If you care about having a great working culture, Real Simple’s Maggie Seaver shares that you need to ensure that every employee feels a sense of belonging — and one great way to do that is through team building. And with everyone from the world’s largest corporations to the smallest of startups investing in team building, is all the hype about it justified?
What is team building?
At its core, team building is any action or process that aims to turn a group of employees into a cohesive team. It helps with the employees’ transition from having an individualistic to a collaborative mindset. And this is important because when employees focus on tasks and results on an individual level only, Forbes points out that the whole organization misses out in terms of productivity and effectiveness.
Team building ranges from small activities like bowling or a game night, to big activities like a sportsfest or a three-day retreat at the beach. However, it still has a bad rap for a lot of employees, many of whom see it as some mandatory “fun” activity where they must put on a happy-go-lucky face. But if done right, it doesn’t just serve as a stress reliever for the whole team. It also brings serious benefits and advantages to the whole organizational culture of the company.
Why is it important?
As aforementioned, team building is a great way to foster a positive working culture. And as such, it is important for any business leader to focus on. Employees, after all, are a company’s most valuable assets. That being said, we’ve listed below some more reasons why it should be considered an integral part of any organization.
• Better communication. One of the best advantages of regular team building is that it actually works to achieve improved and more open communication. It allows people to brainstorm about odd problems and talk about themselves in non-working ways.
• Increased collaboration. Better and more open communication between team members means stronger bonds, which helps in strengthening cooperation that aids the pursuit of shared objectives. This will make it easier to work as one, as they realize that they share the good and the bad outcomes of their collective efforts.
• Motivation. Team building also enhances morale and engagement by enabling employees to have fun and take a break from their usual work routine. It also spurs individuals to perform effectively at a higher level, knowing that the company is committed to holding events that are designed to help them grow and develop new skills.
• Happier teams. Effective team building activities result in happier teams, and happier teams mean happier clients and customers. When your team is excited to work with each other and for you, they are also less likely to leave their jobs — they end up becoming more loyal to the company.
How do you make it meaningful?
Holding team building activities is easy, but designing one where everyone is involved, engaged, and finds meaning takes time and effort. You need to have a clear set of objectives to get the most out of any team building activity, as the formulation of goals is the basis of getting positive results.
After setting concrete goals, you need to give your employees more ownership around their team building. One way to do this is by listening to their suggestions, as mentioned in our article on the ‘4 Ways to Transform Your Team From Good to Great’. As their leader, it might be tempting to dictate how the team building should go, but if you want your team to take more ownership, you need to take a step back and practice being a better listener.
You also have to remember that your team consists of people from different backgrounds with different needs and concerns. And as such, you would need to make sure that the team building is tailored to the specific needs of your team. For example, HP shares how having a “watercooler” channel in your team collaboration app is a great form of team building for remote workers, as it allows them to get to know more about the in-house staff in an informal, casual way. Meanwhile, introverts might benefit from having smaller groups or even pairs, to help them open up to new people at their own pace. All in all, planning a team building activity may seem hard, but just having clear goals and an open door policy means that you’re already one step closer to a successful company event.
Do you have any team building success stories you’d like to share? Let us know by leaving a reply below!by