Team building is the process that results in a group of people to work together effectively as a team by means of activities and events created to increase and promote cooperation. A team is a group of people organized to work together independently and cooperatively to meet the needs of clients by accomplishing their purposes and goals. These activities can be as simple as the daily interactions employees have when working together, to more structured activities and exercises, resulting in stronger relationships with co-workers. The most effective results are achieved when team members are interdependent, knowledgeable and experienced and when leadership actively establishes and supports the team.
Do team building activities work?
Although there is a common lack of desire from employees to attend team building activities, the truth is that many activities do in fact add value to the organization entirely. If done properly, these activities can improve a team’s performance. According to Glide Consulting, there are four common improvements team building activities will do for your company:
- They will cause improved communication within the team and across company practices.
- They will raise employee motivation and as a result employees will be driven to produce better work. The American Psychological Association reports that team building activities make employees feel valued, and valued employees are more motivated.
- They will improve problem solving skills by putting employees in situations that require strategic solutions. These situations will ignite creativity and open the door to new ideas.
- They will result in having fewer walls between people. There are often disparities within teams, between teams and between employees and management. Team building activities serve as a way to build trust and bring people together as a result.
How to facilitate team building activities
Activities can take place anywhere with enough space for a group of three or more people to move around. These spaces can be in the office, at a company retreat, in a park, a restaurant, bar, etc. To properly facilitate a team building activity, one should firstly identify the challenges that the team faces, keeping in mind the end goals. One should do this by studying the team and noting if there are conflicts between team members, if communication is lacking, if people are focused on their own success rather than the team’s overall success, if the team’s problem solving skills are weak, if employees on the team are using their strengths improperly, etc.
When planning and determining which fits your team best, keep in mind that there are four main types of activities, which include communication activities, problem-solving and/or decision-making activities, adaptation and/or planning activities, and activities that focus on building trust. The goal is to hold a variety of activities that are both entertaining and challenging, and that also have the side effect of building teamwork skills that can help improve the performance and productivity of employees in the workforce.
What does a company gain from team building activities?
Companies will see long term results from holding team building activities. Not only do they bring team members together, but they will also increase collaboration, productivity, motivation, creativity, and communication between staff. For more information on the benefits of activities, see here.
What are some team building activities employees will like?
The Muse has created a list of 22 activities that employees find entertaining including puzzle solving, a compliment circle to show appreciation, brainstorming sessions, board games, a scavenger hunt, a contest, and much more.
What are some challenges to team building activities?
These activities face challenges when there is a lack of teamwork skills, when the company has virtual workplaces and across organizational boundaries that don’t allow team members to connect, and when there are dissimilar languages, cultures and values within the team.