Team building activities have become increasingly popular in the modern corporate world, as organisations try to encourage collaboration, build relationships and increase morale amongst their team members. But do these activities really work? It’s a question that has been debated for years and one that remains controversial.
Let’s take a look at the potential benefits and drawbacks of team building activities, so you can decide whether they’re a worthwhile investment of time and resources. If you’ve been thinking about introducing a team building activity in your workplace, this article is for you.
WHAT ARE TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES?
Team building activities are designed to bring the teams with different backgrounds and skill sets together and have fun, which in turn can help boost productivity, improve communication and increase morale. There are many types of team building activities, but the most common categories are those that focus on building trust, communication, listening and collaboration skills and engage participants in some form of competition.
- Increased trust and a sense of team unity. When people are thrown together to work as part of a team, it’s only natural for them to feel a little uncertain. Trust and a sense of unity can be developed in a number of ways, including through team building activities.
- Better communication. Team building activities are designed to help break down barriers and encourage communication amongst team members who may have previously been hesitant to share their ideas and thoughts with each other.
- Increased motivation and morale. Working with a team is far more satisfying than working alone, and team building activities can help to create a friendship and fun, which in turn can help boost motivation and morale amongst team members.
- Greater productivity. By increasing communication and trust, and increasing motivation and morale this can help boost productivity.
- A sense of responsibility and accountability. When working in a team, each team member has a certain level of responsibility and accountability for the outcome of the team’s performance. Training team members can help give them a sense of responsibility and accountability to their team.
- Enhanced problem solving. When working in teams, team members need to be able to express themselves and offer their suggestions and ideas. Team building activities can help encourage this kind of thinking.
- Improved employee retention. When employees feel part of a team, they are more satisfied and motivated. This in turn can help reduce the risk of high turnover and increase employee retention.
- Strong communication and feedback systems. In order to encourage employee feedback, you can make communication systems such as regular one-on-one meetings, team meetings, discussion groups and other forms of communication regular and structured. It provides an opportunity to make suggestions and share feedback.
- Regular performance reviews, team members feel more accountable for their performance, benefit from self-reflection and opportunity to discuss their further training and development.
- Regular training programs are a great way to encourage teamwork, and it can help team members develop new skills. Be mindful to include team members from all levels in training programs.
- Focus on common goal, vision and values provides structure, direction, source of motivation, which promotes innovative thinking, embrace new ideas and bring the team together.
- Recognition and reward practices such as regular positive feedback, team recognition programs, promotion and reward motivates team members, boost teamwork and productivity. It helps retain talent and reduce staff turnover.
- The first step to successfully implementing team building activities is to define your objectives. Decide what you want to achieve and then select activities that are likely to help you meet your objectives.
- Research the best activities for your team. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can look at the different types of activities and decide which would be most suited to your team. Remember to take your team members’ skills, strengths and weaknesses into consideration when selecting activities.
- Be realistic with your expectations. Not every team building activity will be successful, and even if one activity is a complete failure, it doesn’t mean you’re off the mark. It’s important to learn from your mistakes, and make adjustments for next time. Practise makes perfect.
Team building activities are an excellent way to bring people together, increase collaboration and encourage a sense of team spirit. There are many benefits including increased trust and a sense of unity, better communication and improved productivity. Make sure you carefully select the right type of team building activities for your team, and you’re guaranteed to see positive results.