Common Mistakes in Team Building
Real world and virtual team building activities are important to bond employees and develop key skills - but sometimes they just don't work out.
There are plenty of employees and employers who struggle to understand the importance of team building activities. This isn’t surprising. For many of us, team building evokes memories of episodes of The Office more than anything else. Yet, team building is a massively underrated factor in company success. This is true across pretty much any industry. Here, we’ll examine all the major reasons that you should care about team building exercises for your business.
Some businesses don’t consider the difference between team building activities and team bonding activities. Many employers assume that getting their employees together in a room is enough to count as “team building”.
Team building activities have a unique definition. For activities to count as team building, the focus needs to be on actually working as a team. That means working on team skills and team dynamics. So just getting everyone together for a pizza lunch doesn’t count as team building – unless, maybe, you’re in the business of making pizza!
Team building exercises help promote effective teamwork. Who knew? The importance of teamwork can’t be overstated. You can assemble the most talented team in the world, but if they aren’t willing to work together, they’re not going to do much for you at all. Good teamwork isn’t just about practice. It’s about being comfortable with your teammates and understanding how they prefer to work and problem solve. Team building activities that focus on problem-solving can help your team understand how to work better together.
You might think that because many work environments are moving towards remote, having a team that likes each other matters less. If these people never have to see each other, surely they wouldn’t get on each other’s nerves, right?
Lack of interaction makes interpersonal relationships more important to develop. With a lack of face-to-face can come a lack of empathy, and understanding. This isn’t to say all your employees will become standoffish with each other. But it’s easy to become frustrated with a lack of communication and understanding.
Team building activities can be a fun way to let your employees get to know each other or reconnect. This will improve their willingness and ability to communicate openly and clearly.
When we think of teamwork in the context of team building activities, we tend to think of improving the ability to work in small groups. Companies of all sizes have multiple teams working together or collaborating in some way, shape or form..
Too often, these different groups can start to feel like separate worlds, with little interaction. Team building exercises are a great way to introduce the varying teams to each other. This can help your company’s communication between teams, and help employees appreciate their place in the company. That can further help drive employee engagement – speaking of which…
Something else that has been on every team leader’s mind during the age of remote work is employee engagement. When it comes to the social cohesion of your team, employee disengagement has become something of a bogeyman. The idea that your employees have stopped feeling engaged or don’t care about the work they are doing is worrying. A large part of “working hard” is “playing hard” as well. If employees don’t feel like they have some downtime to decompress with the team, it could reflect poorly in their work.
There’s no silver bullet for the problem of disengaged employees. Yet, team building activities in a virtual or physical space are a great way to help foster a sense of community and team spirit. This gives your disengaged employees something to feel an attachment to. The fact that you’re taking the time to organize fun team building activities in a virtual space is also a good way to make employees feel like they matter even in a virtual environment.
When people are looking for new employment, company culture is one of the first things they consider. A lot of those people who quit jobs that didn’t fit their requirements for company culture are going to be looking for new homes. Offering a work/life balance, flex hours and employee team building are just a few ways to attract (and keep) talented employees. Does your company have what it takes to acquire and retain that talent?
By using team building activities to help onboard new employees, you can make them feel immediately welcomed and valued. You also are promoting a company culture that encourages collaboration and hopefully a little bit of fun.
Ideally, you don’t just get employees for their current talent. The best companies are those that serve as places where your employees can develop their skills and grow. Some of the most important skills today are those that revolve around cooperation and working with others. Team building exercises can improve problem-solving, creativity, and cooperation.
More importantly, they are a great way for leaders in your teams to distinguish themselves. You may have team members who are ideal for leadership positions, but just don’t know it yet. By putting them into “game” situations that demand leadership, you can help them develop these vital skills.
Lastly, there’s the fact that a lot of team building activities are just, well, fun. And what team doesn’t want to enjoy themselves and socialize? Fun team building exercises are a great way to let off some steam and create more work life balance. And team building activities on virtual platforms are wonderful for letting employees socialize even while working remotely.
Promoting Employee Wellness is more important than ever, and interactive team activities are a great way to encourage this. For more ways to advocate Employee Wellness, make sure to check out our unique corporate programs.
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