Team building is an easy way to increase employee happiness, productivity, and morale.
While a solitary ant can’t accomplish much by itself, a group of ants allows an entire colony of ants to survive and prosper.
The same can be said about a business and its workers.
A company may hire the most qualified, cunning employees on the market, but they will go nowhere if those individuals refuse to work as a team. That’s why incorporating various team-building activities into your company culture may prove to be advantageous.
Keep reading to learn the benefits of team building and a few team-building activities every business should try.
Benefits of Team Building
Team building is imperative for maximizing productivity in a work environment. Here’s a list of reasons why:
Improve Employee Communication
Communication is everything. Improper communication dooms a business to fail.
The transferral of information creates a flow. When this flow is disrupted by a workplace’s inability to communicate, efficiency plummets. While this seems to result from introversion, the issue lies not in the worker’s unwillingness to communicate; rather, it is the failure to understand one another.
People aren’t mind-readers, and not everyone will speak their mind.
That’s why enlisting the help of team-building exercises may help employees better understand each other and be more receptive to different perspectives.
Increase Team Morale
When everyone in a business works towards a similar goal, there will be an exuberant increase in morale.
By creating a sense of inspired enthusiasm, the workplace will see a healthy growth of positivity and motivation.
Miserable workers will only work as much as they need to. They’ll get to the workplace on time and leave on time. Happy workers will work as much as they want. They’re more likely to come to work early and leave later.
When people don’t trust each other, they’re less likely to ask for help. This can lead to some employees overloading themselves with a heavy workload while others have little to do.
When this happens, there’s a decrease in productivity due to the uneven distribution of work. Projects will take longer, people will become stressed, and no one will be happy.
Team building activities can help build trust among coworkers. When people are encouraged to work as a team, they’re forced to put faith in one another and play their part. When workers begin to trust their coworkers’ capabilities, they become more trusting in the actual workplace.
Team-building activities will improve communication in the workplace, but they will also increase physical productivity.
When people learn how to work with one another, they learn how to be more efficient in their work. They will be able to identify who’s good at what and better distribute work in team-based projects.
The increase in productivity helps avoid unnecessarily wasting time and money. There will also be an improvement in the management of the business, allowing it to prioritize expansion.
In a team-building environment, leaders tend to rise and shine. This can help a business identify its hidden leaders and utilize them accordingly.
Not every leader is initially apparent. By allowing potential leaders to prove themselves, a company can better appropriate team leaders for important projects and get a better idea of who will rise up in the ranks in the future.
Leaders are often easily identifiable when given the opportunity. They shine the brightest and are essential for rallying everyone beneath them. This is unfortunate for the many talented individuals that most companies overlook in favor of leadership.
While leaders are paramount, so are the people who follow them. A leader is a leader because nobody is good at everything, and it’s their job to bring together a group of people with different skill sets to complete a daunting task.
That said, not everyone’s skills and talents are apparent. In fact, most are never discovered by the world. A few creative team-building exercises will throw people for a loop and help bring out the talents of people no one else knew they had.
Recognizing talent can place people in more favorable positions for both the individual and the company.
Creates A Sense of Responsibility
There’s more at stake when more than one person is on the line.
Putting people on the spot can help invigorate a sense of responsibility within them because they won’t want to bring everyone else down.
Responsibility is vital to the workplace because it creates structure. Each person in a company is a pillar. When a pillar cracks, the stability of the company cracks. The more cracks there are, the more likely the business will fall.
Creating a sense of responsibility in team-building games will translate to the workplace while not actually putting anything at stake.
Creativity blossoms into new trends and ideas every day. It’s how a business builds success.
The best part about creativity? Everyone has it in their own way. It could be found in a worker’s ability to create more manageable ways to accomplish complex tasks or the proposal of innovative designs at meetings.
So what’s the problem? The issue is encouraging people to get creative.
Creativity can be daunting because it sometimes leads to failure. Team building activities give people the opportunity to get creative and “fail” without actually failing.
When employees learn how to fail gracefully, they’re more open to taking risks by getting creative.
Takes Pressure Off of The Work Environment
Team-building activities are meant to be fun. They promote healthy camaraderie among coworkers and take pressure off of the work environment.
When people don’t feel as pressured, they’re less stressed and more efficient in their work.
Team Building Activities
Now that the importance of team building has been established, it’s time to talk about the approach. The type of team building a business will do is contingent on what type of business it is.
This article will cover exercises at three different locations:
- At the workplace
- Outside the workplace
Team Building Exercises in the Workplace
Doing team building at the workplace is an excellent way to save time and money. Team building exercises at the workplace can also be done regularly, incorporating them into a routine.
Here are a few team-building exercises to try at the workplace:
Some people love them, and some people hate them. Regardless of personal bias, they’re an excellent way to introduce new workers and get employees to know one another.
People are more likely to remember names and faces if there’s an interesting fact to go along with them and are more likely to establish a connection with those they are acquainted with.
To avoid hosting stale, contrived icebreakers, ask interesting questions and give everyone the opportunity to speak. Encourage people to be themselves and create a semi-informal environment.
Group Shark Tank
Hosting group-based shark tank sessions can inspire creativity and confidence.
To do this, create small groups and give them a certain amount of time to create a product that they will present to everyone else. The product can be thematic or completely general.
In the end, have everyone vote on which product is best. There can even be prizes such as gift cards or bonuses to motivate everyone.
Scavenger hunts are fun yet thought-provoking exercises that can easily be done in teams.
There should be a catalog of clues that incorporates different ways of thinking and knowledge sets. That way, everyone will be forced to put their heads together to complete the hunt.
An example of this would be having clues relating to different subjects. One clue could be about coding, while another is about economics. This encourages people who do differing jobs to work together towards a single goal.
One of the backbones of work-related social interactions is the event-based party. This could be a holiday, birthday, or retirement party.
These events won’t directly focus on team-building, but they will help people talk with each other and socialize. When employees are more comfortable with their coworkers, they’re more apt to communicate and will have a better understanding of each other.
A great thing about these parties is that they can be held regularly at work and are generally inexpensive. They don’t take too much planning and won’t eat up too much of the work schedule.
Team Building Exercises Out of the Workplace
Sometimes, it’s nice to have excursions outside of the workplace. A business can fully utilize these excursions by turning them into fun, team-building exercises.
Here are a few team-building exercises to try outside of the workplace:
The beauty of escape rooms is that they unite people under a single cause of escape. There are no real stakes other than the satisfaction of figuring out a tough puzzle.
Like the scavenger hunt, workers are encouraged to work together and solve clues. During this time, talents, leaders, and creative ideas may arise, potentially translating to the workplace.
Furthermore, people confined to a small room are likely to get to know each other and will work together better afterward.
Sports such as soccer, baseball, and basketball are team efforts that require planning, skill distribution, tactics, and teamwork. There’s no such thing as a one-person team, and it will take the cumulative efforts of a group to succeed.
Competing in intramural sports leagues are great group-building exercises that tackle many team-related problems found in the workplace.
Just make sure only to incorporate workers who want to/are able to participate in sports. Not everyone is an athlete to be considerate to those who favor other types of team-building exercises.
Annual Company Trips
Having annual paid company trips can be useful in rewarding and motivating a business’s employees. They’ll also serve as team bonding trips where workers can interact and talk with each other freely outside of the workplace.
People solemnly will go out of their way to spend time with work acquaintances, but by giving them an opportunity to do so under the premise of work vacation, they become more willing and receptive to one another.
The camaraderie created outside the workplace will indeed be expressed within the workplace, and the ability to conduct teamwork will improve.
Fundraiser for Employee Perk
Say a business wants to reward its employees for their hard work by constructing a cafe within the work building. The business can take it a step further and hold a fundraiser in which its employees can participate and thus save up for the expense.
Not only will a fundraiser save money, but it can also incorporate team-building elements by having people work together in it.
Fundraisers are also excellent charity events and will bring people together to work towards a noble cause.
Virtual Team Building Exercises
Some companies function partially or fully remotely. This is especially true after the Corona pandemic.
Even so, team building virtually is even more critical than in-person. People who work online have less interaction with each other and don’t have the chance to get to know their coworkers better.
Here are a few virtual team-building activities:
Virtual Show and Tell
Done through a Zoom call (or other meeting software), a virtual show and tell gives employees a chance to show everyone something that’s important to them and tell more about it.
Doing a virtual show and tell may help employees learn more about their coworkers and create a sense of belonging. It will also help improve the workers’ presentation skills and boost confidence.
Virtual Escape Rooms
Virtual escape rooms are similar to standard escape rooms, except they are done entirely online.
This allows all the team-building benefits of a regular escape room from the comfort of one’s own home.
Many of these services can be found online and have seen increased popularity in recent years.
Virtual Debate Sessions
Debating requires a lot of factors: Researching and organizing arguments, addressing counterarguments, understanding other perspectives, etc.
This makes them prime team-building activities that can be done in the workplace and virtually. People will really have to work together and think outside the box in order to be successful in these debates.
Doing laid-back, fun debates will also help people be better at handling arguments and getting along with others.
A fun virtual game that can be done online is Pictionary.
A Pictionary session can be held in small groups of people and will help workers get along with each other as well as display everyone’s impressive (or not-so-impressive) art skills.
Similar to virtual escape rooms, there is a multitude of services available online to host group game sessions.
Tips for Organizing Team Building Exercises
While this article has listed a few options for team building, the possibilities of exercises that can be done are limitless.
Businesses are constantly finding new ways to team-build and connect their workers, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
Avoid Trite, Outdated Team Building Methods
Traditional team-building methods were exercises that con men specifically engineered to focus on team building. In theory, these exercises sound efficient, but the reality is that they are just old-fashioned gimmicks.
People ultimately end up becoming bored and end up going through the motions without actually gaining anything.
Since the workers define a business’s success, everyone must learn to work as a team.
It doesn’t matter what position a person is in or how much money they make; everyone should feel equally involved and important.
Don’t Force People Outside of Their Comfort Zones
This goes along with the previous point of “include everyone.”
While a business should include everyone in team-building exercises, it should never force people out of their comfort zone. It should encourage this but never force it.
A good way to include everyone without forcing people outside of their comfort zones is to have a variety of team-building activities. That way, people can pick and choose what they want to do.
Plan Them Regularly
Once a year isn’t going to cut it.
Teamwork requires people to use certain parts of the brain. When collaboration isn’t being constantly encouraged, and people stop using these parts of their brains, their ability to do so goes down.
It’s essential that every company conducts routine team-building activities to keep people’s minds fresh and promote constant interaction with one another.
Keep Them Fun
Team-building exercises are meant to be fun. People shouldn’t feel bored or pressured during these activities. They should always act naturally and healthily to express themselves.
Teamwork is one of the most important aspects of every business.
It’s not something that’s intrinsic to a company, but it can always be built and improved. Team-building exercises should always be incorporated into company culture and never overlooked.
Remember, under every great CEO is a hardworking team that knows how to communicate and work efficiently.
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