The short answer is yes, team building games can be effective. But it depends on what you want to achieve through them.
The question is: are you looking for a team building experience, or a team bonding experience? If it’s the latter, team building games are great. You and your team can have a fun and hilarious time. and really get to know ach other in the process.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a team building experience, it’ll take more than a game to pave the way to success.
So, what is the purpose of team building?
When you boil down the essential components that make up successful team building, the difference between team bonding and team building becomes crystal clear. One is about getting people to understand each other and feel comfortable together. The other includes these things-but is focused on orchestrating a team that can work through any conflict, differences, and challenges in order to reach goals.
We humans are social creatures, and have emotional ties with people. These ties help us navigate the intricate complexities of our social circles. On a scientific level, these bonds are created through neurochemicals like oxytocin.
Emotions absolutely play an important role in building a successful team. However, the focus of team building is not only to make people comfortable with each other in teams. It’s to make sure that they can better collaborate and communicate effectively, and to overcome challenges and reach goals.
Goal alignment exercises are at the heart of team building events; not so much in team building games
Team building activities forge strong teams by setting a series of challenges and goals for teams to solve. These activities give teams a taste of what it’s like to be part of a smooth running, winning group.
Team members have the best change of aligning goals when:
- They have a sense of psychological safety within the team
- They can trust each other to get the work done
- They are committed to the goal
Research investigating the link between group identity and commitment to goals shows an interesting outcome. Researchers found that the more an individual clicked with the group and really felt like they belong, the more effort they would put into achieving the goal. If the team members didn’t feel like they belonged in the team, they would gauge how important the goal was to the rest of the group, and contribute accordingly.
Trust is another crucial component in a winning team. Yet, as research has shown, it is something we form subconsciously. Our subconscious decides whether or not a face is trustworthy within milliseconds of seeing it. This can be a difficult perception to shake off-but it’s far from impossible.
Team building exposes members to situations that are designed to inspire better interpersonal connections. By getting teams to spend a few hours within a different environment, focusing on fun, challenging activities, they get a chance to start over.
Our brains are malleable, and use new experience and challenges in order to shape new perceptions and grow. The mantra of neuroscience is “Neurons that fire together, wire together”. Over time, team building activities shape new pathways in the minds of team members, and show them what it’s like to work towards successfully.
Our technologically guided team-building activities offer an effective team building experience
We love to share the knowledge we’ve gathered in our blogs. That’s why we write this article to help you understand the effect and purpose of team building games, and whether they’re right for you.
We understand what it takes to build a strong team. We have created a special process in order to ensure success with every team building event. Our technologically guided activities are structured to help teams independently navigate their way throughout the course and into a place where they can work cohesively with one another.
Our team building events are an immersive experience led through an app on participants’ smartphones. Spending 2-3 hours unraveling the challenges presented throughout the forges stronger, better, more productive teams that take what they’ve learned and use it.
Want to immerse yourself in events featuring team building games & much more? Contact us now to learn how our unique games shape winning teams or learn more about our long-term High Performing Teams program.