14 May Did you care about TEAM BUILDING? Here’s why you should!
Realistically, work tends to be a bore at times. It doesn’t have to be though! Believe it or not, you can have fun at work too! Switch things up at the office and try some fun team building activities to get everyone energized. There are tons of highly effective team building activities that you and your team can do to become more engaged, better acquainted with each other, and more productive all while having some fun.
“I NEVER DID A DAY’S WORK IN MY LIFE. IT WAS ALL FUN.” –THOMAS A. EDISON
It’s important to team build often and even more important to get everyone participating. A team that works well together is more effective, more productive, and more successful — not to mention happier and more fun to work with! But establishing and developing those bonds can be tricky, especially when typical team building activities tend to induce more eye rolls among teammates than high-fives.
So what activities EXACTLY are the effective team building activities (which are both low cost as well as low time-consuming ones)? We believe the best team building activities not only serve to increase communication amongst your team members, but also help to form some great memories they can share. Team-building activities can be a powerful way to unite a group if the exercises are planned and carried out strategically. In other words, there has to be a real purpose behind your decision to do the exercise – for example, improving the team’s problem-solving or creativity skills – rather than just because you felt like giving your people a nice day out of the office.
“TALENT WINS GAMES, BUT TEAMWORK WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS.” – MICHAEL JORDAN
We at Bootcamp Learning, offer you a variety of exercises to address different issues that teams commonly face. Here is a brief about what to consider when planning a team event.
Team Building Activities That Actually Builds Teams
The most important step when planning a team-building activity comes at the very beginning: you must start by figuring out what challenges your team faces. Only then can you choose exercises that will be effective in helping them work through these issues.
Spend time thinking about your team’s current strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself these questions to identify the root of any problems:
- Are there conflicts between certain people that are creating divisions within the team?
- Do team members need to get to know one another?
- Do some members focus on their own success, and harm the group as a result?
- Does poor communication slow the group’s progress?
- Do people need to learn to work together, instead of individually?
- Are some members resistant to change, and does this affect the group’s ability to move forward?
- Do members of the group need a boost to their morale?
Some effective Team-Building Exercises
There are literally hundreds of team-building activities that address a wide range of issues. Here are our top picks:
LUNCHING WITH COWORKERS
Lunch time is a glorious time for many people in the work place. Having time to eat and take a mental break is very important, even if it’s a short amount of time for some. Next lunch-break, try something new with your employees. Start by taking one day out of the week to spend lunch getting to know your team even better. Newly opened lines of communication between everyone will be great to take back to the office.
Summer months have arrived and that means going outdoors for fresh air and sun! Take your team outside for meetings when you can. Being outdoors will instantly lighten the mood and result in a much better time than that spent indoors. Team building activities are the perfect way to spend your time outside.
OFFICE TEAMS OR CLUBS
Is there some disconnect between people at work? Do you want to see them bond more? Create a team or club to further your team building efforts. A sports team or book club can be just what you need to see your team become stronger through shared interests and experiences.
Being a part of something outside of work will give team members something to relate to and provide new topics of conversation. A healthy team or club can make all the difference at work and will improve the work culture.
Click here to know about various other effective team building activities that you can carry out with your team members easily.
What Not to Do?
If you were a marathon runner, would you train just a few times a year for your next race? Of course not. You would run almost every day. Why? Because only through regular, continuous training and exercise would you have a chance at winning.
Team building works on the same principle. Most managers plan one or two events per year, and that’s it. There’s rarely any regular ‘training’ or follow-up, and this can hold back the group’s long-term success.
- Effective team building needs to happen continuously if you want your group to be successful. It needs to be part of the corporate culture.
- If you lead a group, aim to incorporate team-building activities into your weekly or monthly routine. This will help everyone address their different issues, and it will give them a chance to learn to trust one another – more than just once or twice a year.
- Finally, make sure that your team-building exercises aren’t competitive. Think about it – competition tends to make one person or team work against another. This probably isn’t a good way to build team spirit and unity. More likely, it’s a way to divide a group.
Many companies use sports for team-building activities. Yes, baseball and soccer can be fun, and some people will enjoy it. But these activities can do far more harm than good if they focus just on competing, and they can really demotivate people who are not particularly good at these sports. Plan an event that makes people truly depend on others to succeed, and stay away from competition and ‘winning.’
For team building to be effective, leaders must first identify the issues their group is facing. Then they can plan activities to address these challenges directly – and make sure that the team will actually gain some benefits from the event. Keep competition out of the exercises, and aim to make team building activities as a regular part of the corporate culture, instead of a once-a-year event.