Team building events are important for companies of all sizes and structures. No matter if you have thousands of employees or 10 employees or a collaborative environment or one where everyone works on their own projects, team building events are a must. Whatever your company and no matter how big or small, your business will be more productive when your team is happy.
Team building activities sometimes get a bad rap. People are tired of sitting in a conference room playing awkward icebreaker games or being forced to do a trust fall on their co-workers. Don’t fall into the trap of cheesy team building games. Quality team building can be creative and fun! It’s a chance to let loose, try something new, and see your co-workers and employees in a new light. Today’s team building activities can be extreme, push employees to the limits, and create a fun environment that builds lasting memories.
Aside from just being fun and an excuse to be together, team building events have serious business and personal impacts. Here are just a few of the reasons team building is important.
Get to Know Each Other
Most of your time is spent at work, but it can be hard to get to know your staff and what they are really like. People naturally like to feel connected. Co-workers are the thing most people like best about their jobs. Even when the work gets rough, as long as the people are supportive and good to be around, it can make all the difference. These connections might not come out in the office, but it helps employees build connections with each other.
Builds Bridges Across Departments
Team building also allows employees from different areas of the company to get to know each other. People can interact with colleagues they might not usually see. Team building embraces diversity because it breaks down the silos of companies and lets everyone be equal.
Improves Morale and Engagement
Team building activities allow employees to have fun. Instead of being stuck behind a computer all day, they now have the chance to learn a new skill, play a sport, or explore somewhere new. When a company encourages a fun activity, employees are more likely to feel engaged. Team building activities bring everyone together and can make even the most solitary employee feel like part of a team.
Makes Employees Feel Valued
Every job can get boring and monotonous at times. People want to work for a company that is fun and that recognizes that employees are actual people who like trying new things and spending time together instead of just feeling like cogs in the corporate machine. Team building is one of the most effective ways to increase morale. Taking a paid day off work to try a cooking class, go to lunch, or volunteer as a group? That’s something nearly every employee can get behind. It gives people a mental break from work and builds connections, so they feel more valued and engaged at work. Engaged workers are more productive, which increases the output and bottom line for the company.
Develops Communication and Collaboration
Many team building exercises are designed specifically to facilitate teamwork and communication. When a team is tasked with a joint team building task, such as working together to beat an escape room or figuring their way through a ropes course, they learn how to work together. Team building activities can help co-workers discover each other’s strengths. Two co-workers might be on the same team for a team building dodgeball game and realize they work well together. Back in the office, they can build on that teamwork and collaborate on various projects.
Fortune 500 companies like Reebok, Tiffany and Co., and Dell use extreme team building activities to encourage communication and collaboration in a new environment. Employees are put into teams and given various scenarios ranging from having to uncover an FBI spy ring to having to escape from a locked conference room full of clues. These situations force employees to think on their feet and work together, which translates back to what they do at work.
Team building also reduces conflict. Many workplace disagreements are merely misunderstandings or miscommunications. Team building allows people to understand their coworkers’ personalities and what makes them tick. When they know how another person communicates, it means that conflict is less likely. What could come across to someone as a snide comment could really just be a co-worker with a sharp sense of humor. Colleagues can discover that about each other during casual team building time.
Trust is the cornerstone of all good businesses. Seeing your manager race around the track, sing karaoke, or play softball takes the relationship to a new level. Instead of thinking of upper-level managers and executives just sitting in their corner offices all day, team building activities can put a face and personality with the title. Moving beyond a strictly professional relationship builds trust and increases transparency within the organization.
Team building looks different in every company, but it doesn’t have to be cheesy to be effective. Experts recommend focusing simply on having fun together outside of the office instead of developing laser team-focused activities. Try something new like paintball, rafting, or rock climbing; solve a fun problem together with a murder mystery or cooperative game; experience what your area has to offer by going on a site-seeing tour, eating at a hot restaurant, or throwing a company party. The goal should be to get out of the office and have fun – and the results will naturally follow.
With the weather cooling down, now is the perfect time to be thinking about your team building or end of year function. Get in touch and let us help you plan your next event – reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s just some of the team building and end of year functions we’ve put together. Let us help you plan yours!