As a social networking company Facebook prides itself on having a social staff. That's according to Ryan Mack, site lead of the company's Boston office, who says strong personal connections with coworkers are key to success as a company. "They can help you solve problems and understand opportunities," he says. Here's his advice on how to do team-building right.
Think about what makes your locale unique.
Earlier this year the Facebook Boston team collectively learned to sail on the Boston Harbor and held a summer party at Fenway Park. What interesting venues, landmarks or activities make your part of the world interesting?
Join team members in their off-work activities.
Mack works out with a handful of employees who like to box at a local boxing gym while others run half marathons together. "It's important for me to understand what people really enjoy here and then when we're trying to think of what are all the different things we can do for events it, it generally is a lot easier," he says. "We've got a couple of really avid bowlers in the office, people into mixology, rowing, so I think it's fun to do things that individuals are really passionate about."
Knowing someone well means understanding the context of their non-work life. Find opportunities to hold family events where employees can get to know significant others and children. "Spend a few hours together with people you don't work with day to day and get to know them and their stories and interests," he says.
Cater to a changing workforce.
This is the first year Facebook Boston–which is shooting for 50 employees by year end–has hired new graduates. "A year ago we were really focused on figuring out family-friendly activities, so that we can all bring our kids into the office," he says. "But I'm also looking for things that are going to be more fun for people that don't have families, so bowling nights and mixology classes, and figuring out what they're passionate about, as well."