetings.

Salt House: Great food and lots of large tables for comfortable meetings.

 

5 Books About Team Building

Team Building is now an essential aspect of the daily life of any business. A great company culture is often synonymous with better productivity and more motivation on the part of your employees, which in turn, leads to more constructive team efforts and better ways to get things done successfully. If you are looking for guidance or inspiration, team building books are a great place where to start! This article will walk you hand in hand through 5 of the most thought-provoking and accomplished publications relating to team building. So you can improve the way you handle your team building operations and start building a better company culture, right away!

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni

This is a great book for those who are looking to discover a whole new approach to team building, and address the weaknesses in your own team. The author strikes a really great balance between innovative ideas and timeless concepts, explaining how the world of team building has changed throughout the years, and how it keeps changing. More importantly, this book is really great to help people understand the sheer importance of team buildings, and what it could actually do for your business.

The Leadership Challenge, James M. Kouzes

This publication is definitely one of the most celebrated and highly regarded in this particular niche, and it really does focus on some very pivotal aspects of team building. One of the biggest perks of this books is that it helps business owners understand a very important concept: there is something that’s worth more than your capital or your products: it is your people.

The idea is simple: you can have a great product and you can become successful for a while, but without a great team behind it, with true commitment to fostering the growth of the company, success will remain stagnant and competitors with better teams will move ahead of you

The Energy Bus, Jon Gordon

This particular book strikes for a very refreshing, modern and forward-thinking take on HR and team building tasks, strongly focusing on the very important human elements and the power of catering to each, individual member of your team. This book is all about helping people stay motivated, energized and focused on the goals of the business, while achieving their own.

Teamwork Isn’t My Thing and I Don’t Want to Share, Kelsey De Weerd

This may be a children’s picture book but it’s a fun and comedic way to approach team bonding.  

The Ideal Team Player, Patrick M. Lencioni

This book has a more classic approach, but it definitely features some precious insights that will help each member of your team become a true team player.

4 Easy Team Building Activities for Startups

Team building is crucial for all types of organizations but it is definitely one of the most important elements in the success of a startup. Team bonding becomes a sign of success for startups as they hire more employees employees.  Often times as companies grow in size, team bonding can get a little more tricky. In this article, we are going to discuss some great activities that will help boost team morale and help bring your team closer.

The Egg Drop

This activity requires a great deal of teamwork. Teams create some kind of receptacle to protect the egg when it gets dropped from a certain height. Besides encouraging creative thinking, this exercise also forces them to make tough choices, especially in deciding that material that would work best for the task.

The Almighty Tug of War

The good thing about this exercise is that there is a little need instruction, because the game is so common. The physical demand of the activity acts as a great way to destress and inspires friendly competition. In this kind of activity, team members soon realize that communication is just as important as strength, if not more important.

The Classification Game

In this game, you give employees ten to fifteen minutes to get to know each other. Then you split them up into small groups. The main task here is for each team to come up with a group name that sufficiently captures the spirit of all members of the team. This activity is not only fun, but will help teams learn about each other in a relaxed way.  

Volunteering

Suggest that most, if not all of your workforce dedicate a least a day in every month to help a charity organization or a community project of their choice.

Introducing team building activities to your company is a great way to get employees communicating and bonding as your company expands. There is absolutely no harm in trying one of these activities on regular basis because sharpening your teams’ collaborative skills is always a win!

3 Awesome Outdoor Team Bonding Activities in San Francisco

When it is awesome outside, no one wants to be cooped up indoors, especially at work! Read on to learn about some awesome outdoor activities in San Francisco that can do a lot to help team bonding.

Scavenger Hunt

Regardless of age, scavenger hunts are fun everyone. They promote healthy competition and teamwork necessary to bond with others. Create an outdoor treasure hunt anywhere around the San Francisco area, with clues that will help the team brainstorm and work together. Raise the competition factor by offering an incentive for each member of the winning team.  Incentives could be a day off or gift certificate to a local eatery in the Bay area. It should, however, be something you know everyone would be interested in, in order to boost the competitiveness and teamwork.

Outdoor Yoga Session

Are you aware that yoga helps people destress and relax, in addition to providing a lot of other fitness and health benefits? Yoga helps us focus through holding poses and breathing.  It is also a form of meditation which keeps the mind off outside elements and brings us back into the moment. Yoga can do amazing things for employees’ stress levels. They’ll check all their worry at the door and relax for an entire session.  Apart from being beneficial for the mind, yoga is also good for flexibility, strength, and posture. By having a monthly or weekly outdoor yoga sessions, your employees will be able to hit the pause button on their individual lives and work toward improving themselves as a group.

Hula Hooping

You can get silly and get some exercise by hula hooping in San Francisco. Not only is this exercise great for creating an upbeat environment, it is also an awesome exercise for encouraging team building. If your team is often in high-stress situations, offering short hula hoop sessions for everyone once a month is a great choice. Your team will leave the exercise feeling recharged and ready to get back to work.

3 Reasons to Get Your Teams Outside!

Being stuck all day in the office (could be a home office too!) can impact anyone’s productivity and morale. It’s important to mix things up and let your teams breathe fresh air once in while! Let your teams ditch the desk. Encourage them to work from a coffee shop.

Encouraging your teams to get outside will actually help boost team bonding and inspire creativity. Here are 5 reason why it’s good to play hooky from the office!

Being outside inspires us.

Creativity can be hard to come by. Especially, in stressful and dull work environments. Being outside will help your teams battle creative-fatigue. Encourage your teams to take a lunch break and actually leave the office! Move a daily meeting to a park or coffee shop.

New situations and environment encourage Team Building.

Your teams may be together for almost all the daylight hours but this doesn’t mean they are bonding. The best way to strengthen inter-office team relationships is remove teams from their workspaces. Get outside and let your teams relax. Fun team building activities, like scavenger hunts or field trips, are ways to build camaraderie.

Being removed from our mundane routine can boost productivity.

Many employees feel they’re more productive outside of normal work hours. This is because distractions and a dull environment can hamper our drive and work ethic. While you can’t control workplace distractions, you can control the environment! Let your employees work from home once a week. This change could actually inspire them to be more productive!

Great Team Building Tips from the Cirque du Soleil

Cirque de Soleil performances are known around the world as magical, creative, and perfectly in-sync. Now, instead of just watching and learning from afar, companies are learning some of the Cirque du Soleil’s best kept branding and team building secrets. Known as the the Cirque du Soleil® SPARK Sessions, these experiences offer companies the opportunity to learn from the teamwork, creativity and branding expertise of the Cirque du Soleil.  The experiences also cover team bonding and talent acquisition.

In a recent article for Business.com, James Guilford and Kris Chanski, who both work with the SPARK Sessions, talk to Jennifer Xue team building. Here are the 5 awesome tips inspired by the Cirque du Soleil-way.

  1. Fill the gap between the “idea” and the actual result. Guilford calls this the “gray space.” Explaining to Xue that embracing the gray space can lead to realizing goals.
  2. Inclusive word like “also” and “help me understand” are great for promoting team collaboration and positivity. Stay away from hash words like “no”, which stifle team spirit.
  3. Positive feedback with “progressive” language. If you are giving feedback to a team member, use a sentence that emphasizes “when you do this…then this allows.” Instead of saying “you did this and made this happen.”
  4. Shine a spotlight on team members. Don’t forget to praise you team members and do so in a big way. Show the whole team the great work they’ve done!
  5. Encourage endless possibilities. Don’t put a cap on your team members’ dreams. Encourage them to dream big in their jobs – whether this is learning new skills, exceeding in a position or moving up in the ranks.

Read the full article by Jennifer Xue on Cirque du Soleil SPARK Sessions here.

3 Free Team Building Ideas to Inspire Your Teams

Team building activities are the kind of investments that boost everything from employee happiness to team cohesiveness. Team building activities don’t have to be stressful or over the top. If you don’t have time to plan a big team building event or need a quick fun activity to pump up your teams, don’t worry!

Here are 3 free team building ideas to help inspire your teams. From simple ice breakers to fun workplace scavenger hunts, turn these ideas into activities and watch your teams succeed.

The Casual Icebreaker: Icebreakers questions don’t have to be scary or stressful! A perfectly executed icebreaker can be a powerful tool to strengthen your teams and encourage creativity. Ditch the traditional icebreaker questions and re-imagine them to fit your company’s style. Example: If you were a wrestler, what would be your entrance song? Slip icebreakers into daily meetings or conference calls to get your teams laughing and excited.

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Get Out of the Office: Have a meeting that doesn’t need to be held in a conference room? A company luncheon that could be held at a cafe? Get your employees out of the office! This is an awesome way to boost morale and inspire hard work. Simply switching up the work day and getting fresh air can be more beneficial than you realize.

Let the Games Begin: Playing games at work isn’t counterproductive. Contrary to popular belief, a mid-day session of ping-pong or charades can actually help employees re-focus. Games take our minds off stressful tasks and help us relax. Perfect for fostering friendly competition and giving your teams a much deserved break, in-office games help revive teams. They’ll be ready to go back to work with a fresh pair of eyes and a little more energy.

Use these awesome team building ideas as inspiration to develop your own free activities.. Don’t forget: Team building activities help make teams stronger, happier and more successful. Do you have any free building activities you love?

Boosting Employee Engagement Through Team Building

It’s no secret that happy employees are better team members. And the most direct path to team members’ happiness is through engagement; team members that feel engaged are more likely to perform better and put more trust into management. Deepening your employees’ engagement levels will result in a more productive and successful company. In a recent blog post on their website, teambuildnyc.com cited a study that showed that 69% of workers thought that their company had an engagement problem, and 82% of those employees wanted their company to fix the problem. That’s a lot of unengaged employees. In their post, teambuildnyc.com, lists 3 ways to boost employee engagement:

  1. Have fun: Having fun together is a crucial part of engaging your team, and not all of your options have to be stereotypical or cheesy activities. They suggest a team building tour from Museum Hack, who offers tours here in San Francisco at the de Young Museum. Their tours will have your team laughing and relaxing. Having fun together is a great way to recharge your batteries and return back to the office performing their best.
  2. Volunteer: What better way to engage your team than to unite them around the common cause of paying it forward. Spending some time giving to others at your local soup kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, or even the local animal shelter.
  3. Celebrate: Celebrating individual and team accomplishments, whether big or small, will help your employees to know that they are not unnoticed. Engaging your team members happy and engaged in the company will have a hugely positive impact on your company’s morale.

By boosting your team members’ engagement through team building, you will be impacting the atmosphere in your office in a positive way and helping your team to remain happy and productive.

3 Activities to Strengthen Your Team’s Creativity

One of the biggest myths about creativity is that some people are born with it and some people are not. The truth of the matter is that, while some people may have a greater penchant for creativity, all people are on some level creative and can cultivate it like they would any other skill. These three companies specialize in team building activities that will draw out and challenge your team members’ creativity. As they learn to think imaginatively here, they will be cultivating the skills to think outside the box and problem solve more readily back in the office.

  1. Paint Nite: This company connects you with a local artist and party host. They meet your team at a local restaurant or similar type venue and invite you to create artwork while sipping some cocktails. They supply all the materials needed for you to have a good time and flex your creative muscles. This is perfect for a fun and relaxing evening of team bonding.
  2. Nerd Improv: This company offers customized improv workshops designed to strengthen your team members’ active listening skills, creativity, willingness to take risks, and connection. They offer on or offsite skill building workshops, they’ll host icebreaker games or MC events, or even provide customized on-boarding training. Nerd Improv will help: “foster positivity during brainstorming and idea creation, encourage teammates to push their comfort zones, and discover new traits individually and in others.”
  3. Mystery By Design: With over 25 distinct and customizable plots, Mystery By Design’s writers and actors will work with your company’s history, strength, and idiosyncrasies to design a murder mystery scenario that your team must work together to solve. You name to time and place, and they coordinate the story. These events will have your teams competing to think creatively, beat the clock, and solve the mystery.

Creativity is a valuable skill to any team; being able to think outside the box and problem solve quickly will help your team collaborate more effectively. These Bay Area businesses will help your team fire on all creative cylinders and run smoothly and effectively.

Tips for Remote Teams from Museum Hack

With the technological advances of today’s world, many companies are employing teams of people which are either fully or partially distributed – some teams might have a few central people all working in an office together and others from remote locations, and other companies may have all of their employees working from different parts of the country or globe. One company that has seen success with creating a thriving company culture while also employing a dispersed team is Museum Hack.

Museum Hack offers unconventional museum tours at some of the most recognizable museums in New York City, Washington DC, and San Francisco. Most of their team members are based right there in one of the three cities, but they have a supporting team of people working in customer service, sales, and marketing in locations all over the globe – multiple U.S. cities, as well as Canada, Columbia, and the Philippines. This allows them to cut down on overhead costs like expensive office spaces in New York City, and cuts out a commute for most of the employees. In a recent blog post on their website, Museum Hack identified some techniques they use to improve company culture, and specifically, team building practices they employed to help include their remote team in the company.

Tips and Tricks of the Dispersed Team Building Trade

  1. Icebreakers – this may seem sort of like a team building buzzword, but there’s a reason icebreaker games and questions are a popular form of group bonding…they work. Museum Hack has found that by beginning or group chat or phone call with a soft question allows their remote team to be seens as individuals with experiences and desires, not just a worker. And as an added bonus, icebreaker questions involve zero monetary investment and minimal planning, which makes them easy to adopt into your company’s culture right away.
  2. Company Trainages – once a month or so, Museum Hack hires a consultant to teach much of their staff a new skill. They bring in both full-time and part-time employees for an evening of education and fun. While they admit that it is a larger financial investment than icebreakers may be, they see a huge ROI from their evenings out building new skills and friendships.
  3. Paid Trips for Localization – definitely the team building technique with the greatest financial investment, but Museum Hack has seen tremendous results from paying for employees to come in to NYC for a weekend and meet the whole team. Meeting one another in person contributes a noticeable increase in productivity, dedication and collaboration from their remote team members.

While working with a distributed team can have great advantages – allowing employees to work almost whenever and wherever they would like, they have their disadvantages too – a feeling of isolation and lack of connection can easily crop up. However with a few simple techniques in place, even fully dispersed companies can flourish.