What is Team Building?
Team building has been around for many decades and is now an integral part of the modern business model.
It typically involves a team taking a break (a half or whole day is common) from their normal day-to-day to take part in an activity or shared experience. Evening social functions are also common.
Why do organisations do Team Building events?
Organisations do team building for a variety of reasons. The clearer the purpose of your team building event, the greater likelihood of getting a return on your investment. The three most common objectives are:
- Build rapport and create friendships. The team takes part in a shared experience that is fun, unique and engaging. The primary purpose of this team building is to strengthen relationships in the team. The chosen activity should involve lots of communication and interaction between individuals. Each participant should ideally come away having learnt something new about themselves and other members of the team.
- Promote teamwork. The activity requires the team to work together to either achieve a shared outcome or win a challenge. The team practices the skills required to work together cohesively and trust each other to do their part of the larger goal. The exercise should involve shared dependency and collaboration in order to lead to a better understanding of teamwork, delegation of tasks and trusting others.
De-stress and socialise. The team takes part in a fun, exciting, memorable and engaging event. The focus is on acknowledgement, reward and celebration. Happy, healthy employees are more resilient, more confident, more likely to produce remarkable results, strive for excellence and stay with the organisation.
A team building activity can achieve just one, two or all three of the above objectives.
What types of Team Building Activities are available?
They can be divided into four basic types:
- Icebreaker / Rapport Builder. A new business or a new team will benefit from a team building exercise that specifically focuses on introducing the members to each other. The objective is to go beyond the face in the office or the voice on the phone and learn more about individuals: their personality, likes, dislikes and interests. This enables people to quickly build rapport and promotes more open, natural interactions in the workplace.
- Collaborative / shared outcome. In this type of team building engagement, participants will all work together to achieve a single goal or series of goals. This may involve working in smaller teams but the focus is on collaborating rather than competing. If the task can mirror or simulate tasks or challenges that the team faces in their daily operations, then a group can learn how to maximise teamwork and cohesion. Good levels of communication, empathy, creativity and natural leadership are usually required to succeed in this type of activity. Examples include a movie-making activity or a painting challenge.
- Competitive. Here the focus in on beating the other teams and winning a challenge. This type of team building activity teaches people how to quickly form a new team, pool their skills, assess the best strategy and play to their strengths. It simulates a lot of business scenarios, such as a sales pitch, taking a product to market or bidding for resource internally. Overcoming constraints and learning to work with others under pressure is a significant benefit of this type of event. Examples include an outdoor scavenger hunt or amazing race.
Entertainment. This type of team building event is all about fun and entertainment. There may be teams for the purposes of making the activity work, but there is little or no emphasis on results, scores or outcomes. Examples include a murder mystery or casino function.
What are the Benefits of Team Building Activities?
Corporate team building activities are much more than a reason to step outside with your co-workers. There are many benefits for both mind and body including:
- Increase productivity. By participating in activities where they must practice the art of teamwork, people learn how to work together in the workplace. Team building is an excellent way to help employees find ways to solve intricate problems quickly while actively supporting each other, which is undoubtedly beneficial in the workplace.
- Encourage creativity and problem-solving. Many of our team building activities require creative problem-solving solutions. It is hugely beneficial for teams to learn and experiment with creativity away from the pressures of a real business challenge. A breath of fresh air, a new perspective, or a new challenge can be precisely what the team needs to finally nail a challenge or project they are working.
- Boost morale. When morale seems low in the team, one of our fun activities can be the break your team needs. Once they start working together towards a common goal away from work, they can become inspired again to achieve success. Never underestimate the influence morale has on productivity and creativity.
- Identify future leaders. Team building is an excellent way to find out who naturally falls into leadership roles when challenges arise. You can use one of our many problem-solving activities to assess the capabilities of your team and encourage potential leaders to step forward.