Let’s start off with the fact that facilitation isn’t the easiest thing to do, so hats off to all you facilitators out there!

When I came onboard Laka, culture and internal training was one of the areas I really wanted to explore, as I deemed it to be a paramount aspect of the business. I started in August but my time to shine in this area came in November. Nervous but ready to rock it, I went there all guns blazing 🔥

Me post-workshop

Now by no means am I an expert, but it definitely gave me a lot of learnings. So as long as you follow the tips below, you’ll already be off to a great start.

Tip 1: Gamify the workshop

“Make a game out of practise, you’re still a child at heart” - Harvey Penick

We recently did a workshop which was structured to feel like a pub quiz. We had 3 parts to it:

Part 1: Facts and figures about the business
Part 2: Forming processes for certain situations
Part 3: Fun facts about the team

This workshop in particular was successful on two fronts:

  1. The aim of the workshop was achieved (Part 2 of the workshop)
  2. Employees not only learnt more about the business, which can help in situations such as networking, but they also created deeper bonds with each other

Tip 2: Let the softer spoken people shine

With any team, you always have a mix of people that are confident to speak out when they please, and others that would rather listen and prefer to share their thoughts when asked.

To make it more inclusive, we have tried out a couple of things.

  1. The infamous talking stick. Although in our case we actually used a ball, but the same rules applied. Whoever held the ball, would be the only person allowed to talk. Now this does work to a certain extent, however once you get into a certain topic or if you have a large group, the ball can get quickly forgotten
  2. Another option is to pair people up. Ask each pair to discuss a certain topic and when it comes to presenting their discussion to the group, ask the more reclusive person to speak

Tip 3: End on a high!

It is inevitable that concentration starts to dwindle during workshops, followed by notifications being checked on phones. By the end, people just want to get out and continue with their work, so ending the workshop on a high and collectively is extremely important.

At the end of 2018, we concluded one of our workshops with a drawing exercise. We had everyone draw a picture of their favourite moment experienced with a colleague that year. In turn, each person presented their drawing and explained the story.  It was a great way for the team to reflect on the year, and to share all the funny moments we’ve spent together. It made for some serious team bonding, as well as some beautiful (and questionable) office artwork!

Just a few additional tips which often go missed 🙃

  1. Make sure you split your team into groups of maximum 3 people
  2. Make sure the whole session is no longer than 1.5 hours with a 15 minute break in between
  3. Turn the AC on! If the room is not that big, it gets very hot quickly, and that’s when you get people switching off easily
  4. Snacks and drinks are always welcome, throw in beers and you’ll no doubt fill every seat!

Missed the first episode of The Startup Diaries? Check it out here!