A single activity for team building, if carried out effectively, can change how your business progresses! To better understand how such activities work, let’s understand the basics first. Team building refers to creating a special bond between coworkers based on trust and mutual respect to form a cohesive team working towards a shared goal. The main purpose of team building is to develop a connection between people that is beneficial to the organization in the form of the best output possible. As Micheal Jordan put it:
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
The question is how to form a bond between people belonging to diverse backgrounds, having unique stories and talents. The answer is, it is possible by allowing these people to see each other in a different light, outside the confined workspace, engaged in a fun activity.
Taking part in an activity for team building helps employees connect with each other on a deeper level. A connection like this is achieved by planning activities that will promote communication, conflict resolution, and problem-solving, and thus a strong team will be formed. These fun and motivational activities for team building help in forming a long-term alliance that fosters deeper connections and processing.
Can team building activities be a game changer for your team?
A strong team with a deeper understanding of each other will guarantee not only better results but also a great working environment. Talents of each individual are unique and can be harbored to their fullest extent by building up the level of trust and teamwork. The unique talents complementing each other in a close-knit environment will produce work close to perfection.
The author of “Pulling Together: 10 Rules For High-Performance Teamwork”, John Murphy, says, “Each individual has unique gifts, talents, and skills. When we bring them to the table and share them for a common purpose, it will give companies a real competitive advantage.”
Elements to Consider While Building a Bond Between Team Workers
To build a connection between team workers, some essential elements must be given proper consideration. These elements are the core of employee bonding and teamwork motivation. The elements we are talking about are as follows:
- Role clarity: Each and every individual should have a perfect understanding of the tasks expected of him and the role he plays in the teambuilding.
- Trust: There should be a high level of trust between each individual of that team when it comes to relying on each other’s talents for the accomplishment of a common goal.
- Job satisfaction: This is the positive reinforcement that each individual gets after completing a task satisfactorily.
- Commitment: This is the attachment of a person to the organization or the goal depending upon how well appreciated he is in the space.
- Motivation: This is the amount of comfort and confidence a person feels in his position on the team.
- Empowerment: The freedom everyone has to self-organize and best use his abilities.
All these above-mentioned elements must be reinforced in order to build a team that acts in coordination with each other like limbs to a body. A team is as strong as its individual employees, so these six elements must be inculcated in each and everyone to form the best team.
Building a Better Team with STAR Model — Role of the Team Leader
Apex Leadership developed a model to promote team building in workspaces and to reinforce the importance of team building. They believe that effective teams can make all the difference. To make a powerful team you must first understand how to develop the team and what the roles are of a leader in forming a team. This model focuses on how a team leader can bring out the best from his team workers. Good leadership means bringing the right people together and then managing them in the best way. According to the star model, a team leader should focus on the following elements:
- Strengths: Individuals flourish when their strengths are accentuated in the right way. It is the role of the team leader to find out the strengths of each individual and use those strengths where they can make the best contribution.
- Teamwork: One person can produce good results, but in order to elevate those results to perfection, teamwork is necessary. This is possible when individuals are coordinated in a way that their talents complement each other with an aim to promote team motivation.
- Align: The most important role of the team leader is to align the individual strengths in such a way that the shared organizational goal is achieved with the best outcome.
- Results: If the team leader is able to address the above points, e.g. he brings out individual strengths and aligns them in a way to produce a motivated team, he is more likely to get the expected results.
The STAR model can be used to identify and address the effect of any factors from the outside of the team, for example, from the environment, the organization, or other teams.
Benefits and Importance of Team Building Activities
To keep up with the increasing pace of the world, the efficiency of work must also be increased. This is the only way to keep organizations afloat. To enhance the efficiency of work, the importance of team building must be recognized and steps should be taken to embrace the ideology of motivated teamwork.
There are innumerable advantages of forming professional trust and bonds; some of them are listed below:
1.Connection of Remote Teams
If you have a large number of employees working in different locations who do not come across each other in their day-to-day interactions, it will be beneficial to take some time out and arrange team building activities to bring them closer.
Going forward the organization will benefit from this arrangement. Back in 2020, the world got hit by a wave of Coronavirus which led to the closing down of institutions and transference of work from offices to home. In such circumstances, many adjustments were made all over the world in every organization. According to research, the effects of remote work on collaboration among information workers proved that due to the pandemic
“The shift to firm-wide remote work caused business groups within Microsoft to become less interconnected. It also reduced the number of ties bridging structural holes in the company’s informal collaboration network, and caused individuals to spend less time collaborating with the bridging ties that remained. Furthermore, the shift to firm-wide remote work caused employees to spend a greater share of their collaboration time with their stronger ties, which are better suited to information transfer, and a smaller share of their time with weak ties, which are more likely to provide access to new information.”
Hence, the people who work remotely collaborate more with people they have stronger ties with. This enforces the importance of team building. Team building promotes the formation of stronger connections among individuals and thus makes it easy for people to work under remote circumstances.
The quality and quantity of work completed in a given period of time is productivity. People working in a team are encouraged to give their maximum which leads them to unleash their hidden talents.
Through healthy teamwork, members experience a coalition of people with unique talents working together. Such events add to their experience which in turn adds to the productivity of the entire team. All in all, team building makes diverse people work in the same direction, building communication and connection along the way.
3.Teamwork Motivation and Team Spirit
When a team completes a task, every individual of that team feels a sense of accomplishment which adds to his confidence. The added confidence will make employees work harder and achieve greater results the next time. The sense of triumph will also increase the employee’s trust in his team and his organization. Joint achievements by the teams thus develop a motivating environment and increased employee bonding that sets the stage for the next victory.
4.Fostering of Innovation
In order to build a creative and innovative business, employees with diverse perspectives should be hired which will allow the cross pollination of unique viewpoints into something fresh and imaginative. The more comfortable people feel with their coworkers and in their environment, the more creative ideas they produce.
Collaboration is about knowing the weaknesses and strengths of an individual and dividing the task accordingly. It is also about completely trusting the knowledge of the assigned individual to perform the given task smoothly. One person alone cannot achieve everything in a professional setting. Team building activities help in fostering the required comfort level among employees so that they can rely on each other’s support and collaboration.
6.Enhancement of Company Culture
The values, norms, goals, and attitudes that make up the core of the company are called company culture. According to Indeed, a survey showed that 72% of people believe that it is extremely important to see company culture in the job description. This shows the importance of company culture in attracting employees.
The important elements of company culture are:
- management styles
- national and international policies and
- disciplinary action methods.
Organizing activities for team building also incorporates core values of company culture into the employees. These activities also provide the space to cultivate and enhance the company culture by better understanding the needs and wants of employees.
7.Creation of Something to Anticipate
Whether it’s once a week or once a month, the activity for team building will become a welcoming respite for employees from all the deadlines they have been chasing all week.
No one wants to wake up every Monday and have nothing to look forward to the whole week. Have your employees get worked up about something other than achieving deadlines during the week.
These activities will not only loosen up your employees but will also act as a place of interaction between them outside of the work environment. This is essential for the mental health of employees and it pays back by increased work efficiency and deeper team bonds.
8.Improved Employee Bonding and Morale
Committing to a regularly scheduled team building activity builds brotherhood, makes employees more excited about the prospect of coming to the office and lets them go back to work with a refreshed and reorganized mind. All work and no play decreases efficiency and morale.
Team building activities reinforce the mindset that it is completely okay to get away from your desk and have some fun to refuel yourself. This is a positive behavior and it increases commitment and motivation. These activities also give employees something common to talk about other than work which, as a result, inculcates a mutual emotion of camaraderie and healthy competition.
9.An Environment of Healthy Competition
Healthy competition develops problem-solving skills, conflict resolution, and sportsmanlike attitude in people. Team building activities provide a platform for healthy competition among the employees. Essential competitive skills gained through team building activities will resonate in the workplace during accomplishment of shared goals. Incentives push people to become more creative. Each employee will simply try to raise the bar of his individual performance which in turn will increase the overall work standard. Thus, competing with others in a healthy way inspires more effort, hard work and productivity.
The key benefit of properly managed team building activities is that they allow individuals to get to know each other in a laid-back environment and develop a better understanding of each other’s characters and personalities. Employees’ interaction in a playful and less official environment develops better communication between them which might pay off in the stressful office environment when they are thrown into a difficult task together.
11.Building of Bridges Across Various Departments
The efforts of all the departments combined together make or break a company. The connection between employees belonging to different departments, in certain circumstances, may be as important as the bond between individuals of the same department.
Activities for team building play a significant role in mixing up employees of various departments. These activities provide them an open space to interact outside the work office and form essential understanding and thus, makes everyone more familiar with the people they are working with. Hence, team building activities achieve better synchronization and blending of departments in an office.
How to Organize Activities For Building an Effective Team
An activity for team building can be organized in various ways. It can be online or on-ground depending upon the availability and ease of everyone involved.
- Virtual Team Building Activities: If all of the employees can’t be in the same place at the same time (or there is a pandemic happening!), online team building activities like a virtual scavenger hunt, two truths and one lie, and video charades can be used as ice-breaking activities to develop employee bonding over long distances.
- In-Person Team Building Activities: When all employees are present in the same space physically, that is even better. A large collection of in-person team-building activities can be used to develop teamwork motivation.
- Hybrid Activities: These include a mixture of online and in-person activities. Those who can join in physically are welcome to do so. Those who are unable to be present can always log in through their internet!
Different Types of Team Building Activities
Depending upon the goals of the company, team-building activities can take various forms. Some of these activities are used to cultivate connections and others are used to develop specific skills like time management or problem-solving skills. Here are a few types of activities compiled by Indeed that can build team motivation:
Meeting kickoff refers to starting off meetings with a quick game that acts as an icebreaker and helps relax individuals and make them comfortable in the setting. Here are some wonderful meeting kickoffs that you can use:
- Two Truths and a Lie: In this game, a person tells two real things and one fake thing about himself, and others have to guess which one is the lie.
- Dinner Party: Ask each person who they would most likely want to have dinner with, dead or alive.
- Achievement Sharing: Ask everyone to share their biggest personal achievements.
- Cannot Smile: Tell everyone that they are not allowed to smile and see how long it takes before everyone breaks into a smile.
Communication is the key to employee bonding. Here are a few examples of games that promote communication.
- Scavenger Hunt: Form small groups and give them a list of hidden objects to find.
- Blind Retriever: Form smaller groups and blindfold a member of each group. The other team members guide the blind one to a specific object.
- Office Trivia: Play trivia using knowledge about employees and the organization.
- Circle of Appreciation: Each person tells one thing they appreciate about the other people.
To build efficient problem-solving skills among employees, the following games can be played:
- Egg Drop: Ask the teams to form a device that will protect an egg from breaking when thrown from a second story.
- Office Debates: Ask employees to debate an issue.
- Board Games
- Solution Day: Ask your employees for solutions to various problems that your company is facing at the time.
These games can be played to stimulate creative and innovative thinking among employees:
- What’s My Name: Guess the name of a famous personality shown on a card.
- Design Battle: Arrange a healthy competition of poster designing between small groups of employees.
- Office Jeopardy: Make an office version of the show “Jeopardy!” Have some team members prepare questions and some act as contestants and hosts.
- Idea Day: ask your employees to come up with creative ideas for various processes or any other useful business ideas.
Authentic professional relationships make employees feel at home in the work environment which maximizes their productivity. Here are a few examples of activities that will promote employee bonding and connection:
- Community service
- Team lunch
- Go-kart racing
- Cultural celebrations
Team building activities are vital sources of developing necessary skills like communication, conflict resolution, and teamwork motivation in employees. These team building activities deepen employees’ commitments to their organizations.
Healthy Behaviors Reinforced by Team Building Activities
The key importance of team-building activities lies in the fact that they reinforce some positive and healthy behaviors among individuals. These behaviors include productive communication with other people, the unmasking of hidden talents, deeper appreciation of those working around you, confidence in yourself, and motivation to do better.
An average adult spends as much time in his work environment as in his own home. In other words, office space is like a second home where a person spends significant hours of the day. For the sake of a person’s mental health, it is very important to have deep trust and connections with coworkers. Activities for team building makes sure that healthy behaviors are cultivated and a connected work environment is produced.
Is the Effort Worth the Results Achieved?
Team building and implementation is a lengthy process that requires a slow, continuous process of arranging various activities and making sure of maximum participation. It requires a lot of changes in the organization at the basal level and it can be difficult, but according to research, “Towards Effective Team building in the Workplace”, organizations who have invested in team building activities do not want to revert to the old way because of the enormous benefits provided by teamwork.
The success of a team depends on effective leadership, training and development, provision of resources, organizational support, and rewards for the team’s success. Inculcating these values in your company is a sure way of seeing increased profits and efficiency with better results.
Putting efforts in building rapport and camaraderie among employees may seem like a humongous and energy-draining task but it is worth it. Team building activities are sure to cultivate a culture of communication and connection in your company. Nothing will elevate the standards of your organization as much as good teamwork will. Every individual working in your organization is your best asset; invest in each one.