So, what is team building? Successful teamwork is the cornerstone for creating a functioning, contributing team within the workplace. Many companies use team building events as a method of motivating and inspiring a workforce, the benefits of this should not be underestimated and include:
- Building and improving interpersonal relations
- Building trust
- Creating cohesion within a team
- Defining and developing individual roles
- Collaborating towards a fixed goal
- Improving morale, loyalty and productivity within a company
A team building event is designed to take employees out of the day-to-day working environment and expose them to a new experience that has a clear purpose. Participants should be encouraged to work together in an informal and non-hierarchical setting. Communication should be open, honest and respectful giving individuals a platform to express their thoughts, opinions and potential solutions to problems.
It is important to bear in mind that team building does not have to be physically demanding or intimidating. A good team building concept should enable employees of all ages and abilities to positively contribute towards the overall goal of the day. The content of the day should include activities that encourage planning and mental challenges in conjunction with the more adrenaline based tasks for the thrill seekers.
The most effective team building events take place off-site and are held outdoors. Fresh air helps increase energy levels and sharpens the mind, blowing away the cobwebs gathered by sitting in the office each day. Stepping away from the usual work routine allows new ideas and fresh perspectives to filter through – see article on ‘benefits of fresh air’.
For long-term effectiveness, team building activities should be regular and fun. Events do not need to be expensive but they do need to be structured and require considerable planning and consideration.
Measuring the success of a team event can be done by post-event questionnaires and feedback from participants. Employees will feel valued and appreciated which will positively permeate throughout the organisation, ultimately improving productivity.