What is team building and why is it important?
What is team building in business?
Put simply, team building is a term used to describe activities completed in teams to help strengthen social relationships. Team building is often used by managers to bring colleagues together and help them achieve goals by trusting each other. It has become increasingly popular in work environments, so why has team building become so important?
Why is team building important?
Team building has many benefits for businesses; it allows employees to learn more about each other but more importantly, it focuses on inclusivity, and usually makes all employees feel as part of one unified team.
Team building has become ever more important as companies have allowed their employees to work partially/fully remotely or with a more flexible schedule.
What is the purpose of team building activities?
Team building activities aim to bring people together and generally help improve creativity and skill formation. This management technique has proven its efficacy countless times, and here is why:
Introduces employees to one another - working together in the same office doesn’t necessarily mean that all employees’ paths cross or that they interact with each other. Team building is the perfect opportunity to bring colleagues together and have them share an experience for a couple of hours which should help them get along better, and serves to integrate new employees more easily.
Boosts team performance - team building pushes individuals to interact with each other and collaborate to achieve a common goal. It puts people in situations where they have to communicate and trust each other in order to move forward and more often than not, this helps improve the team dynamics and sets the basis for better results when collaborating on actual work projects.
Helps uncover skills and strengths - more than developing team skills, team building activities actually help unveil each individual’s strengths, and sometimes these can be quite surprising. Many employees prove to have excellent leadership or communication skills once put in a different setting.
Team building can be fun! - we shouldn’t underestimate this last point, as a matter of fact team building helps break the monotony of the working week, and sometimes, it’s all that is needed to motivate employees again and help them feel refreshed.
Team building skills
Different skills can be acquired through team building, however here is a list of skills we think are essential for an improved work performance:
Communication - this is the basis for any team building, it’s the whole purpose of engaging in activities with peers. It is important that members learn to express their ideas clearly and that they establish open lines of communication to overcome disagreements quickly.
Problem-solving - team building will often require solving one or many problems in order to complete the goals successfully. This pushes members to think outside the box to come up with solutions that lead to the team’s success.
Listening - it is extremely important to listen to peers when they’re expressing their thoughts and keep an open mind about others’ points of view. They might raise questions that you’ve never considered before!
Leadership - working in a group often requires someone to step up and lead members towards the goal to achieve. Developing this skill also means that employees will have a greater ability to make decisions and resolve conflicts between group members.
Delegation - group leaders should understand that they cannot do all the work alone, therefore learning to delegate tasks to achieve goals is critical as it is far more efficient and often helps complete tasks quicker.
Types of team building
There are different types of team building people can take part in, each type focuses on specific skill sets, so it is up to the manager to identify which skills are worth working on and developing.
Activity-based team building
This type of team building can either be a physical or intellectual activity and typically encourages colleagues to work together to solve problems and develop strategies.
Skill-based team building
Managers typically opt for this type of team building when they need members to work on one particular skill, notably leadership or negotiation skills. Usually, the skill-based team building type teaches members something that can immediately be applied into their daily work tasks. Although very effective, this type of team building can sometimes be more costly than the activity-based one as it requires hiring an expert in the field to lead the session.
Value-based team building
Value-based team building usually focuses on a business’s values, and pushes members to think critically about their own values. This activity helps members to rethink their behaviours towards other individuals in their group but also their community, by giving back to those in need.
Simple team building activities
There is a list of activities you can engage in with your colleagues on video platforms that will help you break the ice. A few popular ones to engage in online are:
Virtual scavenger hunt
Team video games
If you’re feeling more adventurous and want to take part in a more physical activity, or simply want to bring all your team members together in one place, feel free to check the team building activities we propose in our ‘Outdoor Corporate Events & COVID-19’ and ‘Team Building Activities for a Small Group’ posts.
Advantages of team building
Team building activities have multiple benefits, and below we’ve listed a few we think are most important ones:
Helps break the ice between colleagues, especially when introducing a new member
Helps build trust and friendships between colleagues
Drives team collaboration, cooperation, and communication
Builds memories and shared experience between team members
Triggers creativity and ‘outside the box’ thinking
The list can go on and on, so why not start planning for your next team building?
You can contact us on 01869 810823 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to help you arrange team building activities tailored to your needs and group size.
Disadvantages of team building
There are a few disadvantages to team building worth keeping in mind:
Cost - these sorts of activities can sometimes be quite costly, especially for larger groups. So you should keep this factor in mind when planning for your team building
Lack of engagement - sometimes it can be difficult to motivate all members to engage with the activities. Sadly, a few members might not see the benefit of team building or might not be open to working in teams to complete challenges. You’ll have to dedicate some extra time and think of the best way to motivate them in order for the activity to run smoothly for everyone.
Hard to measure - one last point we thought essential to mention is that sometimes it can be tricky to measure how well employees developed a certain skill or how much they benefited from a certain activity. Experiences will be different from one member to the other. One good way to get a more realistic picture of how well the team building went is to encourage all members to speak up about their experience, and to give constructive feedback if there is any. This way, you can ensure to prepare better for the next event and hopefully get a better outcome.