Some businesses are all over team building activities, whereas others see it as time out of the business with potentially no added benefit. In fact, team building activities within some companies can have quite a bad reputation. Some employees will dread it whilst others see it simply as a nice break from work. However, it really does have its place and if executed correctly, can be an extremely rewarding activity for both employees and the business itself by increasing motivation, engagement, collaboration, building trust, improving communication and mitigating conflict.
The main benefit of team building is to build trust amongst team members. Trust is the foundation of everything and will have a huge knock-on effect to improving many areas such as communication, morale, engagement and as a result, productivity. Obviously team working activities mean that employees work on projects outside of their usual scope and so it tends to make us relax. When our guards are let down, employees will tend to contribute more openly and engage with more confidence. The result being improved trust among team members once normal practice resumes in the office.
Linked closely with building trust, team building activities are designed to make people solve problems in a non-work environment. This therefore gives employees the opportunity to learn more about one another, including their skills and talents – Possibly information that wouldn’t be gleaned in a work environment. This can have a huge and positive impact on communication in the workplace.
Team building days and activities are meant to be exciting, engaging and fun. They are designed to take the employee out of the 9-5 so they can communicate with other team members in a different environment and on different levels. Some activities can be really quite obscure and require some creative solutions which often come with combined competitive spirit and lots of laughter.
Of course when a group of employees successfully completes an activity it makes them feel good about themselves and creates momentum and so give them confidence in their and their team’s ability. The sharing of such experiences means your employees will undoubtedly feel more comfortable with one another and this will show in the workplace. Improved morale leads to improved communication, engagement and increased productivity.
The workplace doesn’t always show someone’s strengths and weaknesses because employees tend to stick to their respective tasks. However, stepping out of the workplace can help to identify core competencies such as problem solving, mitigating conflict, leading and following instruction. Leaders can then identify these traits and use this information to build a strong team, investing in their training, learning and development.
Putting people together in this type of environment, especially those employees who in a work capacity wouldn’t usually have a reason to work with one another can see certain personalities rise to the top. For example, you may find that everyone in the marketing team has their role and this is where they operate quite happily. However, put them in a team building situation with a team of other people and those with natural leadership abilities may step up and take ownership of the activity. Managers can then see the type of leadership styles demonstrated and helps existing leaders spot the potential of rising leaders.
A successful business comprises employees with different skill sets with diverse perspectives – After all, this is what feeds creativity and innovation. Team building tasks enables employees to use their imaginations and come up with a creative solution and this can uncover some fantastic ideas as well as the people who came up with them who wouldn’t necessarily always have the opportunity in their everyday business tasks.
Many team building activities can fall somewhat flat as they are treated as a one-off activity. However, it’s important to keep the momentum going within the workplace and don’t forget that team building activities needn’t be held once in a blue moon and there are many ways to increase employee engagement internally.
Why not contact me now for help and guidance when planning your net team building event: 01453 297557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.