The Basics Of Team Building
Team building activities strive to forge cohesive teams, which trust one another and can easily focus on reaching a common target, with the help of their diverse skills and capabilities. Four types of team building activities exist:
- Communication Activities
- Planning And Adaptability Activities
- Trust-Building And Team Bonding Activities
- Problem-Solving (And Decision Making) Activities
The latter two types of team building activities are probably the most important of the lot.
The aim of all team building activities and game ideas for work is to enhance trust and the ability to work together through building bonds between the members of the team. The creation of these strong teams is beneficial for the enterprise as it increases productivity, makes communication more efficient, boosts work motivation, enhances collaboration and yes, … brings smiles to the faces of the employees. Team bonding and collective problem solving contribute the most to achieving the above benefits.
Bonding And Problem Solving Team Building Is An Investment
Although normally prices for any team building activities are not high, still they may be challenging, say for a start-up. However, the expenses of organising a team-building event should not be considered a “cost”, but are rather an “investment”. An investment is a cost that enterprises will expect to pay itself back and render a profit in the process. Team building activities are just such. Here is why (read on till the end and note the returns):
- Better Communication
If a team is to work together, fluent communication is key. Team building activities normally put team members in out-of-work experiences and games. These help lower some of the normal barriers which some people erect. With fewer barriers, the communication flow really becomes a flow. And who does not want that – an environment where everyone can freely communicate with anyone else. This is beneficial both to the work environment and to the mental health of employees.
- Getting To Know One Another And Bonding
If teams are going to be spending more time together, than that with their spouses, it is wise that team members get to know one another. Team building activities move past the standard acquaintance and help members of the team appreciate the various viewpoints which each of them will bring to a single event.
If team members get to know each other, friendship is just a step away. Now this will truly count for boosting morale in the office and making it a fun place to be. Further, when the team is fully formed and bonded, remote or hybrid work are no longer an issue. Friends will remain just as functional and productive, even if they do not sit in the same room.
- Boost Teamwork
Bonding team building activities aim to facilitate teamwork. If the members of the team know each other well, know their strengths (and of course – know some weaknesses) the team will be much more functional.
Teamwork will be easier and will produce better results. If everyone can bring the best in him, while helping the team, the positive corporate culture will flourish. And while each of the team members are happy to bring the best of them to the work at hand, the results of the team will excel.
- Cradling Creativity And Innovation
When team members are among friends and are able to bring the best of themselves, they are more inclined to be creative. This naturally brings innovation to the workplace. With creativity and innovation on steroids, team building activities actually increase the competitiveness of the enterprise.
- No More Problems, Just Challenges
If you notice running away from responsibility, looking away from problems or shrugging them off as “’it’s not my job” in your enterprise, good advice is to organise some team-building problem-solving events. The whole concept of team building facilitates teams to tackle any problem which is thrown their way. After all – the team members know each other, know their strengths and weaknesses, trust each other, have strong creative capacity, have the culture and the will to conjure up solutions.
Now add to that some special techniques for problem-solving and decision making and you will have the recipe for a problem tackling team. They will be dismissive of the risk, dangers and setbacks which each problem may create. They will just focus on the challenge of getting the best solution.
Teams, which have been forged in the mock battles of team building events cannot be easily scared from problems. After all, each problem is yet another game. We just have to find the best solution. They will take responsibility. These teams will always get the problem solved and the job is done. They will just keep coming for more.
- Building Cathedrals, Not Making Bricks
You have all heard the story. Although the business of the enterprise may be actually to make bricks it is the culture of the enterprise which builds the belief of all team members that they are truly contributing to the creation of Cathedrals.
Team building activities help forge this corporate culture. Now just imagine what a team of Cathedrals builders can do! To say the least – the quality of the bricks will be outstanding and all of the team members will have a true reason to get up in the morning. Work is no longer a chore, it is a source of inspiration.
- A Place Where Leaders Are Created
Sure, normally managers are hired as such. Team building games, however, may help unravel true leadership abilities where they are least expected. During the challenges and the competition, amidst problem-solving and decision making, leaders tend to show themselves. These are not necessarily the managers or senior staff. But after all – what is better, than growing your own leaders.
Leadership is a talent with which people are born sometimes. Employers just need to take note and facilitate the growth of a new leader after the team building activities. The enterprise will only benefit.
- Building Bridges
In older enterprises, where teams are already well established, they sometimes tend to silo themselves from all others. Team building exercises are not about breaking down established teams, but rather about making bridges between different teams.
Can the marketing department benefit from better communication, trust and bonding with the production department? Sure. All teams can benefit from getting to know other teams, their strengths, weaknesses, wants and fears.
Stimulate the creation of ties between the different working teams. Sometimes we cannot even fathom the benefits which will follow.
- Appreciation And Celebration
Team building games normally have winners and naturally, there are some prizes. These do two things. On the one side – a reason for a team or a team member to be proud of winning the game. But also, a blueprint for setting corporate goals, competing to achieve and praising the winning team. Last, but not least, each win is a reason for celebration. This bonds the team even stronger and then we go back up to the top of the present list and start the whole process over again. Boosting all the benefits in the process.
- A True Reason
Now let’s recap. Team building helps start the communication flowing. Team building activities help your employees bond. Team building activities facilitate the creation of bridges between the different teams within your organisation. Team members use their strengths and depend on their peers for support.
Teams become more creative and innovation flows. The organisation celebrates success and problem-solving has become a fun challenge. Employees are motivated to bring forth the best in them. New leaders emerge. Corporate culture prospers. People are smiling as they go to work and continue smiling when they are done.
The bottom line of what team building can do for your enterprise in just a couple of words is to boost morale and employee engagement. No longer will you find division lines between “us” and “them”. After all – we are all Cathedral Builders!
The financial results from these investments will strongly outstrip the cost. The productivity of the company will be increased. The competitiveness of the enterprise will strengthen. Innovation will be ever-present. Risks will be diminished or mitigated. Employee turnover will decrease and with that the costs of training new employees. In-house leaders will be growing around the organisation ready to take up new positions. Considering all of these true financial results, the team-building endeavour is truly worth the investment.
Keep The Good Vibes Coming
Team building activities are considered sometimes lame as they only last a day. Then all is over and forgotten. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. In fact, employers must strive to create an ongoing team bonding and problem-solving atmosphere at the office. Use every achieved goal, every upcoming (or passed) holiday to organise be it small corporate events.
Continue organising more team building activities out of the office or you may organise fun team building activities for workplaces or office group activities. Either way, the aim of employers should be to keep those teams bonded and trustful and maintain the smiles on the faces of the employees.